UB has shot to pull back to .500

AMHERST — The University at Buffalo football team continues its quest for consistency today.

Coming off a 21-0 win at Akron last week, the Bulls’ first Mid-American Conference and road victory of the year, UB (3-4, 1-2) hosts Central Michigan (5-3, 3-1) in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff (ESPN+, 1520 AM).

The Bulls are striving to string together consecutive wins for the first time this season and even their overall and conference records in pursuit of bowl eligibility and come-from-behind contention in the MAC East.

Kyle Vantrease will remain starting at quarterback for UB after coach Lance Leipold announced this week that West Seneca native Matt Myers will miss the rest of the season due to a neck injury.

Over the past two games, Vantrease has completed 30 of 46 passes (65 percent) for 262 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

“Kyle has handled all of the situations we’ve thrown at him very well,” Leipold said.

Combining a low-risk passing attack with a running game and defense that both rate among the best in program history could provide a winning formula down the stretch for UB.

The Bulls rank 21st nationally in rushing offense (224.4 ypg). Sophomore Jaret Patterson has 686 yards on 131 carries (5.2 average) and Kevin Marks has 603 yards on 128 attempts (4.7 average). One of the backs has rushed for more than 100 yards in four of the past five games.

UB’s shutout at Akron was their third against a MAC opponent in 21 seasons and continued a trend of outstanding defensive play.

The Bulls lead the MAC in total defense (298.4 yards per game), well ahead of No. 2 Central Michigan (364.8). UB has been even better in conference games, allowing an average of 267.3 yards and 18 points in the past three contests.

The defense scored two of UB’s three touchdowns in the win at Akron and has totaled nine sacks over the past two games. The Bulls have allowed just one 100-yard rusher in seven games. They rank 10th nationally in red zone defense, giving up 14 scores in 21 opponent trips inside the 20.

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