The offense was led by the trio of Alex Zordich, Alex Neutz and Branden Oliver. Zordich had the finest game of his career by going 16-for-21 for 237 yards and a career-high four touchdowns. The four touchdown passes tied a Buffalo Division I-A record.
Zordich was red hot out of the gate, completing all 10 of his passes in the first half. His favorite target was Neutz who finished with eight catches for a career-high 154 yards and tied a school-record with four touchdown catches. Neutz had touchdown catches of 16, 22, 34 and 28 yards.
And then there was Oliver. The junior running back had 25 carries for a Buffalo Division I-A-record 238 yards and two touchdowns. It was a career-high rushing effort for the Miami native.
On its first possession, Morgan State drove down the field and had first and goal at the UB 5-yard line. The UB defensive then responded with a Lee Skinner sack, a Khalil Mack tackle for loss and a Colby Way sack to force a Morgan State field goal.
The Bears’ lead was short lived as Buffalo took the ensuing kickoff and drove 75 yards for a touchdown. Oliver plunged into the end zone from one yard out for his first touchdown of the night. The scoring continued on UB’s next possession as Zordich connected with Jimmy Gordon from 18 yards out to put the Bulls up 14-3. It was the first career touchdown for the junior tight end.
After a Morgan State field goal, the UB offense struck quickly again – driving 62 yards on just five plays. Oliver scored from three yards out for this second touchdown of the game to put the Bulls ahead, 21-6.
Morgan State drove 90 yards on its next possession to cut the UB lead to 21-13 with 2:30 left in the half. However, with the way the Buffalo offense was humming, there was plenty of time to put more points on the board.
The Bulls drove 68 yards on just four plays and Zordich found a streaking Neutz for a 16-yard score. Not content, the UB defense got the ball back for the offense and the Bulls drove 46 yards on just three plays to close the half with another touchdown. Zordich hooked up with Neutz again, this time from 22 yards out, to give the Bulls a 35-13 lead at the half.
“I like what our kids did right before the half. That was a big boost.” Quinn said. “We managed the clock well; we were able to get the ball back and put some points on the board, which is the aggressive style I want our team to have. Our kids really rose to the challenge.”
Neutz came up with his prettiest catch of the night for his third touchdown. The Grand Island native made an acrobatic catch over a defender and tip-toed down the sideline for a 34-yard score.
After Morgan State scored to cut the lead to 42-20, Nuetz caught his fourth touchdown of the night. This one was a 28-yarder from redshirt freshman Joe Licata. It was the first career pass attempt from the highly-touted recruit from Williamsville South High School.
Buffalo used its quickest scoring drive of the night for its next touchdown, covering 83 yards on just two plays. Oliver scampered 34 yards to start the drive and sophomore James Potts finished the job by galloping 49 yards for his first career touchdown.
Morgan State scored a late touchdown to make the final score 56-34.
Lost in the all the impressive offensive numbers, were some standout performances on the defensive side of the ball. The defense had 10 tackles for loss and six sacks. Mack, playing in his first game of the season, had eight tackles, 1.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for loss. Jake Stockman and Witney Sherry tied for the team high in tackles with 10 apiece – career highs for both players. Steven Means tied a career high with nine tackles and added 1.5 sacks.
--- COURTESY OF BUFFALO ATHLETICS