DEKALB, Ill. – The first five minutes of Saturday’s game was a disaster for the University at Buffalo, and the next 55 weren’t so good, either.
The Bulls stumbled out of the gate and were blown out by Northern Illinois, 44-7.
Red-shirt freshman quarterback Tyree Jackson had his first bad game of the season, throwing four interceptions, all in the first half.
Northern Illinois returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.
Then Jackson threw interceptions on each of the first two UB possessions. Neither of the first two pickoffs were Jackson’s fault. The first caromed off the hands of receiver Kamathi Holsey and deflected into the arms of a Huskies linebacker. The second caromed off the hands of UB tight end Mason Schreck.
But the next two interceptions were Jackson’s fault. The first was an overthrow on a seam route for Marcus McGill. The second came after Jackson had driven the Bulls 66 yards to the Huskies 10. He tried to throw a back-shoulder fade pass to the right side of the end zone for Holsey. But the pass was too far up field – on the front shoulder – and easily was picked off by cornerback Mayomi Olootu.
The Huskies held a 30-7 lead at halftime.
Jackson finished 25 of 41 for 203 yards.
Northern Illinois quarterback Anthony Maddie rushed for 125 yards on 15 carries and scored four rushing touchdowns. He was 16 of 29 passing for 199 yads.
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 leads the MAC 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.
Key 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 in the second half.
Lineup notes: UB tackle Tyler O’Henly (concussion) missed a fourth straight game. Defensive tackle Chris Ford was held out and was not in uniform. . . . 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.
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.