The 6-1 Buffalo Bulls traveled to the Glass Bowl seeking their first win there in program history.
Both offenses started the contest stagnant. UT quarterback Mitchell Guadagni threw an interception on his first pass attempt of the game, an interception that ended what was a good first drive for the Rockets.
The Bulls were able to start moving the ball on their second drive and found themselves deep in Rocket territory looking to strike. Instead, it was number 2 of the Rockets, Jordan Fisher, who struck.
Fisher got a clean hit on Buffalo quarterback Tyree Jackson, forcing an errant pass and subsequent interception by Rocket defensive lineman Jamal Hines.
The Rockets wasted little time capitalizing. On a third and four, running back Bryant Koback exploded through the middle of the line, untouched, for a 70-yard rushing touchdown to vault the Rockets ahead, 7-0.
In the second quarter, Jackson connected on a 34-yard touchdown strike with receiver Anthony Johnson on a third and long, tying the game 7-7.
On the next drive, Jackson threw a deep ball almost 40 yards that was picked off by defensive back Justin Clark of the Rockets.
The Rockets capitalized in the form of a 38-yard Jameson Vest field goal, to put them back up, 10-7. The offense was led by quarterback Eli Peters after Guadagni was benched.
Shortly after, Buffalo kicker Adam Mitcheson missed wide on a field goal.
The next drive, Peters tossed a rainbow toward the Rocket sideline that fell perfectly in the hands of wide receiver Diontae Johnson who took it to the house, for an 80-yard touchdown, giving the Rockets a 17-7 lead, a lead that would hold going into the half.
The second half began with a Mitcheson field goal, cutting the Rocket lead to 17-10.
In the fourth quarter, Jackson connected with Johnson, this time for 32 yards. This would tie the game at 17.
Mitcheson again would miss wide, keeping the game tied going into the fourth.
On the ensuing drive for the Rockets, an interception by Eli Peters set the Bulls up in prime scoring position. Jare Patterson ran it in from six yards out after to give Buffalo their first lead of the game at 24-17.
Buffalo would extend their lead to 31-17 off of another Patterson TD.
“The stat that’s going to really blow off the stat sheet at you is one for 12 on third down,” head coach Jason Candle said after the game. “We had our chances.”
The Rockets travel to Kalamazoo to battle MAC west rival Western Michigan on Thursday, Oct. 25.