[Bryan Kurp | WOUB]

Ohio Football Blows 21-Point Lead In Loss To Buffalo

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AMHERST, N.Y. (WOUB) — With three seconds left in the game, Buffalo kicker Alex McNulty came on to attempt a 31-yard field goal to send the Bulls players and fans home happy.

The kick was declared no-good by the referees but there was a flag.  Ohio was called for offsides, which moved the ball five yards closer and giving McNulty another chance.

The 26-yard chip shot was no problem for McNulty as he put it through the uprights, sending the Bulls bench onto the field in celebration.

Meanwhile, players and coaches on the Ohio sideline stood and watched in disbelief.

The Bobcats’ three-touchdown lead, including a 16-point advantage in the fourth quarter, completely evaporated.  Ohio (1-6, 1-2 MAC) was unable to finish off another game and fell to Buffalo (3-4, 1-2 MAC) for the first time since 2017, 27-26.

“It’s my responsibility. I have to get this team to show more discipline, especially when we got a lead in the fourth quarter,” Ohio head coach Tim Albin said.

Ohio had just four total yards in the fourth quarter while Buffalo scored on each of its three final possessions,

Kyle Vantrease connected with Tyler Stephens for a two-yard touchdown with over 13 minutes remaining in the game.  The Bulls added a two-point conversion to make it a 26-18 ballgame.

Armani Rogers fumbled away the ball on the next series, setting the Bulls up with excellent field position.

Buffalo capitalized with another Vantrease touchdown pass to Trevor Borland, but the two-point attempt was no good.

Ohio responded with a three-and-out on its ensuing drive, setting up a 95-yard final drive from the Bulls — ultimately leading to the winning field goal.

“I’m disappointed with how we finished down the stretch,” Albin said.  “Too many mistakes, self-inflicted.  That’s not who we are, but it was today.”

The game got off to a bright start for the Bobcats.

Ohio tallied 21 points in the opening quarter and scored those points on each of its first three drives via rushing touchdowns.  Early on, it looked like the Bobcats were setting up a rout of the Bulls.

“We were, as a football team, excited and they were feeding off each other.  You can see it on the sideline,” Albin said.  “You just got to find a way to keep the foot on the gas.”

The highlight of the day was a 99-yard Armani Rogers touchdown run midway through the first quarter.  The run marks the longest by a quarterback in NCAA history.

“My (Teammates) were telling me ‘Lets just make this one play. And then I went out there and it literally ended up being one play. So, it was a funny experience,” Rogers said on his record-setting run. “It’s bittersweet because we didn’t get the win, but it’s definitely something fun to look back at. It was a good experience.”

Ohio's De'Montre Tuggle (24) runs for a touchdown in the first quarter of the Bobcats' game with Buffalo on Oct. 16, 2021.
Ohio’s De’Montre Tuggle (24) runs for a touchdown in the first quarter of the Bobcats’ game with Buffalo on Oct. 16, 2021.

Rogers finished with 183 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns in his second start as a Bobcat.  Rogers completed six of his ten pass attempts for 75 yards.

De’Montre Tuggle had just eight carries in the game but accumulated 46 yards with a touchdown.

For Buffalo, Dylan McDuffie led the Bulls’ charge with 143 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Vantrease completed 22 of his 30 passes for 261 yards, including two touchdown passes and an interception.

While the Bobcats are a loss away from its first losing season since 2014, the MAC East remains wide open.  Ohio remains just a game out of the top spot in the division.  Ohio, Buffalo and Akron have just one win in conference play but are just behind Kent State and Miami (OH) — both of which hold 2-1 MAC records.

The Bobcats have a tough challenge against Kent State (3-4, 2-1 MAC) at Peden Stadium.  The Golden Flashes have one of the best offensive attacks in the conference, led by star quarterback Dustin Crum.

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. in Athens next Saturday.