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Oliver special in UB’s rout of Morgan State

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Just about everyone was satisfied with Branden “Bo” Oliver’s 238-yard rushing masterpiece, a Division I-A school-record for the University at Buffalo Bulls.

Except for Oliver’s father, Edwin Oliver Jr., who attended the game and spoke with his son after.

“He liked it,” Branden Oliver admitted, “but he said, ‘If we didn’t have all those penalties, you would have gotten to 300 [yards]!” Mimicking his father—Bo’s coach as a youth—in a high-pitched voice, the star junior tailback earned chuckles from his teammates after a 56-34 romping over FCS school Morgan State.

Although Oliver didn’t break a long touchdown run, he made no mistake in goal-line plunges from one yard and three yards in the first half. With 145 yards at halftime and 238 with 58 seconds left in the third quarter, Oliver had the overall school record of 266 yards in his sights, but the starting tailback made way for reserves James Potts and Brandon Murie for the final quarter of the blowout.

Oliver narrowly broke his own school-record of 235 yards that he set against Akron late last season. Bo toted the ball 29 times against Akron, but he only needed 25 tonight to break his mark.

“I didn’t think I was close [to breaking my record] because of all the penalties!” he admitted. “My dad told me when I ran up to him, but I didn’t know myself.”

Four of Oliver’s runs were called back because of holding, preventing him from adding 88 yards to his total and denying Oliver the overall school record of 266 set by Alan Bell in 1991. With 12 penalties overall that cost the team 117 yards, Bulls’ head coach Jeff Quinn said “too many dog-gone yellow flags though” in the presser.

Despite the holding penalties, Quinn gushed about the effort of his blockers.

“I couldn’t be more proud of GO [Gokhan Ozkan], Graham Whinery, Trevor Sales, Jasen Carlson and Andre Davis, our tight ends, and our fullback Boomer Brock,” Quinn said. “[Brock] had some big time plays—blocking plays—that really opened the holes for Bo.”

The holes were certainly gaping, but Oliver’s shiftiness and power at the second level were humiliating for would-be Bear tacklers. Up to 205 pounds without losing substantial quickness, Oliver’s effort was truly a magical display.

Early in the second half, Oliver made Morgan State strong safety Darien Irby miss so badly that the Bears’ defender wound up colliding with another Bulls player five yards away. There were countless other instances where Oliver would be wrapped up by a Bear, then dragged the defender another five yards. It was that kind of night for head coach Donald Hill-Eley’s defense, which conceded 571 total yards in under 20 minutes of possession for UB.

The Bulls return to action for a 7 p.m. tilt Sept. 19 against Kent State at UB Stadium. Buffalo’s record stands at 1-1.

For more analysis of Saturday night’s win, check back on Monday for a UB update.

(Header photo courtesy of Don Nieman)

TAGGED: branden oliver, edwin oliver jr., jeff quinn, morgan state bears, ub bulls, university at buffalo

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