Ohio Stadium was in full force Saturday afternoon (photo Johnathan Snyder, QCS)
COLUMBUS, OH - It’s really tough to feel good after you lose.
The Buffalo Bulls lost to Ohio State Saturday afternoon 40-20 in front of nearly 107,000 fans at Ohio Stadium, but they may consider it a split. After falling behind 23-0 after the first quarter, the Bulls outscored the Buckeyes in the remaining 45 minutes 20-17.
“I give a lot of credit to Ohio State for coming out and putting us down 23-0 early,” said Bulls head coach Jeff Quinn. ”But I was proud of the way our kids responded. We were able to outscore them in the second and third quarters.”
Bulls quarterback Joe Licata in warmups (photo, Johnathan Snyder, QCS)
Junior quarterback Braxton Miller led the Buckeyes to two quick touchdowns through the air as each was followed with a successful two point conversion. Running back Jordan Hall then ran for a 49-yard score with 38 seconds left in the quarter to make it a 23-point game.
It had all the makings of a blowout; an old fashioned beat down.UB looked completely overwhelmed by the stage and opponent. But quarterback Joe Licata kept his poise and composure and led the UB offense on a touchdown drive to open the second quarter when he connected with Matt Weiser on a 16 yard strike.
Khalil Mack, who was a dominant force throughout the game, intercepted Braxton Miller and returned it 45 yards and dove over the goal line pylon for the UB touchdown.
“I had to look back and see who was close,” said Mack on the interception return. ”I knew I had to stretch out and try and get to the pylon.”
Mack finished the game with seven solo tackles (eight total), 2.5 sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, and the interception return for a touchdown.
Ten points is the closest UB would get in the game but outscoring the Buckeyes for the final 45 minutes must be something to take into the rest of the season.
“If you’re looking for a moral victory that means you lost the game. We don’t feel good about losing,” said Licata. ”There are a lot of positives that came out of this. We are going to study the negatives and be better next week. It was a great learning experience.”
Licata finished the game 19 of 32 for 185 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. His second touchdown was to Alex Neutz who caught nine balls on the afternoon for 98 yards.
The Bulls were able to slow down Braxton Miller and the OSU offense through the air after the first quarter but they were torched on the ground as Ohio State ran for 261 yards. Hall ran for 162 yards on 21 carries and had two scores while Miller racked up 108 yards on the ground on 17 attempts.
(Photo, Johnathan Snyder, QCS)
The Bulls could have easily laid down and gotten throttled by the superior opponent but with so many proud senior leaders, they weren’t about to do that.
“We have great leadership on this team, we have a lot of seniors,” said Neutz. ”We have five captains but we could have 10 or 12 captains easily. We knew it was a good team and we knew there was a chance we could fall behind but we knew we were going to keep fighting and not give up and we proved that today.”
The Bulls will hit the road again next week, but they will have a little further trip. They will take on Baylor at 3:30 next Saturday.
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