Bulls top defending MAC Champion Toledo for win No. 7

Anthony Johnson and Jaret Patterson score two touchdowns each to lead the Bulls over the Rockets

Jon Simon
October 20, 2018 - 6:23 pm

Photo: Jon Fuller - UBBulls.com

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The UB Bulls (7-1, 4-0) found themselves in another dogfight on the road Saturday afternoon in Toledo, Ohio. After struggling throughout most of the first half, the Bulls found their groove in the third quarter and rode the momentum into the fourth as they defeated the Toledo Rockets (3-4, 1-2) 31-17.

The victory was the Bulls' first over Toledo since 2007 and their first ever at the Glass Bowl.

Throughout this season' the Bulls have dominated opponents in the first quarter, but that wasn’t the case against the Rockets. Tyree Jackson had some trouble in the first quarter. The junior quarterback didn’t look like his usual self and had trouble connecting with receivers early.

A lot of Jackson’s struggles came as a result of the Toledo pass rush. They were able to get more pressure on Jackson than any other team has so far this season. Coming into the game, Jackson had been sacked just one time this season. On Saturday, the Rockets sacked him five times.

Jackson also threw three interceptions in the first half. He was hit on the arm when he threw the first one, and on the next play Toledo put the first points on the board with a 70-yard touchdown run from Bryant Koback, giving Toledo a 7-0 lead.

After forcing a three-and-out early in the second quarter, Tyree Jackson connected with Charlie Jones for a 44-yard gain. Just a few plays later Jackson, hit Anthony Johnson in the middle of the end zone for a 34-yard score, the senior's first touchdown since the Rutgers game in Week 4.

Toledo went up 10-7 with about six-and-a-half minutes left in the first half following a field goal. The Rockets added on to their lead just before halftime. On their first play following the first of two missed 32-yard field goals from Adam Mitcheson, quarterback Eli Peters connected with Diontae Johnson for an 80-yard touchdown.

Despite trailing 17-7 at halftime, the Bulls weren’t out-played by that much. The first half was decided with four big plays and while the Toledo defense played solid all afternoon. However, they hurt themselves by taking a number of unnecessary penalties. The Rockets finished the game with 12 penalties for an astounding 148 yards.

The Bulls cut into the Toledo lead early in the third quarter with a Mitcheson field goal. With 2:39 left in the quarter, the Bulls tied the game on Anthony Johnson’s second reception touchdown of the afternoon, this one a 32-yard catch and run score.

Cam Lewis recovered a fumble just 13-seconds later after James Patterson stripped Toledo receiver Jon’Vea Johnson. The Bulls had a chance to take the lead before the end of the third quarter, but Mitcheson missed his second field goal of the game.

Momentum truly began to swing in the Bulls’ favor following a Brandon Williams interception just over a minute into the fourth quarter. The forced turnover put UB at Toledo’s 30-yard line and just two plays later, Jaret Patterson gave the Bulls their first lead of the game, putting them up 24-17 with a six-yard touchdown run. The freshman led the Bulls with 90 yards on the ground on 20 carries.

Patterson sealed the game for the Bulls with just a little less than three minutes left in the fourth quarter with a 25-yard touchdown run. The score capped off an incredible second half for the Bulls in which they outscored Toledo 24-0.

Jackson bounced back in the second half, completing 12-of-19 passes in the final 30 minutes and finished the game 25-of-46 for 326 yards. K.J. Osborn also turned in another solid performance as the junior led UB with seven catches for 90 yards.

On defense, the Bulls forced four total turnovers (two interceptions and two fumbles) and held Toledo’s offense to just 137 passing yards. The Rockets’ two quarterbacks, Peters and Mitchell Guadagni, had a combined seven completions on 21 attempts. Toledo was also just 1-for-12 on third down conversions.

Toledo came into Saturday’s game with the highest-scoring offense in the MAC, the Bulls held that offense to just 65 total yards in the second half. Khalil Hodge was a force once again, leading the team with 13 tackles.

With the victory, the Bulls improve to 7-1 overall and are 4-0 in the MAC for the first time since 2013. UB also has now won five straight road games for the first time in program history. With wins over Toledo, Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan, the Bulls swept their MAC West Division opponents for the first time since joining the conference in 1999.

The Bulls will play next on Tuesday, October 30th when they host Miami (OH) at UB Stadium.

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