Buffalo, N.Y. (Sep. 1, 2018) --- Tyree Jackson threw a career-best six touchdown passes to lead FBS Buffalo to a season-opening 48-10 win over Delaware State at UB Stadium Saturday evening, spoiling the debut of new Hornet head coach Rod Milstead.
Jackson, a 6-7, 245-pound junior, completed 17-of-27 passes for 189 yards. K.J. Osborn had three receptions for 54 yards and two touchdowns, while fellow wide receiver Anthony Johnson, a Preseason FBS All-America Second Team selection, caught four passes for 54 yards and a score.
Delaware State was outgained 354-275 in total offense, but held a 199-154 advantage in rushing yards. The Hornets scored the only fourth quarter touchdown of the game on a run by Brycen Alleyne. Alleyne and Mike Waters led all players with 97 and 92 yards rushing, respectively.
DSU, however, was plagued by four turnovers, three of which resulted in Buffalo touchdowns.
“I’m pleased with our effort, even when we were way down, but we have to clean up some communication and execution issues,” said Milstead. “I give Buffalo a great deal of credit, but it’s difficult to compete against a quality FBS team when turning over the ball so many times.”
The Bulls did not commit a turnover in the game.
Buffalo drew first blood on its second possession of the game, scoring a touchdown on a nine-yard pass from Jackson to George Rushing to cap off a six-play, 41-yard drive with 9:07 left in the opening quarter.
The Bulls scored again on their next possession, going 70 yards on six plays, ending in a 27-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Johnson to open up a 13-0 lead at the 5:37 mark of the first quarter. The extra point attempt was blocked by DSU’s Jahad Neibauer.
Buffalo took advantage of Delaware State’s first turnover to pad its lead. Four plays after Devon Russell intercepted a pass from DSU’s Keenan Black, Jackson hooked up with Osborn on a 32-yard scoring pass to give the Bulls a three-touchdown lead. The extra point kick by Adam Mitcheson gave UB a 20-0 lead with 3:17 to go in the first quarter.
The Hornets’ second turnover also led to Buffalo’s fourth touchdown early in the second quarter. Black coughed up the ball on a sack and UB’s Chuck Harris was credited with the recovery at the DSU 40. A Hornet penalty on the play moved the ball to the DSU 25. On the fourth play after the turnover, Jackson found Rushing open in the end zone for a one-yard touchdown pass. The Bulls led 27-0 after the extra point.
Delaware State got on the board on the ensuing possession. Redshirt freshman kicker Jose Romo-Martinez capped off a nine-play, 69-yard drive with his first career field goal from 23-yards out to cut UB’s lead to 27-3 with 8:56 left in the second quarter. The key play in the drive was a 41-yard pass from Hornet starting quarterback Jack McDaniels to Kwannah Kollie to the Buffalo 34-yard line. Waters rushed for 15 yards to the UB 10 on fourth-and-one to keep the drive going.
The Bulls added another second quarter touchdown on a 19-yard pass from Jackson to Osborn to open up a 34-3 halftime lead.
Jackson left the game after throwing his sixth touchdown pass, covering 11 yards to Charlie Jones on the opening possession of the third quarter.
The Bulls led 48-3 when Delaware State tallied its lone touchdown to close out the scoring. Alleyne finishwed the eight-play, 53-yard drive with a 24-yard touchdown run with eight-and-a-half minuites left to play. The touchdown was his first since scoring two vs. Florida A&M as a sophomore in 2016.
McDaniels completed eight-of-15 passes for 76 yards. Kollie had two receptions for 41 yards.
Freshman safety David Bowman, a Milford (Del.) High School product, led the Hornets with a game-high 11 tackles, including seven solo stops. Linebacker Brian Cavicante had 10 tackles, five unassisted, for DSU.
The Delaware State defense held Buffalo to just two-of-13 conversions on third down, but the Bulls were successful each of its five fourth-down conversion attempts.
The Hornets were two-of-three on fourth down tries.
STINGERS The Hornets have dropped their last six opening games … Waters saw his first action since a season-ending knee injury at West Virginia in week three last season … McDaniels is the first Delaware State quarterback to start back-to-back season openers since Nick Elko in 2011 & ’12 … DSU’s Neibauer was ejected from the game in the second quarter after being called for a targeting penalty (helmet-to-helmet hit) … The Hornets return to action next Sat. (Sep. 8) at St. Francis (Pa.) … kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. in Loretto, Pa.