CHESTNUT HILL, Mass. – It was a record-setting day in an awful way Saturday for the University at Buffalo.
The Bulls’ offense managed just 67 yards -– the fewest in their 18-year history as a Football Bowl Subdivision school –- in a 35-3 loss to Boston College.
Boston College has one of the best defenses in the nation, and it thoroughly outclassed the Bulls. The Eagles allowed the fewest yards in the country last year and entered the UB game sixth in the nation this year.
The Bulls passed 23 times for 41 yards, the team’s lowest passing total since 2004.
UB ran 19 times for 26 yards, the Bulls’ lowest rushing total since 2013.
UB managed just five first downs. It ran 11 full drives, and five of them went three plays and out.
“They’re a physical group, and you could see they react really well, come downhill,” said UB coach Lance Leipold. “We never had any semblance of any type of sustained drive or movement so that was disappointing.”
“They have some really big athletes,” said UB quarterback Tyree Jackson. “Their front seven’s probably one of the best in the country. To play them, it’s going to prepare us” for the Mid-American Conference.
Jackson completed 9 of 21 passes for 42 yards.
UB did not manage to fool B.C. once in 42 plays. Only two went for more than 10 yards – a 23-yard pass to tight end Mason Schreck and a 14-yard pass to Marcus McGill. Starting running back Jordan Johnson found no daylight between the tackles, carrying seven times for 13 yards.
UB tried early to get the ball out of Jackson's hands early on quick receiver screens and throws to the flat. Those plays were swarmed by B.C.’s fast pursuit.
“You could see on some of the quick throws out to the perimeter how fast they rallied,” Leipold said. “We missed a couple blocks on the perimeter. We were trying to mix it up and trying to take some shots as well.”
With Boston College’s cornerbacks pressing at the line of scrimmage, Jackson tried to throw deep four times and was looking deep several others. But most of those plays were hurried because of pressure in the pocket.
UB was playing without starting right tackle Tyler O’Henly, who suffered a concussion in practice Wednesday. Senior Albert McCoy made his first career start in O’Henly’s place.
“We didn’t get off press coverage as well as I’d hoped,” Leipold said. “We wanted to take some shots but some of the double move stuff we had, Tyree got hit on the throws. It snowballs on you, unfortunately.”
Jackson, the 6-foot-7 red-shirt freshman, hurt foes the first three game with his read-option runs off tackle. But he couldn't try any vs. the Eagles.
“Their defensive ends did a good job of playing home,” Jackson said. “They were just waiting there. They’re a real fundamental defense. They did a great job.”
Even when UB’s offense took over at the B.C. 11 thanks to a turnover, it had to settle for a field goal. Jackson threw three incomplete passes before the kick. On the third-down throw, he had Schreck open near the goal line on the left, but the pass was a tad high and the tight end couldn’t make the catch.
“That was a shot for me to score a touchdown,” Schreck said. “Tyree threw a great ball and I just didn’t make the catch. I got a hand on it. It was a drop.”
UB has been outscored in the first half, 69-13.
“It’s something we have to get better at and we have to keep exploring all options,” Leipold said.