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Ohio Bobcats at Buffalo Bulls football recap: Okezie Alozie, defense shine again to down Bobcats

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Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

This was a surprise, to say the least. Buffalo's defense intercepted Ohio quarterback Derrius Vick three times, returning two for touchdowns, in the first half to open up a 31-10 lead at the break before finishing off an uglier second half for a 41-17 final score.

Joe Licata was effective and mostly mistake-free, finishing 21-32 for 212 yards and a rushing touchdown. With Anthone Taylor sidelined, though in uniform, with a leg injury, Jordan Johnson ran effectively, finishing with 173 total yards and two touchdowns on 30 touches, including a nail-in-the-coffin 39-yarder with two minutes to play.

UB turned the tide early in this one after Ohio opened the game with an easy touchdown drive. Following an all-too-familiar three and out from the offense, Ryan Williamson collected a desperation pass after a few deflections and returned it for a touchdown. UB would control the second quarter, getting a pair of rushing touchdowns from Licata and Johnson in addition to a pair of Okezie Alozie interceptions, the first for another score, and the second setting up a last-second field goal.

The Buffalo defense was so successful against the pass in no small part by limiting Ohio's effectiveness on the ground. The Bobcats rushed for just 54 yards on 34 attempts on the day even with some garbage time yards. Meanwhile. UB took advantage of the visitors' depleted linebacking unit to average 5.1 yards per carry on the ground themselves even after a number of ineffective runs late when running the clock was more important and a few kneel-downs. The Bulls did again struggle in the red zone, failing to score touchdowns on three straight trips from the end of the second to beginning of the fourth quarters.

Buffalo with the win moves to 1-2 in the MAC and 3-4 overall, and has mostly made it through the meat of the schedule. They begin midweek games next week with a Thursday contest at Miami, who have lost seven straight following a season-opening win over FCS Presbyterian.