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32


Massachusetts (1-5) at Buffalo (4-2)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 19, 3:30 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: UB Stadium (24,000) -- Buffalo, New York. Television: Time Warner Cable. Home Record: UMass 1-2, Buffalo 3-0. Away Record: UMass 0-3, Buffalo 1-2. Neutral Record: UMass 0-0, Buffalo 0-0. Conference Record: UMass 1-1, Buffalo 2-0. Series Record: Series is tied, 5-5.

GAME NOTES: The Massachusetts Minutemen will be seeking their second win in a row as they crash into the red-hot Buffalo Bulls for a Mid-American Conference bout at UB Stadium.

Coach Charley Molnar improved his career record to 2-16 last week as his Minutemen scored 10 unanswered points en route to a 17-10 decision over Miami- Ohio at Gillette Stadium. UMass had been outscored by an average of 24.6 points per game in its first five games of the season. The victory put the Minutemen in a tie for third place in the East Division standings. UMass has lost nine of its last 10 away games dating back to 2012.

The Bulls are coming off of a convincing, 33-0 shutout victory over Western Michigan at Waldo Stadium. The win was the fourth in a row and improved their MAC record to 2-0 for the first time in history. Coach Jeff Quinn's squad began the season with lopsided losses at Ohio State (40-20) and Baylor (70-13), but has since recovered to outscore its last three opponents, 116-26. In addition to its four-game overall winning streak, Buffalo has won its last five games at UB Stadium.

UMass and Buffalo began playing one another when both were members of the FCS. The Bulls defeated the Minutemen, 29-19, last season at Gillette Stadium to even the all-time series at five wins per side.

The Minutemen have struggled offensively throughout their 1-5 campaign. They began the season with a shutout loss at Wisconsin, scored only 14 points in a loss to Maine of the FCS and had been held to seven points in three straight games prior to the win over Miami. Molnar had been giving both of his quarterbacks a fair share of snaps under center, but A.J. Doyle took full command of the offense versus the RedHawks. The sophomore signal caller completed 19-of-35 attempts for 249 yards and two touchdowns as UMass established new season-highs with 376 yards of total offense and 23 first downs.

Doyle was also picked off twice, giving him four touchdowns through the air and the same number of interceptions on the campaign. Senior tight end Rob Branchflower made five receptions for a season-high 98 yards including his first touchdown catch of the year versus Miami. Branchflower has been effective since making his 2013 debut three games ago, which has taken pressure off of the team's leading target in the aerial attack, Tajae Sharpe. The sophomore wideout has tallied 35 receptions for 331 yards and half of the team's six touchdown catches. UMass has potential in its backfield with freshman Stacey Bedell and Jamal Wilson splitting the carries, however the team is ranked 106th nationally in rushing offense at 116.2 yards per game.

The Minutemen are coming off of their best defensive showing of the season. After surrendering averages of 484.4 ypg and 31.6 ppg through their first five games, Miami finished with only 290 yards of total offense and 10 points. UMass forced three turnovers while Stanley Andre led all players with a career-high 14 tackles. The strong performance was a step in the right direction, however it also came against one of the weakest offenses in the FBS.

The Bulls will provide a much tougher challenge with sophomore field general Joe Licata spearheading a very controlled attack. They are second in the nation in turnover margin (1.7) and have posted an average of 35.5 ppg during the span of their winning streak. Licata improved to 7-3 as a starter last week as he completed 11-of-21 pass attempts for 124 yards and three touchdowns. Senior tailback Branden Oliver rushed 19 times for 139 yards to make it two games in a row with at least 100 yards on the ground.

Alex Neutz made a two-yard touchdown reception at WMU, but made only one other catch for seven yards. The 6-foot-3 senior wideout is still among the MAC leaders with averages of 5.7 catches and 87.8 receiving yards per game and is second in the conference with six touchdown grabs.

The UB defense continued to dominate last week as it pitched the first road shutout for the program since 1965 and held the Broncos to only 202 total yards. WMU turned the ball over three times and gained only 38 rushing yards. Khalil Mack finished with six tackles, 1.5 for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Mack is in pursuit of the NCAA career records for both forced fumbles and tackles for loss. He now has 12 forced fumbles, three shy of the record, and he is 11 tackles for loss behind former WMU star Jason Babin's FBS standard of 75 stops behind the line of scrimmage.

With Mack anchoring the defensive unit, Buffalo has registered 10 interceptions and six fumble recoveries on the season, giving it the most takeaways of any MAC school. The Bulls have also registered a conference-high 21 sacks for 134 lost yards in six games.

UMass appears to be gaining ground on some of its conference rivals, however Buffalo is also on the rise. The Bulls have one of the league's elite players in Mack, who will create plenty of problems for the turnover-prone Doyle. Molnar's team will have no chance if it allows Oliver to get into a rhythm. Buffalo is one of just two teams without a loss in the East Division, making each week a must win to prevent Bowling Green from pulling away.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Buffalo 31, Massachusetts 6

10/16 10:34:10 ET

Other Stories

  • ACC: Syracuse at NC State

    Saturday at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Florida at Kentucky

    Saturday at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Pac 12: Stanford at Arizona

    Saturday at 4:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big Ten: Wisconsin at Minnesota

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NBA: Dallas at Portland

    Tonight at 9:30 on 99.9 The Fan

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Minnesota

    Tomorrow at 8:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
BRK 91
CHA 115
Final
DUKE 94
WAKE 51
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
TEMPL
 
7:30pm Tonight
NCCU
NCAT
 
Final
LOS 4
CWS 6
 
Final
CLE 4
CIN 2
 
Final
TEX 2
KAN 13
 
Final
SFG 2
OAK 9
 
Final
SEA 4
SDP 3
 
Final
MIL 8
WMIL 0
 
Final
COL 3
ARI 6
 
Final
MIN 3
UMIN 1
 
1:05pm Today
DET
ATL
 
1:05pm Today
TAM
BAL
 
1:05pm Today
PIT
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
HOU
PHI
 
1:05pm Today
MIA
STL
 
3:05pm Today
SFG
CHC
 
3:05pm Today
CIN
CLE
 
3:05pm Today
CWS
LOS
 
3:05pm Today
ANA
MIL
 
3:05pm Today
CHC
OAK
 
3:05pm Today
SEA
SDP
 
3:05pm Today
KAN
TEX
 
3:10pm Today
ARI
COL
 
5:05pm Tonight
WAS
NYM
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIN
BOS
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
TOR
 
Final
IND 105
NYK 82
Final
ORL 100
PHO 105
Final
BRK 91
CHA 115
Final
TOR 112
CLE 120
Final
BOS 85
UTA 84
Final
MIN 85
DEN 100
Final
NOP 88
DET 85
 
Final
MIA 100
LAL 94
Final
HOU 100
MEM 102
Final
OKC 123
PHI 118
Final
SAN 112
SAC 85
Final
GSW 102
MIL 93
Final
LAC 93
POR 98
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
OKC
 
10:30pm Tonight
POR
DAL
 
Final
UNCA 80
LIB 70
 
Final
PSU 67
OSU 77
Final
USB 62
BING 57
 
Final
FORD 66
DUQ 81
Final
GMAS 51
GWU 67
Final
UNH 67
HART 63
 
Final
STJOE 55
LAS 50
Final
Terriers 79
LIU 70
 
Final
GTDNS 83
MAINE 66
 
Final
LOU 59
ND 71
Final
SHU 66
PROV 79
Final
BRY 91
SHU 85
 
Final
MORE 79
SEMIZ 74
Final
MNTER 58
RFLSH 73
 
Final
LSU 63
TENN 78
Final
SFLA 74
UCF 45
Final
VERM 66
UMBC 39
 
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 68
 
Final
UMASS 53
RICH 56
Final
TULA 63
HOU 68
Final
YALE 71
HOW 62
 
Final
PITT 63
MIAMI 67
Final
TXPA 48
NMST 69
 
Final
MSU 72
PURD 66
Final
STLU 48
BONA 64
Final
DUKE 94
WAKE 51
Final
TULSA 47
CIN 56
Final
VANDY 66
MSST 56
Final
OKST 82
TCU 70
Final
UCLA 85
USC 74
Final
WYO 76
UTST 53
Final
MARQ 51
STJ 67
Final
EILL 78
SIUE 66
Final
FRES 68
AFA 66
Final
NEV 62
COLST 78
Final
ILL 69
NEB 57
Final
SJST 51
BSU 68
Final
ORST 62
OREG 65
Final
UNLV 58
SDST 60
Final
HAW 90
UCSB 98
 
5:00pm Tonight
SIENA
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
LEH
AMER
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
ARK
 
7:00pm Tonight
LAF
BU
 
7:00pm Tonight
PETE
FAIR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
HC
 
7:00pm Tonight
UNF
LIP
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENNM
MORE
 
7:00pm Tonight
COL
NAVY
 
7:00pm Tonight
ECU
TEMPL
 
7:00pm Tonight
FATL
UAB
 
7:00pm Tonight
FLGC
USCU
 
7:00pm Tonight
CHAR
WKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
MINN
WISC
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIZST
SILL
 
7:30pm Tonight
COPST
DELST
 
7:30pm Tonight
FIU
MTST
 
7:30pm Tonight
MDES
MRGST
 
7:30pm Tonight
HAMP
NORST
 
7:30pm Tonight
NCCU
NCAT
 
7:30pm Tonight
COOK
SCST
 
7:30pm Tonight
APP
TXST
 
7:30pm Tonight
GSOUT
TXARL
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
UGST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ODU
MARS
 
8:00pm Tonight
TXSA
RICE
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAM
SAV
 
8:00pm Tonight
LATU
SMISS
 
8:15pm Tonight
LALAF
ARKLR
 
8:30pm Tonight
JST
ALAAM
 
8:30pm Tonight
GRAM
ALAST
 
8:30pm Tonight
TXSOU
ALCOR
 
8:30pm Tonight
MVSU
ARKPB
 
8:30pm Tonight
NICST
CARK
 
8:30pm Tonight
TAMCC
HOUB
 
8:30pm Tonight
NARZ
PORST
 
8:30pm Tonight
LAM
SHSU
 
8:30pm Tonight
ARKST
SALA
 
8:30pm Tonight
PVU
SOUTH
 
8:45pm Tonight
NO
SELA
 
9:00pm Tonight
INCWORD
ABCHRIST
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARZ
CAL
 
9:00pm Tonight
WASH
COL
 
9:00pm Tonight
BEL
EILL
 
9:00pm Tonight
WEBER
IDAHO
 
9:00pm Tonight
QUIN
MAR
 
9:00pm Tonight
UCONN
MEM
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTEP
UNT
 
9:00pm Tonight
STEPH
NWST
 
9:00pm Tonight
SUTAH
SACST
 
9:00pm Tonight
DAVID
VCU
 
9:05pm Tonight
IDST
EWASH
 
9:35pm Tonight
DRAK
BRAD
 
10:00pm Tonight
LBSU
CSNO
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCI
CSFU
 
10:00pm Tonight
UCD
UCR
 
11:00pm Tonight
ARST
STAN
 
11:00pm Tonight
WASU
UTAH
 
Final
WIN 1
OTT 3
Final
DET 2
NYR 1
Final
ANA 3
MON 1
Final
COL 3
PIT 1
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
CAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
MIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
STL
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
DAL
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
NYI
 
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
VAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LOS
MON