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UB's Tyree Jackson questionable to face No. 14 Western Michigan

University at Buffalo starting quarterback Tyree Jackson is questionable for Saturday's game against 14th-ranked Western Michigan.

Jackson, the Bulls' 6-foot-7 redshirt freshman, suffered a right leg injury in the second half of Saturday's loss to Miami Ohio.

He was able to play for three series after taking a hit to the leg on a running play up the middle, and he wanted to finish in the game. But UB coach Lance Leipold opted to use graduate student Grant Rohach for the final three drives of the game. Leipold said Jackson did not practice Tuesday.

“It will be day to day,” Leipold said. “We don’t know his status yet for Saturday.”

Western Michigan (10-0) and No. 1-ranked Alabama (10-0) are the only two undefeated teams in the nation. UB is 2-8.

Jackson has started the past nine games. He has thrown for 1,772 yards, a school record for a freshman. Jackson has nine touchdown passes and nine interceptions. He has rushed for five TDs and 459 yards (not counting sack yardage).

Rohach, the graduate student transfer from Iowa State, will make his second start of the season for the Bulls if Jackson can’t play.

Rohach directed two TD drives in the fourth quarter of last week’s loss to Miami Ohio. Leipold praised his unselfishness.

“Think about how long he’s sat now as a graduate senior,” Leipold said. “He came here with an idea that he was hopefully going to play a lot of football this year. He easily could have mentally checked out. He had not a lot of sweat equity in this program, it didn’t play out the way he had hoped, and he could have just been ready to head on back to Iowa. He’s a man of character, he’s a great teammate and he’s understood a lot.”

“If he’s the starting quarterback Saturday, he’s played against Oklahoma and TCU and been in some big stadiums,” Leipold said. “There’s probably going to be a pretty exciting environment. I don’t think he’s going to flinch.”

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Saturday’s 3:30 p.m. game is on ESPNU. ESPN will hold its Gameday pregame show at Kalamazoo, Mich., campus from 9 a.m. to noon. It’s only the second time ESPN’s Gameday show has visited a Mid-American Conference campus. The first time was when No. 12 Northern Illinois visited No. 23 Bowling Green in 2003. Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck was a receiver on that Northern Illinois team, which lost to B.G., 34-18.

email: mgaughan@buffnews.com

 

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