Well this was test number two for Buffalo and once again the Bulls showed they are good, just not good enough to beat a top end conference team.
The second half was a painful series of misadventures for both teams with missed field goals and turnovers setting up for scoreless final two quarter and a 14-13 Buffalo loss at the hands of NIU.
The bigger news is that Drew Anderson had to leave just as he was getting his rythm in the first half. After a crushing hit from NIU, Anderson left to have his shoulder looked at. The last word given to the media is that he had no structural damage to the shoulder but was being kept out of the game.
If the Bulls are going to turn this 3-4 season around and end up bowling they will need either Drew Anderson or Tyree Jackson to step back in behind center.
After Anderson went down freshman Kyle Vantrease came in and played adequately enough to avoid the big mistakes but not well enough to get any points on the board. He was 8 for 16 for 153 yards, his lone mistake was an interception that stopped a UB drive.
There is a lot of blame to go around in this loss. UB missed a field goal in the fourth quarter that could have given the Bulls a 16-14 lead. There is the interception, the odd play calling in the early stages of the game, or the defense for letting NIU run all over them on the last drive.
But at the end of this I view NIU as playing with house money. We did not expect to win this game and pushed the huskies. It’s clear we are not a conference champion caliber team but the benchmark for UB, this season, is six wins.
With Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, and Miami left the Bulls may get there.