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Bulls host Eastern Michigan in an early key MAC contest On Saturday

UNIVERSITY AT BUFFALO ATHLETICS

Storylines
• The Bulls are 2-0 for the first time since the 1983 season. The last time Buffalo started a season 3-0 was also the 1983 campaign.

• Eastern Michigan leads the all-time series, 6-1. The Bulls' lone win came at UB Stadium in 2013.

• Tyree Jackson's nine touchdown passes over the first two games are the most in school history to start a season. The junior quarterback is tied for second in the nation in passing touchdowns.

• The Bulls are one of only 12 teams in the nation not to have allowed a sack this season.

• Buffalo has forced seven turnovers over the first two games and committed only one to rank second in the nation in turnover margin.

• The Bulls have won five straight games dating back to last season. It is the fourth longest streak in the country.

• The Bulls have scored 84 points over the first two games of the season - the most over the first two games since the 1959 season when they scored 96 points.

• UB is 7-12 in Mid-American Conference openers since joining the league in 1999.

• Kicker Adam Mitcheson is four points shy of reaching James Starks for third in school history in career scoring. Mitcheson has 218 career points, while Starks had 222.

• Khalil Hodge is five tackles shy of 300 for his career, which would also be good for ninth in school history for career tackles.
 
Bulls Host Eastern Michigan in an Early Key MAC Contest
A 2-0 University at Buffalo football team will host a 2-0 Eastern Michigan team on Saturday at UB Stadium in an early Mid-American Conference matchup. The Bulls are coming off a 36-29 win at Temple last Saturday. UB was led by redshirt-freshman running back Kevin Marks who ran for a career-best 138 yards and two touchdowns in the victory.      
Eastern Michigan is 2-0 on the season and is coming off a 20-19 win at Purdue last Saturday. The Eagles are led by quarterback Tyler Wiegers who has thrown for 550 yards and three touchdowns on the season.
Eastern Michigan leads the all-time series, 6-1. The Eagles won the last meeting, 37-27, on Oct. 11, 2014 at Rynearson Stadium.

Jackson and Lewis Honored By MAC
The University at Buffalo football team received two of the three weekly awards from the Mid-American Conference following Saturday's win at Temple. For the second straight week, quarterback Tyree Jackson was named the MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week while Cameron Lewis was named the MAC East Division Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
Jackson finished 26-of-45 for 275 yards and three touchdowns, including the game-winning score with less than a minute to play to lead Buffalo to a 36-29 win over Temple at Lincoln Financial Field on Saturday.
Lewis had four tackles and two key interceptions against the Owls. Lewis's first interception came in the endzone to thwart a Temple scoring threat. Later, with the Bulls trailing 14-12 in the third quarter, Lewis made his second interception at the Owls' 26-yard line. It led to a touchdown that put the Bulls ahead, 19-14.
The last time the Bulls swept MAC offensive and defensive player of the week honors was Oct. 28, 2013 when Branden Oliver and Khalil Mack were honored for big performances at Kent State.

T3
Quarterback Tyree Jackson is off to a blistering start to the season and has been named the Mid-American Conference East Division Offensive Player of the Week in each of the first two weeks of the season. Former UB  running back James Starks is the only other UB player to earn player of the week honors in consecutive weeks back in 2007.
Jackson has thrown nine touchdowns over the first two games of the season - the most by a UB quarterback to start a season. In the opener against Delaware State, Jackson threw a career-high six touchdown passes in just over two quarters of work. He became the first quarterback in school history to throw five first-half touchdowns. He was pulled after his sixth touchdown pass, on UB's first drive of the third quarter, put the Bulls ahead 41-3.
Jackson tossed three more touchdown passes in the Bulls' win over Temple. His nine touchdowns on the year are tied for second in the nation. Including his final three games of the 2017 campaign, the junior signal-caller has thrown 18 touchdowns over the last five games. 
Jackson is on the preseason watch lists for the Davey O'Brien Award and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award.

Forcing the IssueThe Bulls have struggled in recent years to force turnovers. That is not the case so far this year. Buffalo has forced seven turnovers (four fumbles and three interceptions). To put that in perspective, the Bulls only forced 14 turnovers last year and 13 in 2016. Last season, it took until their seventh game of the season (Northern Illinois) before the Bulls recovered an opponent's fumble. Buffalo forced four turnovers (3 FR/INT) against Delaware State in the opener.The last time UB forced four turnovers in a game was when it forced five at Florida Atlantic (3 FR/2 INT) on Sept. 19, 2015.
The Bulls rank second in the nation in turnover margin with a +6.

Marks and Recreation
Kevin Marks had a breakout performance in the Bulls' win over Temple last week. The redshirt-freshman running back rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns in the first significant game action of his career. 
  
It was the best performance by a freshman or redshirt-freshman running back since freshman Devin Campbell rushed for 160 yards at Ohio on Oct. 6, 2012.

Pass Protection
The UB offensive line has done a tremendous job so far this season. The Bulls are one of only 12 teams in the nation and the only team in the MAC not to have allowed a sack this year.

Hello Old Friend
While this will be the first time UB head coach Lance Leipold will face Eastern Michigan, it won't be the first time he will face Eagles' head coach Chris Creighton. The two faced off once before when they were both head coaches in the Division III ranks. Leipold's Wisconsin-Whitewater team defeated Creighton's Wabash team, 47-7, in the quarterfinals of the 2007 NCAA Division III Playoffs. Leipold would go on to win his first of six National Championships with the Warhawks that season.

Sharing the Wealth
Tyree Jackson has done a good job distributing the football so far this season. 12 different players have a caught a pass already this year. 13 different players caught a pass all of last season. In addition, five different players have a touchdown catch on the year and four of the five had caught two TDs.

Cam Tough
Senior cornerback Cameron Lewis had a career-best two interceptions in the Bulls' win over Temple last week. He became the first UB player to intercept two passes in a game since Okezie Alozie had two picks against Ohio in 2015. Lewis has four career interceptions.

AJ is OK
Not many players in school history made a bigger impact in their first season with the UB football program than wide receiver Anthony Johnson did in 2017.
The JUCO transfer had 76 catches for 1,356 yards and a school-record 14 touchdowns last season. He ranked second in the nation in receiving yards per game (113.0) and third in receiving touchdowns (14). The All-MAC First Team selection had six games of 140 or more receiving yards which was tops in the country.
Johnson's 1,356 receiving yards were the second most in school history for a single season. He was second only to Naaman Roosevelt who had 1,402 yards in 2008. However, Johnson had 28 fewer catches than Roosevelt. Johnson averaged 17.8 yards per catch compared to 13.5 yards per catch for Roosevelt.
Johnson had 21 catches for 468 yards and eight touchdowns over the final three games of the 2017 season.
Johnson was named a second-team AP Preseason All-American, becoming the first player in school history to earn the distinction.
He leads the Bulls with 10 catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Watch OutThe Bulls placed a program-record six players on nine different NCFAA award preseason watch lists. Bulls appeared on more preseason watch lists than any other school in the Mid-American Conference. The previous high was four players on eight different watch lists prior to the 2013 campaign.
 
Buffalo Players on NCFAA Watch Lists
Khalil Hodge Bednarik Award, Butkus Award, Nagurski Award
Anthony Johnson Maxwell Award, Biletnikoff Award
Tyree Jackson Davey O'Brien Award
Emmanuel Reed Doak Walker Award
Tyler Mabry John Mackey Award 
James O'Hagan Rimington Trophy
 
Hodge Ball
No player in college football had more tackles than UB linebacker Khalil Hodge over the last two seasons. Hodge totaled 277 tackles over the last two years, including a career-best 154 stops in 2017. It was the most tackles by a UB player in the program's FBS era (since 1999). Hodge ranked second in the nation in tackles in 2017.
 
Air Attack
Buffalo led the MAC in passing yards a season ago, averaging 290.8 yards per game. With its starting quarterback and top receivers returning, the Bulls should be able to air it out again in 2018.
The Bulls return nine of the 13 players who recorded a catch last season, including four of their top six receivers. Anthony Johnson (76/1,356), K.J. Osborn (35/493), Tyler Mabry (32/548) and Antonio Nunn (15/301) all return this season.  
 
Nine Bulls Named to Athlon Preseason All-MAC Team
Athlon Sports released its preseason All-Mid-American Conference football team and nine University at Buffalo players were named to the squad. The list was headlined by three first-team selections, wide receiver Anthony Johnson, tight end Tyler Mabry and linebacker Khalil Hodge.
 
Center James O'Hagan and defensive end Chuck Harris were named to the second team. 
 
The third team included quarterback Tyree Jackson and cornerback Cameron Lewis
 
Offensive lineman Evin Ksiezarczyk and running back Johnathan Hawkins (as an all-purpose player) were named to the fourth team.
 
Mitch Perfect
Kicker Adam Mitcheson enters his final season just four made field goals shy of the school record for career field goals made at UB. The senior kicker has made 40 field goals over his career. He is currently second all time, trailing A.J. Principe (07-10) who made 44 field goals over his career.
 
Mitcheson is also on pace to break the school record for career scoring. The Pittsburgh native currently fourth in career scoring with 218 points. Principe holds the school record with 265 career points.
 
Team Captains
This season, the Bulls will feature two season captains as well as two rotating game captains. Serving as season captains are senior center James O'Hagan and senior linebacker Khalil Hodge. Both O'Hagan, UB's fourth-year starting center,  and Hodge, UB's third-year starting middle linebacker, also served as team captains last season. 
 
Reed All About it
Emmanuel Reed had a breakout season for the Bulls in 2017 and looks to build on it this year. The junior running back rushed for 840 yards and nine touchdowns last season. Reed had five 100-yard games in 2017, including a 144-yard, three-touchdown performance against Kent State which earned him MAC East Player of the Week honors.  The Florida native was named to the preseason watch list for the Doak Walker Award, given to the top running back. 
 
Bulls Add Three Grad Transfers
Three graduate transfers from Power 5 programs joined the Bulls prior to the 2018 season. Wide receiver George Rushing, safety Ashton White and offensive lineman Trey Derouen all joined the squad.
 
Rushing came from Wisconsin where he played in 39 games and made one start. He recorded 18 receptions for 208 yards in his career. 
 
White came from Notre Dame. He played in six games in 2016 and had a pair of tackles.
 
Derouen transferred to Buffalo from South Carolina. He appeared in one game as a redshirt freshman in 2016. 
 
Rushing will have one year of eligibility, while White and Derouen will have two. 
 
It's All Relative
The UB football team features a pair of players related to two of the top five picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. Senior wide receiver Anthony Johnson is the cousin of top pick Jadeveon Clowney. Junior defensive end Ledarius Mack is the younger brother of former UB All-American and fifth pick Khalil Mack.
 
Murchie Family Fieldhouse Nears Completion
Thanks to a record gift by the Murchie family, the Murchie Family Fieldhouse is on schedule to open this spring. The 92,000-square-foot indoor practice facility will be situated just beyond the north end zone of UB Stadium on the university's North Campus. 
 
The multi-use facility will not only house a full-size football field, but will also feature 6,000 feet of rubber track for sprint practice as well as long/triple jump and pole vault pits. It will also have motorized suspended softball hitting tunnels. 
 
10-Year Anniversary of MAC Championship
The 2018 season marks the 10-year anniversary of the Bulls' 2008 MAC Championship - UB's first and only football conference title. After a 7-5 regular season, the Bulls stunned 12th-ranked Ball State, 42-24, in the title game. Buffalo went on to play Connecticut in the International Bowl - its first-ever bowl game. 
 
On The Airwaves
Again this season, University at Buffalo football can be heard locally on ESPN 1520, a 50,000-watt station with one of the strongest signals in the nation. The Bulls can also be heard on 1280 AM in Rochester.  
 
Calling all the play-by-play action of Bulls football for his 19th year, and 11th consecutive, will be Paul Peck. Scott Wilson is back for his second season as analyst. Brad Riter also returns as game host. 
 
Again this season, the UB Football postgame show will take place at Santora's on Millersport with host Bob Gaughan.