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Ohio Looks to Rebound at Buffalo

Oct. 3, 2007

Ohio-Buffalo Game Notes

ATHENS, Ohio - Last season, Ohio defeated Buffalo 42-7 behind two rushing touchdowns and 107 rushing yards from running back Kalvin McRae.


McRae and the Bobcats (2-3, 0-1 MAC) hope to duplicate those results this year and snap a two-game losing streak when Ohio travels to Buffalo on Saturday for a battle with the Bulls (1-4, 1-1 MAC).


Ohio's last two games have resulted in 34-33 and 33-25 losses to Wyoming and Kent State, respectively. Both teams' running back turned in career games against the Ohio defense.


Wyoming's Devin Moore rushed for 198 yards and two touchdowns while Kent State's Eugene Jarvis turned in an even more impressive performance with 230 yards on the ground and two touchdowns.


But this weekend the Bobcats will have a chance to rebound because no Buffalo rusher is averaging more than 60 yards per game. The Bulls feature two backs, James Starks and Mario Henry, who have combined for just 481 yards through five games with Henry churning out 59.5 yards per game and Starks, who has 34 more attempts, chalking up 39.4 yards per game.


While Buffalo has struggled to run the ball all season, Ohio has recently seen the production from its running back take a dip. McRae (Decatur, Ga.) shot out of the gate, compiling 229 yards rushing and six touchdowns in the first two games of the 2007 season. But after his four-TD performance at Louisiana-Lafayette, McRae has managed just 185 yards and two touchdowns in Ohio's last three games.


Quarterback Brad Bower (Burr Ridge, Ill.) struggled in the most recent game against Kent State but reserve quarterback Theo Scott (Long Beach, Calif.) came into the game and led Ohio on two touchdown drives in the fourth quarter. The transfer from Los Angeles South West Community College completed 16-of-26 passes for 160 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Bower finished the game against Kent State with 110 yards and one interception on 6-of-16 passing. It was the first time in more than a year that a pair of Ohio quarterbacks threw for more than 100 yards in a single game.


Tight end Andrew Mooney (Lubbock, Texas) was the recipient of both Scott touchdown tosses and the junior transfer from New Mexico State also hauled in a two point conversion pass from Scott. 


Buffalo has stumbled in three straight games after winning its MAC opener against Temple on Sept. 8. Penn State, Baylor and Ball State combined to outscore the Bulls 128-59 during Buffalo's three game losing streak.


Despite playing two BCS opponents, the Bulls have gotten good quarterback play from junior Drew Willy. The 6-foot-3, 209-pounder from Randolph, N.J., has passed for 1097 yards on 110-of-158 passing this season, a 69.6 completion percentage. While Willy has tossed four touchdown passes, he has also thrown six interceptions.


On defense, Buffalo features a pair of sack-hungry seniors. Linebacker Larry Hutchinson is second on the team with 32 tackles and also has 3.5 sacks, good for second on the team as well. But it is on the defensive line where the Bulls generate the majority of their sacks, and from one end in particular. Defensive end Trevor Scott has 5.5 sacks for a loss of 45 yards through just five games. Scott has also forced three fumbles, recovering one. In the secondary, sophomore Mike Newton returned his lone interception of the season 50 yards for a touchdown.


Following Ohio's trip to Buffalo, the Bobcats return to Athens for the Homecoming matchup with Eastern Michigan.