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Extra Points: Putting UB upset of Army in perspective and more

Extra points from UB’s 23-20 overtime win over Army Saturday night:

x-The final point spread was 13. It was UB’s biggest win as an underdog, in terms of the point spread, since the greatest win in UB history – the victory over Ball State in the Mid-American Conference championship in 2008. UB was a 15-point underdog that day.

x-Our three stars of the game:

1. Brain Borland. The UB defensive coordinator and his staff got the players to execute a game plan that was an entirely different from any other week of the season. Bizarre as it sounds, Army rushed for 396 yards and UB did a good job! Just watch the highlights from Army at UTEP. Army scored all nine times it had the ball, and eight of the drives went for TDs. Army had 11 drives and scored only two TDs.

2. Tyree Jackson. If you have a quarterback, you have a chance. Everything about Jackson’s demeanor, body language and presence says he has the “it factor” a winning quarterback needs. It was Jackson’s first fourth-quarter comeback for UB. It sure seems like it’s going to be the first of many.

3. Brandon Crawford/Jarrett Franklin. Can’t pick between the two. UB’s two veteran defenders played what might have been the best games of their careers.

Random thoughts:

x-Hard to believe it was the first ever overtime game in the coaching or playing career of Lance Leipold. “I don’t think they had overtime when I played,” the coach quipped.

x-After making the winning 33-yard field goal, UB kicker Adam Mitcheson sprinted downfield to the opposite 20-yard line, where he was mobbed by a slew of his teammates. Mitcheson said it was the first-ever, winning, end-of-game kick of his life.

“It was a little heavy,” Mitcheson said of the pile of bodies on him. “I didn’t really know what to do. I just took off.”

Mitcheson credited strength coach Ryan Cidzik with simulating pressure situations for him in practice.

“Coach Cid did a good job this summer putting me in pressure kicks,” he said. “We always did a kick where if I missed it would determine how much we’d run. I was put in those situations. I try to clear my head and just do my job.”

x-Jackson finished 20 of 31 for 178 yards. It should have been at least 230 yards. Malcolm Robinson saw two deep balls go through his hands. Neither were easy catches but he should have come down with at least one of them. The first was a 60-yard bomb on a deep post in the third quarter. Great throw by Jackson. Robinson had it in his hands but then lost it as he hit the ground. The second was a deep right sideline throw from the Army 43 in the third quarter that went through the hands. . . . Marcus McGill saw a pass go through his hands in the end zone on a corner route in the middle of UB’s tying TD drive in regulation.

x-Throw of the game by Jackson was the fourth-and-9 play on the first TD drive of the fourth quarter with a blitzer coming down the gun barrel. Jackson fired it to tight end Mason Schreck for a 10-yard gain. Good job by Schreck to get the first down.

Said Jackson: “We had a hot throw. But my offensive line did a great job. I probably should have got hit before that but they picked up some guys they weren’t responsible for and gave me a little more time.”

Said Schreck: “Tyree threw a great ball. It was a great play call by Coach K. You’ve got to always know the down and distance. I took a glance over there, saw that it was fourth and 9. I thought it was actually fourth and 10 so I pushed my route a little.”

Jackson went back to Schreck for a third-and-12 pass for 19 yards four plays later. That allowed the Bulls to dig out of a second-and-20 situation from the Army 35 after a holding penalty,

x-UB got a big break when Army’s No. 1 place-kicker was lost for the game on a hit on the opening kickoff. Backup kicker Blake Wilson missed a 34-yarder with 3 seconds left. But it was a bad snap and hold on the play, which didn’t help Wilson’s kick.

x-In the fourth quarter, UB stopped Army on a fourth-and-2 run from the UB 35 (Khalil Hodge and Ishmael Hargrove) and a third and 2 from the Army 28 (Crawford) to give the ball back to the offense. UB scored TDs on the ensuing drive both times.

x-Strange play call of the game was Army’s deep throw to the goal line on third and 17 from the UB 36 with 1:13 left in the first half. Brandon Williams intercepted the balloon-ball throw. Not sure why Army didn’t run it for 10-plus yards then go for it on fourth down or try a 43-yard field goal to end the half.

 

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