Buffalo took control of the game early, let the game get tight by making some key second quarter mistakes, and then saw a defensive surge in the third quarter lead the team to a win over the Northern Illinois Huskies. UB’s first ever Mid American Confernce win over NIU.
The game started with UB looking like the best team in the conference. A quick stop of NIU was followed by a three play touchdown drive capped off with a Jaret Patterson touchdown run.
NIU answered the UB touchdown with a field goal but the Bulls offense once again marched down the field virtually unopposed to make the score a second touchdown.
When the Bulls had all the momentum a poor offensive series followed by a 15 yard punt gave NIU possession on the Buffalo side of the field and the Huskies made Buffalo pay, closing the score to a 14-10 margin.
UB grew their lead once agin late in the second. A 7 play 93 yard drive capped by a 56 yard Patterson run put the Bulls back up 11.
NIU answered just before the half with an efficient touchdown drive, but they missed the two point conversion to keep the UB lead at five.
The second half started with a stalled UB drive follwed by what looked to be a solid drive by Northern Illinois. But once they got in UB territory NIU made their first big mistake of the night.
With NIU driving UB got to Bowers, sacking him and knocking the ball lose. Tim Terry Junior scooped up the ball and ran it back for a touchdown.
On the next drive NIU’s Erin Collins fumbled the ball and Isaiah King returned it for another Buffalo score.
The offense finally came back to life a few series later when Kyle Vantrease threw the Bulls down the field before putting the the ball in the end zone on a read option run.
The Bulls then completely put the game out of reach when Kadofi Wright returned an interception for 65 yards and the third UB defensive score of the night.
NIU would put some points on during the late stages of the game, when the Bulls went into prevent mode, and after the Bulls had lost a few key starters. But it was not really a game that was anywhere near competitive after Wright scored.
Aside from a lull in the second quarter it was a solid effort from Buffalo and get’s the Bulls off to a 1-0 start to the abbreviated 2020 season. Next up for UB is Miami, a team picked to win the division in the MAC coaches poll.