DEKALB, Ill. – Running quarterbacks are killing the University at Buffalo.
Northern Illinois quarterback Anthony Maddie rushed 15 times for 125 yards and four touchdowns in the Huskies’ 44-7 rout of the Bulls Saturday.
Last week UB gave up 58 rushing yards and two rushing TDs to Ball State QB Riley Neal.
Two weeks ago, Kent State QB Nick Holley scorched UB for 229 yards (not counting sack yardage) and four TDs.
The three-week QB rushing total 412 yards on 52 carries (a 7.9-yard average) and 10 rushing touchdowns.
“Right now, I think everybody in the country will run it against us until we show we can stop it,” said UB coach Lance Leipold.
Northern Illinois is great at running the jet sweep with its fast receivers, and the runs by Maddie play off those. The jet sweep forces a defender to flow with the receiver. That leaves a lighter between-the-tackles box for the QB to exploit with his feet, and his running back serves as an extra blocker.
“We talked about that during the week,” Leipold said. “Their athleticism between the receiver and the running back position makes you nervous. Then the quarterback can add to it. It’s tough. I think this team is as good as any with the fly sweep, how he times it up perfectly and it full speed. They can outflank you really quickly.”
“We have to take into account that when they’re running the quarterback, they have an extra gap,” said UB linebacker Jarrett Franklin. “It’s a lot of discipline and a lot of trust, and we’ve got to fit our gaps better.”
Maddie’s TDs came on runs of 15, 16, 3 and 23 yards.
Records: Northern Illinois improved to 2-6. UB is 1-6.
UB’s TD: Jordan Johnson scored UB’s only touchdown on a 29-yard run in the second quarter. Johnson had 13 carries for 97 yards. He moved into seventh place in UB history in rushing yards at 1,615. UB great Willie Evans (1,559) was one of the men he passed.
Big Golladay: Star receiver Kenny Golladay gave UB fits. The 6-foot-4 senior, who entered the day ranked 12th in the nation in receiving yards, caught seven passes for 96 yards and a TD. He made a highlight-reel, one-handed touchdown catch for 23 yards in the third quarter.
Bad start: Aregero Turner returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a TD. He was untouched up the left side of the field as his wedge blockers cleared a huge path.
“I saw the hole open, and I knew it was a touchdown from the beginning,” Turner said.
Injury: UB lost senior cornerback Boise Ross to a left knee injury late in the first half. Ross was able to walk off the field under his own power. He jumped to defend a fade pass in the corner of the end zone and landed a bit awkwardly. He was replaced by sophomore Brandon Williams.
Slow starts: UB has been outscored 55-7 in the first quarter this season.
“It’s sort of been a common theme to the whole season,” said tight end Mason Schreck. “We get down. We don’t start fast. Today I thought we kept playing, kept fighting, and we’re going to continue to do that the rest of the year, no matter what happens.”
Lineup notes: Northern Illinois was without its top three cornerbacks. True freshman CB Daniel Isom made his third career start, and junior college transfer CB Damarius Brinson Jr. made his first career start. . . . UB tackle Tyler O’Henly (concussion) missed a fourth straight game. UB defensive tackle Chris Ford also sat out.
In the house: Paid attendance was 11,801 at Huskie Stadium.
Up next: UB has a short turnaround heading into a home game Thursday against Akron at 7:30 p.m. Akron (5-3) defeated Miami Ohio, 35-25.