There were three touchdowns scored in the University at Buffalo’s 70-play Blue and White scrimmage Saturday.
Starting quarterback Tony Daniel hit tight end Mason Schreck with a 14-yard scoring strike on the second possession for the UB offense. Schreck was lined up from a slot position on the right and caught a strike from Daniel just over the goal line. Daniel also found Marcus McGill on a 15-yard post pattern for a TD against a broken coverage. No. 3 QB Collin Michael beat a blitz and hit receiver Mikel DeMonte on a 21-yard TD.
Big picture: There was no score kept in the offense-vs.-defense scrimmage, and UB ran its base-package plays. There were very few blitzes.
Said new coach Lance Leipold: “We’re pleased for the most part. There was good ball security. When you’re rotating a lot of groups, it’s not as perfectly clean as you’d like. There was good production by both sides’ first units. … We were trying to work on some play-action things. It was pretty vanilla in the game plan we wanted today. We kept it generic.”
QB report: Joe Licata sat out due to offseason hip surgery. Daniel, a 6-foot-5 senior, was 8 of 14 for 76 yards, with two TDs and one interception. Sophomore Chris Merchant, the No. 2 QB, was 2 of 5 for 20 yards. An early coverage sack probably was on him. But he showed elusiveness on a 9-yard bootleg pass. No. 3 QB Collin Michael, a 6-5 junior, was 5 of 8 for 115 yards.
New OL: Red-shirt freshman James O’Hagan started at center, and sophomore Brandon Manosalvas was the left guard. Those two have been alternating at center this spring. The other starters were John Kling and Robert Blodgett at tackles and Dillon Guy at guard. The second OL, left to right, was: Matt Murphy, Andy Fidler, O’Hagan or Manosalvas, Todd Therrien and Albert McCoy (who had some rough moments). The OL is a work in progress. UB has an incoming junior college player (Roubbens Joseph) who could wind up starting at tackle.
INT: Starting safety Ryan Williamson intercepted Daniel’s sixth pass, an underneath throw near the right hashmark. Daniel was going for his second option, and Williamson read the play. Said Leipold: “It was a nice break by him on the ball. He’s more of a hitter. He takes pride in his physicality in the game, so for him to come up with a pick like that I think is going to help his confidence.”
Big target: Senior Marcus McGill, a 6-1, 222-pounder, looked good. He had three catches for 42 yards and a TD. “He’s a big receiver, a really talented guy,” Leipold said. “We moved him from an outside guy to a little bit more inside, to use that big body, and I think he’s going to have a nice role in this offense.”
All-Name Team: UB has a walk-on freshman running back/receiver named Tchaikovsky Cantalicio (pronounced Cant-a-leech-e-o). He’s a 5-5, 180-pounder from the Bronx. He caught a 25-yard pass over the middle from Michael.
Trickeration: Leipold called a flea-flicker to open the game. After taking a pitch-back from Anthone Taylor, Daniel overthrew an open Jamarl Eiland down the middle. UB went back to it on the second play of the second half, but Daniel fumbled the pitch-back and took a 12-yard loss.
Leading tackler: Senior starting middle linebacker Nick Gilbo had six.