Bottom line: One of the best statistical defenses in college football had its way with a UB team that had scored at least 30 points in eight straight games. The Bulls managed just 15 yards net rushing (after sacks), half as many as in last year’s 21-7 loss to the Falcons. They went 1 of 8 on third down in the second half. And BG held an opponent scoreless after intermission for a fourth straight game.
Turning Point: UB was trailing 10-7 when a Tyler Grassman punt pinned the Falcons at their 7 late midway through the third quarter. A false start penalty pushed the ball back to the 4. This was UB’s golden chance to flip field position. But BG QB Matt Johnson fooled everybody off the read option and ran untouched for 56 yards around the right side. The Falcons took it home for a 17-7 lead.
Offensive Player of the Game: BG wideout Shaun Joplin caught five second-half passes for 139 yards and a touchdown, burning the Bulls over the top on a key 62-yard reception.
Defensive Player of the Game: BG tackle Ted Ouellet, a 284-pound senior, was too much for UB to handle up front. He was in on five tackles with three TFL and two of the Falcons’ five sacks.
Stat Check: Joe Licata has failed to throw a touchdown pass in just two of his 16 career starts. Both against BG.
In the House: They announced the paid attendance as 26,226.
What’s Next: UB should get word on a bowl bid about a week from this Sunday, once the conference championship games are in the books. The MAC has three firm tie-ins and believes it has a line on at least two others. UB presumably would be one of the five.
— Bob DiCesare