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Buffalo Bulls vs Kent State Golden Flashes football recap: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

For a more traditional recap of UB's 18-17 win over Kent State Thursday night, click through on the sidebar.

The Doubleplusgood

Tyler Grassman. New category today because it's my post and I do what I want.

Punters don't control how much they punt, but Grassman's six kicks inside the twenty on eight attempts is a UB FBS single-game record. Add in four kickoffs, all for touchbacks, and you've got a stellar day. I'll have more in a Grassman-dedicated post later today.

Must Reads

The Good

The Defense. Kent State is even more of an all-defense, no-offense team than the Bulls, but UB's defense holding any opponent to ten points should be enough to win. Okezie Alozie with 12 tackles, 4.0 TFLs, and a sack, Demone Harris' interception was vintage Khalil Mack, shedding a defender and climbing the ladder. Between the efforts of Grassman and the defense, the Golden Flashes ran only 16 of their 62 plays in Buffalo territory, only two in the second half.

Matt Weiser on the final drive. Joe Licata targeted the big tight end five times in UB's plodding 54-yard drive, completing four passes for 46 yards. Sacks and penalties meant that UB generated 53 yards of offense, and 46 of them came to Weiser.

One win from bowl eligibility. I will not care much if UB is one of the weaker bowl teams among the field this season. Six (or seven (or eight)) is a benchmark we've seen so very rarely not just recently, but ever: three times in the last 25 years, 13 since 1950, and 21 since 1894. Bowl games may be more frequent as more spots are available, but six wins is significant before the bowl, anyway.

The Bad

The defense on Kent's touchdown. There's no doubt in my mind that Kent State's coaches saw something in the defense on the 40-yard play when they called an audible, and then Ross got beat on another big play two snaps later.

The Ugly

Very little middle ground in this one, and I'd hate to watch this game as an unaffiliated observer unless I really liked defense.

Play selection. Until the fourth quarter, UB was averaged around four yards per pass play and close to five per run play. The second touchdown drive featured nine rushes to three passes, but Buffalo finished the game running 16 straight dropbacks, plus the conversion attempt on the go-ahead touchdown. 4:32 with 54 yards to go and two timeouts is enough to run. In the second quarter, Jordan Johnson ran the ball three times for 15 yards while eight pass attempts racked up just 20 yards, seven points for Kent, and burned just 18 seconds off the clock before giving Kent the ball back before half.

Pass Protection. Kent does lead the conference in sacks, and until the fourth quarter they were held without, but Licata was frequently hurried into rushed throws or questionable decisions by Terrance Waugh and Nate Holley, even if the Golden Flashes were only credited with two QB Hurries.

Plenty more, but I'll leave it to you to talk about it it you want.