UB tops Kent State on senior night for historic 9th win of season

November 07, 2018 - 12:39 am
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Following their 48-14 victory over Kent State (2-8, 1-5) on Tuesday night, the 2018 UB Bulls (9-1, 6-0) became the winningest team in the program’s FBS history. The Bulls are 9-1 for the first time in the program’s entire history and have won the most games in a season since the team moved to the FBS in 1999 (previous high was eight wins in 2007, ’08 and ’13).  It's also the first time UB has ever been 6-0 in the Mid-American Conference. 

UB dominated the Golden Flashes from the opening kick in their 2018 home finale and senior night game. The Bulls led 34-0 at halftime, scoring the most points in the first half of a game since week four at Rutgers (35). It was also the third time they’ve shut a team out in a half this season.

On the second play of the game, Jaret Patterson broke off a 64-yard touchdown run to put the Bulls up 7-0 just 30-seconds in. Tyree Jackson and Emmanuel Reed both added rushing scores in the first quarter to give UB a 21-0 lead after the first 15 minutes.

There were high winds inside UB Stadium throughout the night. Fans weren’t even allowed to sit in the upper deck sections. The conditions showed their presence early and affected a number of Kent State’s punts. On three separate occasions the UB offense started drives at the 50-yard line due to short punts. One punt from Kent State ended up netting zero yards.

The offense's favorable field position was also a result of the outstanding first half the UB defense had. Despite missing Khalil Hodge due to suspension from an ejection for targeting last week, the Bulls defense held the Golden Flashes to 39 yards of total offense in the first half, forced six punts and allowed Kent State over the 50-yard line just once; and the furthest they got into UB territory was to the 49.

Matt Otwinowski, Hodge’s backup, played solid in the senior captain’s place. The junior led the team with eight tackles, five of them coming in the first half.

“It felt great to get out there,” Otwinowski said postgame. “You guys all see what Khalil does on the field, but off the field, especially this week his leadership really showed. He was right next to me in practice getting me prepared. I’m just thankful for all my teammates and the confidence they had in me. It felt great to be out there with them.”

Kevin Marks got in on the scoring early in the second quarter with a five-yard rushing touchdown to put the Bulls up 27-0. UB almost added on to their big lead on the following drive but fumbled at the Kent State two-yard line after Jackson and Patterson got mixed up on a handoff.

The UB defense forced a quick three and out after the turnover and K.J. Osborn returned a punt to Kent State’s 35, giving UB’s offense another short field.

A few plays later Jaret Patterson ran for his second touchdown of the night, this time from 21-yards out. The true freshman had arguably his best half of the season, putting up 187 yards on 18 carries in the first 30 minutes. Patterson’s previous career game-high was 131 rushing yards. He also ended up with more yards on the ground than Kent State’s total offense had in the game (183).

“My guy Jimmy [O’Hagan>, he said he wanted 200 yards from me tonight and I came little short,” Patterson said with a laugh after the win. “I was trying to make his senior night a special one. The offensive line did a great job. I didn’t know I was going to get most of the carries. We have a lot of capable backs that can shoulder the load. I just took advantage of the opportunity.”

Following Patterson’s second touchdown, Bulls kicker Adam Mitcheson’s extra point was the 266th point in his career, giving him the school record for points accounted for (previously was AJ Principe, 2007-’10).

The Bulls added on to their 34-0 halftime lead early in the second half. The defense forced another quick three-and-out to start the third quarter and gave the UB offense another great spot to start a drive.

After a 24-yard run from Emmanuel Reed, Tyree Jackson got his first and only passing touchdown of the night on a three-yard strike to Anthony Johnson in the corner of the end zone, giving the Bulls a 41-0 lead.

Theo Anderson added an 11-yard touchdown run to put UB up 48-0 late in the third quarter after most of the starters had exited the game. The sophomore running back became the fifth Bull to record a rushing score and the sixth to score a touchdown in the game.

Kent State was able to prevent the shutout early in the fourth quarter with a two-yard touchdown run from quarterback Dustin Crum. They later added another score on an 11-yard touchdown catch by Mike Carrigan to make the score 48-14.

The night ended with a big celebration in the UB locker room. While this team has much more to accomplish this season, they took time to enjoy one last home win with the seniors.

One senior who’s been through a lot of the ups and downs during the rebuilding of UB’s football program over the last few years is center and captain James O’Hagan. Following Tuesday nights win O’Hagan came into the postgame press conference with a leather jacket, no shirt, and a big grin.

“To be able to play here has been an honor,” O’Hagan said. “I’ll never forget this day. But more importantly I’ll never forget this team. We’re brothers and I love every single one of these guys on this team. It’s been an honor to play here and be their captain for the last two years.”

The Bulls can clinch the MAC East Division and a spot in the conference title game next Wednesday when they head to Athens, Ohio to take on the Bobcats.

“Now we have a chance to do something really special,” Bulls head coach Lance Leipold said after the game. “I’m happy for the kids. I’m happy for our staff. I’m proud of all of them for coming from where we were sitting a couple of years ago to where we are now. But, it’s not finished.”

 

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