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UB football gameday: Bulls at Rutgers

Kickoff: 12 p.m. Saturday.

TV: Big Ten Network.

Radio: ESPN 1520.

Records: Buffalo 3-0; Rutgers 1-2.

Last time out: K.J. Osborn scored on a 75-yard touchdown pass from Tyree Jackson three minutes into the fourth quarter on Sept. 22 to help the Bulls to a 35-28 win against Eastern Michigan at UB Stadium. Jackson threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns, including a pair of scoring passes of at least 70 yards to Osborn.

Rutgers gave up 405 yards rushing in a 55-14 loss at Kansas. Jonathan Hiliman and Deonte Roberts each scored touchdowns for the Scarlet Knights. Roberts scored on a 64-yard blocked field goal return.

History: This is the seventh meeting between Buffalo and Rutgers. The Scarlet Knights are 5-1 against the Bulls, and Buffalo’s only win came in 2002, when the Bulls won 34-11. Aaron Leeper ran for 153 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries, and quarterback Randall Secky completed 18 of 34 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns.

Going Big: UB is 0-8 against Big Ten teams, including a 17-7 loss last September at Minnesota. Buffalo beat Penn State in 1900 and Rutgers in 2002, before both teams joined the Big Ten.

Back on the road: UB makes its second road trip of the season, and faces the Scarlet Knights at HighPoint.com Stadium in Piscataway, N.J. The Bulls earned their first road win two weeks ago with a 36-29 victory against Temple at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

On the fly: Twelve different Bulls have caught passes for 800 yards, including three who have at least 100 yards this season: K.J. Osborn (16 catches for 300 yards), Anthony Johnson (16 for 207) and Charlie Jones (6 for 113). UB is third in the MAC in passing offense (266.7 yards per game).

Bull rush: Defensive end Chuck Harris, a senior, leads the MAC with 3.5 sacks, including 2.5 sacks last weekend against Eastern Michigan. The Bulls are third in the MAC in rush defense (152 yards) and third in the conference in scoring defense (22.3 points per game).

For the foes: Rutgers plays in the Big Ten East Division, regarded as one of the most competitive divisions in college football. But it hasn’t done the division any favors as far as respectability in the last two weeks. The Scarlet Knights have given up an average of 53.5 points in losses Sept. 8 at Ohio State (52-3) and Sept. 15 against Kansas (55-24). The Scarlet Knights turned the ball over six times against Kansas, including three fumbles.

“You just can't do that,” Rutgers coach Chris Ash said Monday. “After the game, I mentioned you turn the ball over and you don't stop the run, it's going to be a bad day and it was a bad day. We have to protect the football, we have got to make better decisions with the football at the quarterback position, we can't fumble the ball with three interceptions and three fumbles you're just not going to win games.”

Freshman quarterback Artur Sitkowski is expected to start against UB. Against Kansas, he was 7 of 19 passing for 47 yards and three interceptions. Giovanni Rescigno replaced Sitkowski, and was 7 of 12 for 77 yards. Ash said Monday that Sitkowski remains the starter, but that he and his staff will continue to evaluate its personnel.

Running back Raheem Blackshear leads the Scarlet Knights with 195 yards and one touchdown on 40 carries. Linebacker Trevor Morris has 26 tackles (fifth in the Big Ten), one sack and three pass breakups; Rutgers has nine pass breakups in three games. Defensive end Elorm Lumor has four tackles for loss, including two sacks. Rutgers will be without defensive back Blessuan Austin, who will miss the remainder of the season with a left knee injury (ACL).

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