UB re-writes (some of) the record books in spanking of Akron
blog by Dan Ludwig • November 19, 2011 @ 5:18pm
With 29 underclassmen on his depth chart, University of Akron head coach Rob Ianello may have expected that his squad would have a trying season. But Akron’s win-less record in MAC play must disappoint even the most optimistic Zips supporter. On Saturday, the frustration continued for Akron as the Bulls welcomed the team from Ohio into UB Stadium. In a game that was never close, UB walked away with a 51-10 demolition.
Sophomore running back and return man Brandon Murie set the tone for the game when he took the opening kickoff 93 yards to the Akron one-yard line. When Branden Oliver dove across the goal line on the next play, the rout was on—and the Bulls’ workhorse was just getting started.
In fact, the Bulls’ win was marked by a record-setting day from Oliver. In just over three quarters of action, Oliver notched 235 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries. The 235-yard performance by Oliver broke the Bulls’ single-game rushing record—a record that James Starks set when he rushed for 231 yards in a 2007 game against Toledo. With 1,267 rushing yards on the season, Oliver needs only 67 more yards to break Starks’ single season rushing record (1333 yards, 2008).
UB head coach Jeff Quinn talked about the effect that Oliver had on the Bulls, explaining, “[Branden] inspires us. Every time you call his number and he has the ball in his hands, you never know what’s going to happen.”
Another bright spot for the Bulls was the performance of sophomore Fred Lee. The wide receiver had six receptions during the game, two of which went for touchdowns. Lee’s second TD grab was a highlight reel catch: on a poorly thrown ball from quarterback Chazz Anderson, Lee had to adjust his body and get the ball at its highest point, while still being careful to not go through the body of the Akron defender, who had better position on the play.
“I saw [Chazz] throw it up and said ‘There ain’t know way I’m not coming down with this one,’ ” said Lee of his remarkable grab (double negatives be damned).
The 51-point outburst stands as the most points scored by UB since Oct. 31, 1992 when the Bulls’ played Central Connecticut State. The loss moved Akron to 1-10 and kept them win-less in seven MAC match-ups while the Bulls moved to 3-8 overall and 2-5 in the MAC. On Nov. 25, UB will look to continue its recent offensive surge as the Bowling Green Falcons come to town for a noon kickoff.