Buffalo 56, Morgan State 34

Rodney McKissic, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchangeSeptember 9, 2012


BUFFALO -- The offensive firm of Zordich, Neutz and Oliver has the potential to be quite profitable for Buffalo.
In arguably the most potent offensive display in the three-year Jeff Quinn era, Buffalo piled up 571 yards of offense in its 56-34 victory over FCS Morgan State on Saturday at UB Stadium.
Alex Zordich, Alex Neutz and Branden Oliver all enjoyed career nights for Buffalo. Zordich, a junior quarterback, finished with a career-high 237 yards on 16-of-21 passing, four touchdowns and one interception. Meanwhile, Neutz, a junior, set a school record with 154 yards receiving and four touchdowns on eight receptions.
Not to be left out in the offensive onslaught was Oliver, who rushed for 238 yards and two touchdowns despite having two runs totaling 69 yards negated because of penalties.
It was the most points scored by Buffalo since the Bulls defeated Central Connecticut State 60-21 in 1992.
The Bulls (1-1) talked openly about winning the Mid-American Conference after an impressive showing at Georgia last week, and they carried that momentum into the home opener.
Morgan State, playing its first of four consecutive road games, also had a bit of energy coming into the game after downing Sacred Heart last week in four overtimes. The Bears (1-1) were better than anticipated offensively, but they couldn't muzzle the Bulls offense, a unit that appears vastly improved from the inconsistent group of the last two seasons.
Zordich hooked up with Neutz five times for 79 yards in the first half, including two second-quarter touchdowns. Zordich, who opened the season as the starting quarterback for the first time in his career, was 10-for-10 for 158 yards and three TDs in the opening half.
The Bulls scored their first touchdown out of the Wildcat on a 1-yard run by Oliver. The junior tailback scored on a 2-yard run last week against Georgia.
Oliver rushed for 92 yards on 10 carries in the first quarter and had 145 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns by halftime.
Morgan State senior tailback Travis Davidson rushed for 108 yards in the first half, including a 38-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Last week against Georgia, the Bulls allowed 227 yards rushing for an average of 5.8 yards a carry.
Morgan State's offense started to move with more efficiency when the Bears switched quarterbacks. Seth Higgins started the game and was just 1-for-2 for 4 yards and was sacked four times. Morgan State coach Donald Hill-Eley eventually lifted Higgins for Robert Council, who was 4-for-5 for 46 yards and 14 yards rushing before halftime.
Council also engineered the Bears first touchdown drive, which culminated in Davidson's 38-yard run, cutting Buffalo's lead to 21-13.
Junior linebacker Khalil Mack, who missed Buffalo's season opener at Georgia while serving a one-game suspension, returned to the lineup and made an impact immediately with five tackles -- four solo -- and 1.5 sacks in the first quarter alone. He finished with eight tackles.
NOTES: Jimmy Gordon's 18-yard TD reception from Zordich in the first quarter was the first score of his career. ... Buffalo is 5-2 in its last seven home openers. ... Buffalo and Morgan State have met twice before when the Bulls were in the Football Championship Subdivision. The Bears defeated the Bulls 45-27 in 1992, and Buffalo beat Morgan State 35-17 in 1998.