Rockets Fall to Buffalo, 31-17

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Toledo could not hold on to its halftime lead in a 31-17 loss to Buffalo in the Glass Bowl on Saturday. The Rockets led at the break, 17-7, but were outscored by the Bulls 24-0 in the final 30 minutes.

Toledo's defense kept it in the game, but the Rockets eventually surrendered 24 points in the second half. UT set season highs with three interceptions and five sacks, but penalties and field position proved too much in the end. Buffalo outgained the Rockets in total yards, 463-295, and racked up 32 first downs to just eight for UT. Junior linebacker Jordan Fisher led the Rockets with a career-best 12 tackles. Seniors Josh Teachey and Ka'dar Hollman each broke up three passes. Junior Willie Ross was credited with 2.5 sacks.

Sophomore quarterback Eli Peters was 5-of-17 for 128 yards and one TD in relief of starter Mitch Guadagni. His big play was an 80-yard TD to junior Diontae Johnson. Redshirt freshman Bryant Koback led the rushing attack with 81 yards, 70 of it coming on a first-quarter TD run. Buffalo was led by junior quarterback Tyree Jackson, who completed 25-of-46 passes for 326 yards and two scores.

First Quarter

Defenses dominated the first 15 minutes of play, with each team coming up with an interception. The Rockets broke through on a big play, though, a 70-yard touchdown run up the middle by Koback with 4:54 left in the period. Toledo had an interception by freshman defensive end Jamal Hines that was set up by a big hit on the QB from junior linebacker Jordan Fisher. Late in the quarter, UT stopped the Bulls on fourth-and-1 from the UB 44.

Second Quarter

Buffalo tied it up, 7-7, on a 34-yard pass from Tyree Jackson to Anthony Johnson with 10:37 left in the half. After a Bailey Flint punt pinned the Bulls at their own five-yard line, sophomore Justin Clark came up with an interception on the UB 45-yard line. The Rockets cashed in with a 38-yard field goal by Jameson Vest with 6:38 left in the half. Toledo increased its lead to 17-7 on an 80-yard TD pass from Peters to Diontae Johnson with 3:22 left in the period.

Third Quarter

On its opening drive of the half, Buffalo trimmed the lead to 17-10 on a 40-yard field goal by Adam Mitcheson. Later in the quarter, Jackson hit Johnson again, this time for a 32-yard strike that tied the score, 17-17. The Bulls had a chance to take the lead, but their 32-yard field-goal attempt on the final play of the quarter was pushed wide left.

Fourth Quarter

Buffalo took its first lead of the day, 24-17, on a six-yard rushing TD by Jaret Patterson. The drive started on the UT 30-yard line and was set up by a Bulls' interception. After a pair of three-and-outs by Toledo, Buffalo sealed the victory with a 25-yard TD run by Patterson with 2:49 left. UT's final drive ended with the Rockets giving the ball up on downs.

Up Next

The Rockets have just four days to prepare for their next game, a Thursday night matchup at Western Michigan.