Niagara Gazette — ORCHARD PARK — The University at Buffalo football team knew what it had to do to beat Bowling Green for the Mid-American Conference regular season title Friday afternoon at Ralph Wilson Stadium: win the battle at the line of scrimmage.
Last season the Falcons won that battle, holding the Bulls to only 29 yards rushing for the game, and in doing so beat UB, 21-7.
Buffalo knew exactly what Bowling Green was going to try to do, but it had no answers once again, as BG out-rushed the Bulls — 260 yards to 15 — en route to a 24-7 victory to secure a spot in the MAC title game in Detroit against Northern Illinois.
“They whipped us up front,” said UB head coach Jeff Quinn. “I said it, when we went into this game last year, that we needed to play better up front, and we didn’t do that. Give Bowling Green credit too. It wasn’t anything schematically, it was just the one one one match ups where, at times, we had some break downs.
“They’re a good defense and we knew it, but we see a good defense every day (in practice), and I felt we made a lot of progress,” Quinn continued. “I expected us to move the ball a lot better than we did.”
The Bulls defense kept them in the game in the first half, stopping the Falcons on all six of their third down attempts. But besides a well-executed drive in the second quarter that resulted in a 2-yard Branden Oliver touchdown run, the UB offense just couldn’t generate any sustained success against a tough Bowling Green defense.
“We had a great plan coming in and we knew what they were going to do to us. We just didn’t execute,” said Bulls QB Joe Licata, who went 21 for 45 passing with an interception. “They didn’t fool us with anything, it just came down to them beating us. … They did a great job up front and at the corner position. They’re a very good football team.”