Bulls Fall on Road to Baylor, 34-6
WACO, TX – Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III is considered one of the most electrifying running quarterbacks in the nation. On Saturday night at Floyd Casey Stadium, Griffin III beat Buffalo with his arm before 40,853 fans.
Griffin III threw for 297 yards, passing for two touchdowns and running for a pair in leading the Bears to a 34-6 win over the Bulls. The loss dropped the Bulls to 1-1 on the season with UB hosting UCF next Saturday night at UB Stadium at 7 pm.
"We were simply not good enough," head coach Jeff Quinn said. "We felt that our week of preperation was where I wanted us to be and certainly there were some key mistakes that we made in this game. Obviously the turnovers cost us and they were able to capitalize."
The Bulls' offense was unable to get on track all night as Baylor took advantage of two first-half turnovers and converted them into 14 points. Buffalo had the ball inside the Baylor 40-yard line on five occasions but could only muster six points. Buffalo did get its ground game going after a tough outing in week one. UB ran for 180 yards on 35 carries. Freshman Brandon Oliver ran for 71 yards on 17 carries (4.2 average) while sophomore Jefvon Gill had 57 yards on just three carries.
However, Buffalo's passing game struggled, completing just 18-of-47 throws on the night. Terrell Jackson led the Bulls with six catches for 60 yards, while Marcus Rivers added six more catches – after 10 last week – for 53 yards.
After a punt following the Bulls' first possession, the Bears drove inside UB territory. However, on a third-and-nine play, senior Josh Thomas came up with huge play, separating the receiver from the ball on a play that would have gone to the Bulls' 25-yard line. The play was initially called a catch but after video review, was overturned.
The Bears opened the game's scoring midway through the first quarter. The Bears drove 49 yards on eight plays before the Buffalo defense rose up and forced a 30-yard field goal that was converted by Aaron Jones with 8:18 left on the clock, giving Baylor a 3-0 lead. It was the first points the Bulls have surrendered this year.
The first half momentum swung – while the Bulls' defense was doing an outstanding job containing the Bears' tremendous quarterback Robert Griffin III, when UB coughed the ball up at their own 40-yard line. Baylor was able to take advantage as Griffin III finished the drive on a five-yard run for the score on a fourth down play.
The Bulls offense awakened after a 38-yard kickoff return by junior Terrell Jackson, who had over 40 friends and family at the game, having grown up about 15 miles from Waco in Temple, TX. Aided by 19-yard run by Oliver and a personal foul penalty on the Bears, the Bulls got on the scoreboard. A.J. Principe booted through a 25-yard field goal to cap a 10-play, 55-yard drive that closed the gap to 10-3 with 13:05 left in the first half.
The Bears responded, however, with a big play of their own. On a busted coverage, Griffin III was able to hit Kendall Wright for a 61-yard score down the right sideline to increase the lead to 17-3 with 12:09 left in the second quarter.
After Griffin III hit Willie Jefferson on a 43-yard touchdown pass to the post – on another missed coverage the Bears had control of the game and a 24-3 lead.
Senior defensive back Domonic Cook was active in the secondary with an interception, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery, while fellow senior Davonte Shannon led Buffalo with 11 tackles, including 10 solo stops. Senior Sherrod Lott added five tackles, a tackle for loss, a forced fumble and two pass breakups.
• Baylor's field goal in the first quarter broke a streak of 72:07 of scoreless football by the Bulls dating back to the 2009 season finale versus Kent State.
• Baylor's touchdown near the end of the first quarter broke a streak of 139:04 between opposing team's touchdowns. Buffalo had not given up a touchdown since the second to last game of the 2009 season (at Miami) in a 42-17 win. Buffalo beate Kent State 9-6 to close out the 2009 season and shutout Rhode Island (31-0) to start the 2010 campaign.
• Buffalo fell to 0-4 all-time versus Big XII teams.
• Three Texas natives served as captains for the Bulls: cornerback Josh Thomas, wide receiver Terrell Jackson and running back Brandon Thermilus.
• Terrell Jackson's 38-yard kickoff return in the first quarter was the longest since a 44-yard return in 2007, as a true freshman.
• Redshirt frosh Branden Oliver's 19-yard run in the first quarter was a career best and he finished the game with 13 carries for 61 yards.
• Senior safety Davonte Shannon racked up the 14th career double digit tackle game of his career with 11 tackles, including one for loss.
• With 17 tackles so far on the season, Shannon has tied former Bull J.J. Gibson for fourth place all-time in total tackles with 357. His 11 solo tackles also made his just the third Bull to record over 200 solo stops (Craig Guest and J.J. Gibson). Shannon now has 204 solo tackles in his brilliant career.
• Senior Domonic Cook recorded the fifth interception of his career in the second quarter. Cook has a total of 26 passes defended in his career, moving into seventh place by himself.
• Freshman linebacker Khalil Mack had a pair of tackles for loss in the game.