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UB football gameday: Bulls at Akron

Kickoff: 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

TV: CBS Sports Network.

Radio: ESPN 1520.

Records: Buffalo 3-5 (1-3 in MAC), Akron 4-4 (3-1).

Last time out: The Bulls lost for a third straight time Saturday against Miami (Ohio), 24-14. True freshman QB Kyle Vantrease started for the first time in his career due to a Drew Anderson injury the week prior. He threw for 202 yards and an interception on 17 of 41 passing. Akron's three-game win streak was snapped in blowout fashion last week, as the Zips fell to Toledo 48-21. Akron was able to muster only 41 yards rushing against the Rockets' stout defense.

History: Buffalo trails the all-time series 10-6 but handily defeated Akron, 41-20, in last season's matchup. The Bulls are looking for their first victory in their third appearance at InfoCision Stadium.

Record pace: Khalil Hodge, the nation's leader in tackles per game, is 10 tackles away from UB's FBS-era record for tackles in a season. Since he's averaging 14.4 tackles per game, the junior linebacker is on pace to break Justin Winters record of 125 despite playing six less games.

"Open the gap for Khalil and he'll make a play," defensive lineman Justin Brandon said.

LeDarius Mack looks to make his own mark on UB football

QB update: Anderson didn't practice this week, meaning Vantrease will make his second straight start. UB coach Lance Leipold said Tyree Jackson, who has missed over a month with injury, has started to do some work in practice. With all the changes at QB, Leipold said he's leaned on quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski to keep the offense steady.

"Jim has done an outstanding job, first of all in the development and relationship aspect of our quarterbacks," Leipold said. "He's not worried about titles or responsibilities. He just loves coaching quarterbacks."

Division rivalry: The Bulls are 1-1 against the MAC East this season with a victory against Kent State and a loss to Miami. Akron is tied with Ohio for first place in the MAC East, while UB, Kent State and Bowling Green are tied at 1-3 at the bottom of the standings.

Homecoming: UB associate head coach Rob Ianello was Akron's head coach in 2010 and 2011. He posted a 1-11 record in both years, with his only victories coming against UB and VMI.

For the foes: Akron has already matched its 2016 total for conference wins, defeating Bowling Green, Ball State and Western Michigan in three straight games to start the MAC season. However, the Zips have been run on heavily the past two weeks. Akron gave up 244 yards on the ground to Western Michigan and 303 in its loss to Toledo.

Diminished running game a concern for UB

Akron's defense is tough to beat. The Zips are fifth in the nation with three defensive touchdowns, 17th in red zone defense and 33rd in third down conversions allowed. Linebacker Ulysees Gilbert III is 19th in the nation in tackles with 76. He also has two sacks and two interceptions on the year.

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