UB football gameday: Bulls at Miami (Ohio) - The Buffalo News

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UB football gameday: Bulls at Miami (Ohio)

Kickoff: 2:30 p.m. Saturday

TV: ESPN3

Radio: ESPN 1520

Records: Buffalo 3-4 (1-2 in MAC), Miami 2-5 (1-2)

Last time out: UB lost quarterback Drew Anderson to an upper-body injury late in the first half against Northern Illinois, forcing third-stringer Kyle Vantrease into action. The defense was stout, but the offense struggled with Vantrease under center. Neither team scored in the second half in a 14-13 NIU victory. Miami suffered a surprising 17-14 loss to Kent State, a team that lost its previous two MAC outings by a combined 35 points.

History: UB trails the all-time series 13-6 but has won four of the last five meetings. The lone Bulls defeat came last season, when UB lost its Senior Day game 35-24.

Tackle machine: Bulls linebacker Khalil Hodge leads the nation in tackles per game, averaging 14.4. He was named the MAC East Defensive Player of the Week after a 19-tackle and one-sack performance against Northern Illinois last week.

The new guy: If Anderson is unable to play, Vantrease will be the first true freshman to start at quarterback for the Bulls since Drew Willy in 2005. It'll also mark the first time the Bulls have started three quarterbacks in a season since 2004. The Stowe, Ohio native was an all-state member as a senior in high school after throwing for 2,259 yards and 22 touchdowns and rushing for 384 yards and eight touchdowns.

UB third-string QB Kyle Vantrease getting starting reps at practice

Old reliable: Wide receiver Anthony Johnson surpassed the 100-yard mark last week for the third time this season. The Bulls' top receiver recorded 64 of his 140 yards after Vantrease took the field.

Big play Bulls: The Bulls have put up seven plays of 40 yards or more in the past two games. That includes two passes from Vantrease, a 47-yard pass to Johnson and a 43-yard throw to Antonio Nunn.

Here's the kicker: Bulls punter Kyle DeWeen (Niagara Falls) has gone from a walk-on to one of the best at his craft. Wednesday he was named to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award, given annually to the top punter in college football. The former Class AA North first-teamer has punted 35 times this year, posting an average of 42.7 yards and a long of 57 yards.

For Niagara Falls grad Kyle DeWeen, kicking at UB is a dream come true

For the foes: Like UB, the RedHawks are also without their starting quarterback. Gus Ragland, who led Miami to the top half of the conference in passing offense, was knocked out of the RedHawks' game against Bowling Green two weeks ago. Billy Bahl, who starts in his place, played against the Bulls in 2015.

Bahl has two top-notch weapons to rely on. Wide receiver James Gardner ranks 15th in the nation with 602 yards, while running back Kenny Young has averaged 95.7 yards in three MAC games.

If last week is any indication, the Bulls will have to string together long drives to succeed. Miami's punter, Kyle Kramer, was named the MAC Special Teams Player of the Week after downing five punts inside the 20-yard line.

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