Buffalo proved they it was for real Tuesday night in a 30-3 stomping of the Ohio Bobcats.
It was a slow first half as the Bobcats and Bulls traded punts for the better part of 30 minutes. Both teams had about 15 minutes of ball possession in the first half and both punted the ball five times. Brandon Oliver scored with 12:24 remaining in the second quarter to shoot out to a 7-0 lead. It was not until Ohio's final drive of the first half that it put any semblance of a drive together. The Bobcats, aided by good field position, went 39 yards and Josiah Yazdani booted a 31-yard field goal. The teams went into the half with a 7-3 score, which was far from the #MACtion some expected.
The second half started oddly with a safety just a few plays in. Tyler Tettleton dropped back with a ton of pressure in his face, most notably Khalil Mack bearing down on him. Tettleton heaved the ball away and a flag was thrown for intentional grounding and safety was called by the back judge, when he was obviously 4 yards in front of the endzone. It was literally one of the most horrible calls that has likely ever been made in the history of sports.
The Bulls benefitted from a missed call in the first half in which Khalil Mack forced a fumble (of course he did), and they went on to score the lone touchdown in the first half.
After punting the ball back, Buffalo put itself in great field position, courtesy of the Alex Neutz return. Neutz had an effective night, hauling in two touchdown receptions from Joe Licata. Eight plays and 46 yards later, BOliver sprinted through the deflated Ohio defense for a 13-yard touchdown. The score effectively put the game out of reach as Ohio seemingly laid down and the Bulls showed that they deserve to play on a big stage.
Oliver went on to run for 249 yards and another touchdown on 34 carries. Oliver outran Ohio by himself (the Bobcats finished with 233 yards of total offense) It was not the first time this year that an opposing running back made the Ohio defense look silly. Just think Bronson Hill had via Eastern Michigan, but this time it was in a loss.
The Bobcats incurred a number of injuries, but nothing seemed too serious. Antwan Crutcher and Donte Foster sat out at certain points in the contest, and Tyler Tettleton got up slowly after a hit in the fourth quarter. He went to the locker room but returned to the field minutes later. Nothing serious has been indicated thus far.
Tettleton struggled for the better part of four quarters, completing 14 of 31 passes for 126 yards. These are Louisville like numbers for the senior quarterback who has played some of the best football of his career over the last few weeks. Ohio managed to go only 5 of 17 on third down on Tuesday night.
The Bulls moved to 5-0 in the MAC East with the victory, and Ohio fell to 3-2 in the conference. This Buffalo team is for real, and has the opportunity to knock off another good team in another night of Tuesday night #MACtion next week vs. Toledo. Ohio goes to Bowling Green next Tuesday for a matchup that suddenly means more to the Falcons than it does for Ohio, as BGSU still has a chance to win out and knock off Buffalo.