UB football gameday: Bulls vs. Northern Illinois - The Buffalo News

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UB football gameday: Bulls vs. Northern Illinois

Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

TV: ESPN3.

Radio: 1520 AM.

Records: Buffalo 3-3, Northern Illinois 3-2.

Game day: Tickets are $30, with Stampede Square opening at 12:30. The Chicago Authority, a Chicago tribute band, is the headliner for the Tailgate Concert Series.

Last time out: The Bulls lost in the highest scoring game in FBS history last week, a 71-68 seven-overtime defeat at the hands of Western Michigan. Drew Anderson threw for a MAC record 597 yards and tied the conference's record for touchdowns with seven. On the flip side, Northern Illinois is coming off a game where it gave up just 29 yards through the air to Kent State. The Huskies dominated the Golden Flashes, winning 24-3 to move to 1-0 in the MAC.

History: Northern Illinois has dominated the all-time series, winning 10 of 11 matchups. The Huskies are the only MAC team UB hasn't beaten since joining the conference in 1999. Northern Illinois defeated the Bulls 44-7 last year.

Ultimate protection: Anderson threw 61 times last week, a UB record. He was never sacked, even with the frequency of his drop backs. It's a testament to the time the offensive line has given their quarterback, as Anderson hasn't been taken down in over two games.

Biletnikoff watch: Wide receiver Anthony Johnson was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List Wednesday. The award is given annually to the top receiver in college football, with players like Randy Moss, Calvin Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald winning in the past. Johnson currently leads the MAC and is fifth in the nation in receiving yards with 631.

In the booth: If you're catching the game on the radio, you'll hear a new voice joining play-by-play man Paul Peck. Former UB and NFL defensive end Trevor Scott is filling in for Scott Wilson this week. Scott, a sixth-round pick of the Raiders in 2008, played in 85 games over a seven-year career with Oakland, Chicago, New England and Tampa Bay.

For the foes: Northern Illinois, thrust into the college football spotlight after an upset at Nebraska, has the top defense in the MAC. The Huskies lead the conference in scoring defense, pass defense and rush defense.

The battle to watch is a matchup of strengths. The Huskie secondary intercepted Kent State three times last week, pushing the season's INT total to nine in five games. Jawaun Johnson and Shawun Lurry lead the group with two apiece, with the latter currently leading Division I in interception return yards. The secondary will try to disrupt the execution the Bulls have pulled off this season, as UB has only thrown two interceptions.

The Huskies defense also boasts defensive end Sutton Smith, who leads the country in tackles for loss (14.5) and sacks (seven).

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