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UB-UConn Game Analysis

GAME ANALYSIS: Inability to attain consistency in the passing game continues to hamper the Bulls. Alex Zordich did a good job keeping Huskies stout defense honest with his legs but his inaccuracy through the first three quarters made it difficult for the Bulls to sustain drives. At one point he was 9 of his last 38 dating to start of Kent State game. Huskies, meanwhile, distanced themselves with big plays, as was the case in last year's 17-3 win at UB Stadium. QB Chandler Whitmer was efficient. Little-used Martin Hyppolite broke off 50-yard TD run. UB still begging to produce that game-changing turnover.

TURNING POINT: Whitmer completed first-down passes on third-and-12 and third-and-8 on the 92-yard TD drive that put the Huskies ahead to stay, 10-7, in the second quarter.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Whitmer' s had his struggles, but he was quietly efficient in this one, completing 15 of 22 for 227 yards and a TD. Seven targets had a reception of at least 14 yards.

MACK ATTACK: The numbers keep piling up for Khalil Mack. His 3.5 tackles for losses upped his season number to 11.

UB PLAY OF THE GAME: Late third quarter. Second and 10 from UConn 49. Zordich to Neutz on a WR screen. Neutz flip to Murie. Hook and ladder covers 50 yards officially and draws Bulls within 24-14. It was Murie's second TD of the game.

STAT OF THE GAME: Bulls outrushed Huskies 141-133 without Bo Oliver. Or James Potts. Zordich led way with 76.

STAT OF THE GAME II: UB held UConn to 23 total return yards on kicks and punts, a major improvement against a dangerous return team.

HE SAID IT: "We're happy that we didn't quit. We know that about our team, we're not going to quit. . . . To say satisfied though, that's not the word. We're definitely not satisfied because the end result -- we don't have a win."" Zordich.

IN THE HOUSE: Rentschler Field filled out nicely as kickoff approached. A crowd of 34,666 came out on a steel-gray fall afternoon.

NEXT UP: For UB to have a realistic chance in the MAC East this Saturday's game at Ohio is The One. The Bobcats are unbeaten and have collected votes in the AP Poll. It's another noon start.

-- Bob DiCesare

UConn 24, UB 14 (3)

UB bringing out all the plays today. Haul out hook-and-ladder for a TD as Neutz catches short pass and flips to Murie, who goes 50, splitting two tacklers around the 25. That closes gap to 24-14 heading into the fourth quarter.

-- Bob DiCesare

UConn 17, UB 7 (Half)

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. -- A 92-yard drive and a couple of big plays have UConn leading UB, 17-7, at the half. The Huskies answered UB's 7-3 lead with a 92-yard march that culminated with a 36-yard pass to TE Ryan Griffin on the first play of the second quarter. Martin Hyppolite added a 50-yard TD run on a third-and-1 play. Alex Zordich had a couple big completions to Alex Neutz in the early going but has been relatively ineffective through the air since. He does have 66 yards rushing on nine carries. UB has 86 total rushing yards on 23 attempts. Zordich is 5 of 15 passing and, although they'd miss his legs, should probably at least split time with Joe Licata in the second half. Accuracy remains an issue. Zordich is 9 for his last 37 dating to the start of the Kent State game.
-- Bob DiCesare

UB 7, UConn 3 (1)

UB holds a 7-3 lead after the first quarter -- first time the Bulls have ever led at Rentschler Stadium. Brandon Murie scored the TD from 4 yards out after a 30-yard screen to Devin Campbell on fourth and 5. It was a great play call that included misdirection, with a fake reverse to Murie going right before pass went left.
Bulls struggling to run (9-22) but Zordich has connected a couple times with Neutz for 37 yards.
-- Bob DiCesare

UB-UConn Weather

Overcast skies and temperature in the upper 50s as we approach kickoff. This will be a gorgeous view from the press box when the leaves start to change in a couple weeks.

-- Bob DiCesare

UB-UConn Weather

Oliver Not Dressing

As tweeted earlier, RB Branden Oliver is not dressing for today's game against UConn. He was on field for pregame in jersey and sweats and spent a lot of time talking to F RB Devin Campbell. Brandon Murie, Campbell and Jordan Johnson are dressed and taking reps.

-- Bob DiCesare

Oliver Doubtful for Saturday

Bo Oliver sat out practice again Wednesday and would have to be considered doubtful at best for Saturday's game at UConn. Brandon Murie received most of the reps at the position Wednesday, as was the case Tuesday, and figures to be the primary back against the Huskies. The Bulls remain mum on specifics regarding Oliver's leg injury but there's no sense rushing him back for a non-conference game, especially with road tilts looming at MAC powers Ohio and Northern Illinois. The betting line out of Vegas opened with UB an 18-point underdog, a spread that seemed to reflect Oliver missing the game.

-- Bob DiCesare

 

WNY College Sports Chat - 3 p.m.

Oliver listed as day-to-day

UB leading rusher Bo Oliver remains day-to-day and coach Jeff Quinn said today the junior tailback will make the trip for Saturday’s game at UConn.

“Whether he plays in the game or not, we’re going to have to wait and see,’’ Quinn said. “The young man is a tough kid and if you talk to him today, he’s playing today. We’re going to have to wait and see.’’

Oliver was injured in the first half of last week’s home loss to Kent State. Senior defensive end Steven Means, who was also injured against Kent State, will play on Saturday as will senior strong safety Isaac Baugh. But Quinn said junior wide receiver Fred Lee and junior fullback Boomer Brock are lost for an extended period of time although Quinn didn’t indicate how long.

Senior Rashad Jean will start at fullback and will be backed by junior Jimmy Gordon, who along with junior Alex Dennison are listed atop the depth chart at tight end. Junior Adam Redden (St. Francis), who was originally recruited as a wide receiver, is listed on the depth chart at strong safety behind Baugh and junior Okoye Houston. Also, Redder will back up freshman Marcus McGill at long snapper.

---Rodney McKissic

UB/MAC Football Chat -- 2 p.m.

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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare | bdicesare@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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