It might be hard to believe, but through one quarter, this looked like a competitive game. Buffalo had already scored a touchdown and was again moving the ball well looking to even the game at 14.
From there a holding penalty and failed fourth down conversion ended the drive, and UB put forth nothing short of a total breakdown. Central Michigan scored 23 points in the second quarter and coasted to an utterly dominant 51-14 victory over the visiting Bulls. Cooper Rush passed at will, finishing 23-30 for 313 yards and four touchdowns. A tetrad of UB turnovers and a CMU punt block helped the Chippewas even further.
The only positives over the final three quarters can be summed up in less than 100 words: Mason Schreck still has two functioning knees after being hung out to dry and taking a scary hit in the second quarter; Andrews Dadeboe returned an interception 17 yards for a touchdown in the fourth; and Tyler Grassman had a good day punting in cold, windy, weather, averaging 41.8 yards on four punts.
Otherwise, this was a lackluster showing to rival the 2014 road loss to Ohio or the 42-0 loss to Temple in 2010. Penalties were not as significant as they have been in other games this season, but UB suffered in execution and playcalling and looked like a team who had two days rather than two weeks to prepare for the Chips.
After a season of games made winnable by a standout defense and lost by offensive mistakes, today was a worst-case scenario: a young defense more in line with preseason fears shred to pieces by an experienced opponent and an offense still struggling to string together even the smallest bits of momentum.
The Bulls return home next week for a home game against Ohio. The Bobcats were blown out 49-14 by Western Michigan this afternoon.