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Buffalo Bulls Quarterback Kyle Vantrease rises to the challenge

Buffalo v Miami Ohio Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

This season so far has been about praising UB’s dynamic Sophomore duo at running back. If the Bulls go bowling it’s likely Kevin Marks will end up with over a thousand yards on the season (he’s currently at 901) and that Jaret Patterson will become UB’s fifth leading rusher of all time (needs 107 yards to pass Anthony Swan).

The running backs and offensive line have been the driving force behind UB’s offensive success this season. But there someone between the two who has also been key to moving the ball.

Kyle Vantrease, yet another sophomore, had to step in when Buffalo lost starter Matt Myers against Miami. The backup has been at the helm for six games over which the Bulls have 4-2 record. UB now sits at six wins going into a regular season finale which could clinch a Bowl game for UB.

It would be the first for the program, two straight years that they play in the post season.

On the surface his stats have not been mind blowing but Vantrease been smart, used the tools around him, and played within what has been provided.

In six starts Kyle has thrown for 955 yards and six touchdowns, only giving up one interception. And that lone interception bounced right off of a receivers hands, into the waiting arms of a Central Michigan defender.

He’s also been able to use his feet to some decent effect. He’s carried the ball into the endzone five times this season. He is only averaging 2.6 yards per carry but when the Bulls get close to the goal line he’s proven to be effective at plunging in or fooling the defense with an option.

So where does all this put Vantrease among the history of UB quarterbacks?

In terms of efficiency this is the 10th best season ever by a UB quarterback. When you filter out players with fewer than 100 attempts and consolidate guys names “Drew Willy” into a single entity you’re left with only four more efficient quarterbacks in the teams history.

Year Player Cmp Att Pct Yds Y/A TD Int Rate
2017 Drew Anderson 66 106 62.26% 1039 9.80 10 1 145.8
2017 Tyree Jackson 143 237 60.34% 2096 8.84 12 3 133.8
2014 Joe Licata 224 345 64.93% 2647 7.67 29 11 125.8
2007 Drew Willy 258 377 68.44% 2572 6.82 15 6 123.9
2008 Drew Willy 304 468 64.96% 3304 7.06 25 6 123.5
2019 Kyle Vantrease 83 141 58.87% 985 6.99 7 1 117.8

Vantrease has two more games that can be used to pad his resume in the fight for the starting job next season. More than that he can go from backup to the Bulls first Bowl winning quarterback if he keeps up the solid level of play.