AU vs. Buff State Game Notes
Alfred University Saxons vs. Buffalo State Bengals
Saturday, Oct. 5, 1 p.m.
Yunevich Stadium, Alfred, NY
Last meeting: 2012, AU win, 40-17, at Buff State
Last week: AU: W, 34-28 (OT), at Brockport; Buff State, L, 24-20, vs. Ithaca
Saxons Offense: 29.3 points per game
Saxon Defense: 20.7 points per game
Bengal Offense: 29.0 points per game
Bengal Defense: 38.0 points per game
Players to watch: AU — Tyler Johnson, FR, QB; Tyler DeRosa, SR, TB; Austin Dwyer, SR, TB; Josh Phillips, SR, WR; Jonathan Ruffin, SR, WR; Justin Collen, SR, DE; Zach Bacon, FR, NG; Mike Perkins, JR, FS; Calvin Bain, SO, CB; Zach Brinkley, SO, DT; Corry Wallace, SO, MLB.
Buff State — Casey Kacz, SR, QB; Mike Doherty, JR, WR; Ryan Carney, JR, WR; Rich Pete, JR, TB; Brian Greene, SR, DE; Shaq Frederick, SO, LB, Chris Hall, SR, CB; Scott Koen, JR, SS; Mitchell Thomas, SO, FS.
Key matchups: Buff State’s balanced offense, which produces 385 yards of offense (232 passing, 153 rushing) against a Saxon defense that is allowing 312 yards per contest (174 passing, 138 rushing). Buff State’s offense put up gaudy numbers in its first two games (wins over Cortland and Brockport), racking up nearly 1,000 yards combined, but has come back down to earth in its last two, averaging 272 yards in losses to Wisconsin-Whitewater and Ithaca. The Saxon defense has played well against the run of late: after allowing 224 yards on the ground in a season-opening loss to RPI, AU has allowed an average of 94.5 yards rushing in its last two contests, both wins. In last weekend’s dramatic comeback from a 28-0 halftime deficit (a 34-28 OT win for Alfred), the Saxons allowed 387 yards to Brockport’s high-powered offense, but buckled down after intermission, allowing a combined 130 yards in the second half and overtime. Alfred’s front seven, anchored by sophomore tackle Zach Brinkley (27 tackles) and sophomore middle linebacker Corry Wallace (team-high 32 tackles, two INTs), will need to pressure and control Buff State quarterback Casey Kacz (925 yards passing), who is also an effective runner. A talented defensive backfield, led by sophomore cornerback Calvin Bain, intercepted three Brockport passes last week (one returned 70 yards for a TD by Bain) and will look for similar opportunities against Buff State…Alfred’s offense, which produces 356 yards (200 passing, 156 rushing) against a Buff State defense that allows 420 per game. Freshman AU quarterback Tyler Johnson gets his first start a week after coming in after halftime against Brockport and igniting the Saxons’ comeback. Johnson scored AU’s first points on a 74-yard TD run and finished with 134 yards rushing and a pair of scores. He also threw for 157 yards and a TD and will look to put up even better numbers against a Buff State defense that allows 318 yards passing per game. The Saxons’ ground game will contend with a Bengal defense -- led by senior end Brian Greene (six tackles for loss, three sacks) and sophomore linebacker Shaq Frederick (29 tackles, six for loss) -- that has been stingy against the run (102 yards rushing allowed per game). Alfred’s two senior tailbacks – Austin Dwyer and Tyler DeRosa (nearly 100 yards rushing per game between them) – are joined in the backfield by Chuck Beckwith. The senior fullback, Alfred’s leading rusher in 2012, missed the Week 2 game with Montclair and didn’t have a carry against Brockport. If AU can run effectively against Buff State, the Saxons could put up big offensive numbers.
Game Notes: Today’s game marks the 15th meeting between the Alfred University Saxons and Buffalo State Bengals, with the all-time series tied at seven wins apiece. The last time these two teams met, in 2012, Alfred claimed a 40-17 win at Buff State, which was ranked 17th in the nation at the time. The last time these teams met in Alfred, in 1994, the Bengals edged the Saxons, 22-21.
About the Bengals: Buff State is 2-2 following last weekend’s 24-20 loss to visiting Ithaca in the Bengals’ Empire 8 Conference opener. Buff State opened the season with wins over Cortland and Brockport before dropping games to Wisconsin-Whitewater and Ithaca.
The Bengals are producing 385 yards of offense per game (232 passing, 153 rushing). Senior quarterback Casey Kacz leads the Buff State offense, completing 74 of 120 passes for 925 yards, six TDs and three interceptions. He is also second on the team in rushing, with 200 yards on 41 carries and three touchdowns.
Junior wide receiver Mike Doherty has a team-best 26 catches for 450 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wideout Ryan Carney has 12 catches for 159 yards and a score and junior tailback Rich Pete has 15 receptions for 115 yards. Pete is also the Bengals’ leading rusher, with 267 yards on 45 carries and three touchdowns.
The Bengal defense allows 420 yards per game (318 passing, 102 rushing). Sophomore defensive back Mitchell Thomas has a team-high 36 tackles. Sophomore linebacker Shaq Frederick has 29 tackles (six for loss); senior end Brian Greene has 18 tackles (six for loss, team-best three sacks); junior strong safety Scott Koen has 22 tackles; and senior defensive back Chris Hall has an interception and two pass breakups.
Junior Alex Debbins has missed his lone field goal try and is 15 of 16 on PATs. Junior Joe Going averages 38.3 yards per punt. Doherty averages 20.2 yards per kick return and senior Sherman Nelson 4.8 yards on punt returns.
About the Saxons: AU is 2-1 after Saturday’s dramatic 34-28 win at Brockport in overtime. The Saxons rallied from a 28-0 halftime deficit to spoil the Golden Eagles’ Homecoming festivities. Today’s game is the Saxons’ Empire 8 opener, as AU has wins over Montclair and Brockport to go with a season-opening loss to RPI.
Freshman Tyler Johnson gets the start at quarterback today after spearheading the Saxons’ second-half comeback at Brockport. He started the Saxons’ scoring with a 74-yard TD run with 5:18 left in the third and later added another scoring run, from seven yards, to draw AU to within a score in the fourth. For the game, Johnson ran 15 times for 134 yards while completing 11 of 17 passes for 157 yards. His 21-yard TD pass to senior wideout Jonathan Ruffin on Alfred’s second play of overtime gave AU the win.
On the season, Alfred produces 356 yards of offense per game (200 passing, 156 rushing). Senior tailbacks Austin Dwyer (four running TDs) and Tyler DeRosa (one TD) have run for 178 and 116 yards, respectively. Senior wide receiver Josh Phillips has 15 catches for 259 yards and two TDs; Ruffin has five catches for 99 yards and a score; and junior backup tight end Isiah Young has six catches for 65 yards.
The Saxon defense allows 312 yards per game (174 passing, 138 rushing). Sophomore middle linebacker Corry Wallace has a team-best 32 tackles (one for loss). He shares the team lead in interceptions (two) with freshman nose guard Zack Bacon (seven tackles).
Sophomore tackle Zach Brinkley has 27 tackles; junior linebacker Justin Liberta has 15 (3.5 for loss, one sack); senior end Justin Collen has a team high two sacks; and sophomore cornerback Calvin Bain has 14 tackles, an interception (returned 70 yards for a TD vs. Brockport) and two pass breakups.
Freshman Ryan McDonnell gets his first start at kicker today. He is also the punter, averaging 35.7 yard per punt. Bain averages 28.5 yards on kickoff returns and Ruffin 6.2 yards on punt returns.
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