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For the fourth time in four seasons the feel-good game on the University at Buffalo football schedule sent positive vibes surging throughout UB Stadium.
Running back Bo Oliver plowed through the defense like he had commandeered a John Deere tractor. You know, one of the really big ones.
Quarterback Alex Zordich and top wideout Alex Neutz made like Montana and Rice or, if you prefer, Willy and Roosevelt.
Backup QB Joe Licata, the former Williamsville South star, threw a TD pass on his first collegiate attempt.
Backup running back James Potts rolled 49 yards to a TD on his second collegiate carry (and then injured himself in the celebration).
And UB rolled up the most points in its FBS history to tantalize a crowd of 15,570 with a 56-34 stroll over Morgan State, which had plenty of ammo but couldn't guard the fort.
"It's been 295 days since the Akron win," said coach Jeff Quinn, referencing UB's last victory. "I told these guys that we wanted to really head out of there tonight feeling good about all three phases of our team. There are some things offensively that were just tremendous accomplishments. ... (But) we got to get better at stopping the run."
UB records fell like the rains that drenched Western New York earlier Saturday. Oliver went for 238 yards and two touchdowns to break the single-game FBS mark of 235 he set last year. And he also had about 70 yards worth of runs negated by penalties.
Neutz hauled in four TD passes, three from Alex Zordich and the one from Licata. Only one other UB receiver had a four-TD game, that being Chris D'Amico against Alfred in the Division III days of 1983.
UB's 56 points were the most by a school team since putting up 60 against Central Connecticut State in 1992. And the Bulls did it with while possessing the ball just 19 minutes and 10 seconds, a ferocious assault that reminded Jeff Quinn of his days coaching at Division III Grand Valley.
The Bulls led, 35-13, at halftime and the points kept coming. Neutz caught TD passes of 34 (Zordich) and 28 yards (Licata) around a 44-yard strike from Morgan State's second QB, Robert Council, to Andrew King. When the Bears struck again Potts burned the right sideline from 49 yards out, went into an end zone celebration and appeared to tweak his right knee.
Zordich finished 16 of 21 passing for 237 yards and became the first UB QB with a four-TD game since Jerry Davis against Rhode Island in 2010. And, perhaps, therein lies the rub. UB now has beaten four seasons of FBS foes by 162-44 yet the show of dominance - or, in some cases, competency - has yet to extend deeper into the season.
Last Saturday's season-opening 45-23 loss to Georgia was encouraging, as was Saturday's follow-up blowout. But a true measure of this team can't be taken until Kent State rolls into UB Stadium on Sept. 19 in the conference opener for both teams. After all, Morgan State rolled up 25 first downs and 201 rushing yards.
The final few minutes of the first half become UB's launching pad to a rout. The Bulls found the end zone with 1:18 remaining, used all their timeouts on Morgan State's next possession, then produced another touchdown with 38 seconds left. Both of those scores were on passes from Zordich to Neutz, the first covering 16 yards over the middle and the latter 22 yards to the back left corner of the end zone.
There was no need to delve into the complexities of the quarterback rating system to know Zordich had a incredible opening 30 minutes. He completed all 10 of his throws for 158 yards and three TDs, the first of those an 18-yarder to junior tight end Jimmy Gordon. That was Gordon's first career TD catch.
When Zordich wasn't completing passes seemingly at will, Oliver was piling up the yards. He carried 15 times for 145 including a pair of short touchdown runs and had a 26-yard burst negated by penalty.
"This is a high-powered offense," Oliver said. "We got great offensive linemen, tight ends, fullbacks, wide receivers and quarterbacks. We're going to get the job done."
At the half, Neutz had five catches for 79 yards. He had five for 52 in the season-opening loss at Georgia. He finished Saturday with eight catches for a career-high 154 yards.
"It's really attributed to my guys," Neutz said. "With Bo running the ball with that efficiency it opens up the passing game and gets us one-on-one coverage. And then Zordich throwing the ball on the money. And then you got the O line protecting him ... Honestly, when the whole unit works together like that ... we could be an unstoppable offense this season."
email: bdicesare@buffnews.com