How the Bulls won the game - The Buffalo News

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How the Bulls won the game

How they won: Defense. Defense. Defense. Khalil Mack killed one Ohio U. drive with a forced fumble and recovery. A red-zone stand late in the first half kept the Bobcats from pulling into a tie. Ohio, which had scored at least 34 points in five of its last six games, never got it going.

Turning Point: Ohio fans would vote unanimously for the controversial safety call early in the third quarter. Buffalo fans should point to the touchdown-saving tackle Najja Johnson made on Beau Blankenship at the UB 7 just before the half. Ohio had to settle for a field goal and its bid for a momentum shift was stymied.

Offensive Player of the Game: UB started taking control late in the first quarter, when Branden Oliver seemed to take the load all on himself. He went over 100 yards for the game and scored his second TD by the end of the third quarter and finished with 249 yards, a school Division I-A record. He’s the second player in school history with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons (James Starks).

Defensive Player of the Game: UB Stadium’s long overdue for a Wall of Fame. I nominate No. 46. Khalil Mack was Ohio’s living nightmare.

Stat Check: Ohio came in averaging 428 yards a game. The Bobcats failed to crack 250.

In the House: The announced attendance was 22,918. Whatever the number, the atmosphere rocked.

Next Up: The Bulls play their final MAC crossover next Tuesday night at Toledo (6-3, 4-1). It’s on ESPNU.

— Bob DiCesare

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