By KERRY PATRICK
ATHENS, Ohio - If quarterbacking does not pan out for Ohio University's Boo Jackson, playing receiver could be in his future.
Photo courtesy of Ohio University
Ohio University’s Terrence McCrae catches a touchdown pass against Buffalo. Terrence caught two TD passes in the Bobcats’ 34-17 win.
Thursday night at Peden Stadium, Jackson not only threw for two touchdowns and ran for one, but also caught a touchdown pass to help lead the Bobcats past Buffalo 34-17.
Jackson finished the night completing 13-of-19 passes for 175 yards.
"Boo displayed his talent in a lot of ways out there tonight," Ohio coach Frank Solich said. "He caught the pass where he had to battle for that. He had to go up and catch it at its highest point. There are full-time receivers who don't make that catch all the time."
Ohio 34, Buffalo 17
Buffalo 0 7 3 7 17
Ohio 14 7 6 7 34
O: Boo Jackson 1 run (Matt Weller kick), 10:48, 1st
O: Jackson 26 pass from Bates (Weller kick), 3:04, 1st
O: Ryan Boykin 1 run (Weller kick), 7:17, 2nd
B: Barcus Rivers 17 pass from Alex Zordich (A.J. Principe kick), 3:06, 2nd
O: Terrence McCrae 15 pass from Jackson (kick failed), 10:15, 3rd
B: Principe 34 field goal, 6:03, 3rd
B: Zordich 6 run (Principe kick), 12:10, 4th
O: McCrae 15 pass from Jackson (Weller kick), 5:18, 4th
Buffalo: First downs: 16. Rushes-yards: 35-124. Passing yards: 84. Total yards: 208. Passing: 8-27-2. Penalties-yards: 5-58. Fumbles-lost: 2-1. Punts: 4-44.8
Ohio: First downs: 24. Rushes-yards: 46-185. Passing yards: 201. Total yards: 386. Passing: 14-21-1. Penalties-yards: 11-91. Fumbles-lost: 1-1. Punts: 3-31.3
Buffalo: Rushing: Alex Zordich 20-59, Ike Nduka 5-32, Branden Oliver 6-27. Passing: Zordich 8-26-2, 84 yards. Receiving: Terrel Jackson 4-23, Branden Oliver 2-27.
Ohio: Rushing: Donte Harden 8-58, Phil Bates 9-41, Vince Davidson 11-38, Boo Jackson 7-26, Ryan Boykin 10-21. Passing: Jackson 13-19-1, 175 yards; Phil Bates 1-2-0, 26 yards. Receiving: Terrence McCrae 4-48, Jordan Thompson 3-49.
Ohio improved to 7-3 and 5-1 in the Mid-American Conference and for the time being took over sole possession of first place in the East Division.
The Bobcats will take their six-game winning streak and rest during its upcoming bye week before resuming again Nov. 16 at Temple. Buffalo drops to 2-7 and 1-4.
Last night was also emotional for the group of seniors who played their final home game as a Bobcat.
"It's been a great group of seniors," Solich said. "They came into this program when we were trying to earn any kind of wins we could get, and just trying to just build a program. They came here believing in us that we were going to be able to get it done.
"They hung in there with us. They are the guys who have gotten this to where it is at right now, and that's put winning seasons together consistently. They have taken huge steps for this program in their time here."
Thanks to two Buffalo turnovers, Ohio jumped out to a 21-0 lead.
On the game's opening drive, Jackson completed an eight-play, 60-yard drive by scoring on the quarterback keeper from a yard out.
Buffalo pushed into Ohio territory before placekicker John Rachuna sent a 49-yard field goal attempt wide right.
On the ensuing drive, Ohio answered with another Jackson touchdown this one of the receiving variety. With Phil Bates lined up as the slot receiver, Jackson took the snap and pitched to Bates, who faked the run and lofted the pass toward the pylon to Jackson for the 26-yard TD catch.
Matt Weller's second point after put the Bobcats in front 14-0 with 3:04 still remaining in the first quarter.
Later in the period, Buffalo again penetrated Ohio's side of midfield. With the ball sitting first-and-10 from the 38, Alex Zordich dropped back but hit Ohio linebacker Alphonso Lewis right in the numbers for the interception.
The Bobcats took advantage and meticulously marched downfield, taking just over seven minutes off the clock as Ryan Boykin punched it in from the 1-yard line on third-and-goal.
Buffalo showed a glimmer of hope on the next series. Zordich found Marcus Rivers in the end zone for a 17-yard TD reception. The extra point cut the deficit to 21-7 at the 3:06 mark of the second quarter.
Ohio increased the lead to 27-7 on its first offensive drive of the second half. On a fade route, Terrence McRae caught a 15-yard TD reception from Jackson.
The duo would hook up again for the game's final score at the 5:18 mark of the fourth quarter.