Allison scores in overtime as Ohio edges Buffalo 21-20 – Washington Post

Allison scores in overtime as Ohio edges Buffalo 21-20 - Washington Post
Poor kicking dooms UB football, which falls to Ohio in overtime, 21-20
University at Buffalo football coach Lance Leipold has to a lot to consider in the wake of a 21-20 loss to Ohio in overtime on Saturday at UB Stadium.

He has to evaluate his special teams personnel, particularly its kickers. True freshman Jackson Baltar missed a pair of field goals, including a 46-yard attempt that would have given the Bulls a 17-14 lead with less than 90 seconds left in regulation.

UB falls to Ohio in overtime

Kyle Vantrease made his first start at quarterback in nearly two years, as regular starter Matt Myers was sidelined because of an upper-body injury he sustained last weekend at Miami (Ohio).

Vantrease, a redshirt sophomore from Stow, Ohio, was productive. He finished 16-for-23 passing for two touchdowns and 197 yards, including a 61-yard throw to Jaret Patterson on UBs third play of the game from scrimmage.

He was comfortable, said UB running back Kevin Marks, who led all rushers with 112 yards on 22 carries. He delivered the ball. He drew guys open and he led this team. He led us to overtime, which is big. So, he did pretty good.

Vantrease guided UBs most fruitful passing output since its loss at Penn State, when Myers threw for 245 yards and a touchdown on 16-of-31 passing. But in his last three starts, Myers averaged 96 yards a game, including a season-low 59 yards last week at Miami.

Im not looking for validity in anything, Leipold said. But when we said there was good competition and we were confident in both quarterbacks, I think, hopefully today showed people why. My hats off to Kyle the way hes handled the whole thing.

The loss dropped the Bulls (2-4, 0-2 MAC) to last place in the MAC East, two weeks into its conference schedule. UB can still climb into contention for the title it won last year, but it has to do it with urgency.

When asked what it will take to put the Bulls back in contention, Vantrease put it bluntly – and confidently.

Weve got to win out, Vantrease said. Thats all we can do. Today we showed what we can do and the outcome wasnt what we wanted, but weve got a lot of potential in the room and I think this bye week is going to be huge for us as a team, mentally and physically. Were going to come back and give it everything weve got the rest of the season.

If the Bulls want to stay in the hunt for the MAC East title – and its an outside shot, after back-to-back losses to division foes Miami and Ohio – they need a quarterback.

Vantrease needed one game to show that right now, hes UBs healthiest and most productive candidate. One start is a small sample size, but Vantrease did it against the Bobcats (2-3, 1-0), the Mid-American Conference East Division and the MAC championship favorites.

Vantrease guided the Bulls through a gutsy 15-play series that bridged the first and second quarters. When UB went for it on fourth-and-goal from the 4-yard-line, Vantrease connected with Dominic Johnson for a touchdown that gave UB a 7-0 lead 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.

Then, tied 7-7 early in the fourth quarter, UB needed one play after Taylor Riggins fumble recovery to take a 14-7 lead: Vantreases 34-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Nunn, 13 seconds into the fourth quarter and five minutes after Louie Zervos 52-yard attempt bounced off the crossbar and into the end zone.

But after Ohio tied the game 14-14 on OShaan Allisons touchdown four minutes later, Baltar missed his second field goal with 1:27 left in regulation.

Vantrease again steered the Bulls in overtime, giving the Bulls a 20-14 lead on its first series on a 3-yard run. Baltar, however, missed the extra point, and Allisons touchdown – and Zervos point-after kick – erased a prime opportunity for the Bulls to earn what could have been a valuable MAC East win.

Leipold acknowledged that with a quarterback who doubles as a punter, with a holder who is a converted wide receiver that auditioned at quarterback in the preseason (Johnson), and with question marks at place kicker – Baltar and Alex McNulty are a combined 5 for 11 on field goals, and 17 for 19 on PATs – UBs coaching staff is working with plenty of moving parts.

Leipold said he doesnt have a long-term prognosis on Myers. Leipold also didnt say if Vantreases first start changed the complexion of UBs quarterback dynamic.

It gives us more confidence in the guys, and I think Kyle played a whale of a game, Leipold said. He kept his composure, statistically very impressive. Im very proud of the way he played.

Those are things that we always had confidence in him, that he could do when called upon. Well see where we head here, in the upcoming weeks.

Ohio has had a week off and are no doubt ready to get back on the field. Get ready for a Mid-American battle as Ohio and Buffalo will face off at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday at UB Stadium. The Bobcats are the favorite here — although they were the favorites in their last game, too, so the odds might count for a little less.

Ohio received a tough blow two weeks ago as they fell 45-25 to Louisiana. One thing holding Ohio back was the mediocre play of QB Nathan Rourke, who did not have his best game; despite one touchdown, he threw three interceptions and fumbled the ball once with a passing completion percentage of only 47.37%.

Meanwhile, Buffalo was the 51-42 winner over Miami (Ohio) when they last met October of last year. Last week? They had no such luck. Buffalo came up short against Miami (Ohio), falling 34-20. The Bulls were down by 34-14 at the end of the third quarter, which was just too much to recover from.

With both teams hitting sour notes in their previous games, they will no doubt be looking to produce a better outcome in this one. A couple defensive stats to keep in the back of your head while watching: The Bobcats are 15th worst in the nation in yards allowed per game, with 464 on average. The Bulls have experienced some defensive struggles of their own as they are stumbling into the matchup with the 15th most passing touchdowns allowed in the nation, having given up 12 on the season. Its possible one of these Achilles heels will wind up tripping the losing team up.

How To WatchWhen: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ETWhere: UB Stadium — Buffalo, New YorkTV: ESPN PlusFollow: CBS Sports AppTicket Cost: $13.00OddsThe Bobcats are a 3.5-point favorite against the Bulls.

Vegas had a good feel for the line for this one, as the game opened with the Bobcats as a 2.5-point favorite.

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