A 33-yard Jeremy Ito field goal and a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Hart to Shawn Tucker during the third quarter proved to be the difference, as Rutgers relied on its running game in the second half to grind out yards on each of its drives.
Hart hit tight end Sam Johnson with an 11-yard touchdown pass to open the scoring, putting Rutgers on the board with 5:48 left in the first quarter to complete a 73-yard scoring drive. The drive was fueled by a 42-yard run from Leonard on the second play, which moved Rutgers to the Buffalo 31-yard line and a 22-yard catch by Shawn Tucker which moved the Scarlet Knights to the 12-yard line. Following a one-yard run by Leonard, Hart found Johnson in the back of the end zone for the game’s first score.
The Scarlet Knights and Bulls then exchanged possessions for the remainder of the first half, with neither team able to find the end zone.
Buffalo opened the third-quarter scoring with a field goal to cut the lead to 7-3, scoring its first points of the season, but Rutgers responded with 10 unanswered points to seal the win.
“We went on the road and found a way to win,” said head coach Greg Schiano. “I thought it was generally a sloppy game, but we needed to find a way to win and we did that.”
The Scarlet Knights rolled up 288 yards of total offense (138 rushing, 150 passing), with Hart completing 13-of-27 passes for 143 yards and two scores, playing turnover-free football for the fourth-straight game. Freshman Mike Teel completed one pass for seven yards and was picked off in the end zone to end the first half as Rutgers tried to strike as time expired. Leonard’s 121 yards came on 24 carries (5.0 avg.) while Shawn Tucker caught three passes for 48 yards to lead the receivers.
Rutgers is off next weekend, the first of two byes for the Scarlet Knights, and returns to action on Friday, September 30, when it hosts Pittsburgh (0-3) in a nationally-televised game (ESPN2) at Rutgers Stadium.
HART TOSSES TWO MORE TDS
Senior QB Ryan Hart tossed two TDs vs. Buffalo and now has 39 career TD passes, which is two shy of Scott Erney (1986-89) and Mike McMahon (1997-2000) who threw for 41 TDs. Ray Lucas (1992-95) is the RU career leader with 43 career TD passes.
HART OVER 7,000 YARDS
Senior QB Ryan Hart became just the second quarterback in Rutgers history to eclipse the 7,000-yard mark. Hart was 13-of-26 for 143 yards vs. Buffalo, leaving him 82 yards shy of the Scott Erney (1986-89), who passed for 7,188 yards in his RU career.
Scott Erney (1986-89) 7,188
Ryan Hart (2002 -) 7,106
LEONARD BREAKS 100-YARD MARK
Junior FB Brian Leonard eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the sixth time in his career and the second time this season (128 yards vs. Illinois, 9/3).
LEONARD EXTENDS RECEPTION STREAK TO 25
Junior FB Brian Leonard’s 7-yard, first quarter reception extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 25. The streak tied former Miami TE Kellen Winslow for 9th place all-time in BIG EAST history. Khori Ivy of West Virginia holds the all-time BIG EAST record with receptions in 40 consecutive games.
MOSES EXTENDS RECEPTION STREAK TO 25
Senior WR Tres Moses’ 7-yard, third quarter reception extended his streak of consecutive games with a reception to 25. The streak tied former Miami TE Kellen Winslow for 9th place all-time in BIG EAST history. Khori Ivy of West Virginia holds the all-time BIG EAST record with receptions in 40 consecutive games.
GILMARTIN MAKES FIRST START
Redshirt freshman Mike Gilmartin made the first start of his career vs. Buffalo. Gilmartin started at right guard in place of John Glass, who was serving a one-game suspension for violation of team policy.
ONE TURNOVER IN THREE GAMES
Rutgers, which played turnover-free football in each of its first two games this season, committed its first of the 2005 season when redshirt freshman QB Mike Teel’s Hail Mary pass on the final play of the first half was intercepted by Buffalo defensive back Jesse Imes. In three games, Rutgers has committed just 1 turnover.
JOHNSON THIRD CAREER TD
Junior TE Sam Johnson hauled in his third career TD pass with his 10-yard TD reception vs. Buffalo. Johnson also caught TD passes vs. Michigan State (9/6/03), and New Hampshire (9/11/04).
RICE FIRST CAREER RECEPTION
Freshman RB Ray Rice snared his first career reception in the first quarter vs. Buffalo, a 7-yard grab.
Fast Facts…Rutgers now owns a 4-1 record all-time vs. Buffalo…Rutgers now has an all-time mark of 7-2-1 vs. teams in the Mid-American Conference (MAC).
Box Score (Final) Rutgers vs Buffalo (Sep 17, 2005 at Buffalo, NY) Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Score ----------------- -- -- -- -- ----- Rutgers............. 7 0 10 0 - 17 Record: (2-1) Buffalo............. 0 0 3 0 - 3 Record: (0-3) Scoring Summary: 1st 05:49 RUTGERS - JOHNSON, Sam 10 yd pass from HART, Ryan (ITO, Jeremy kick), 7-73 2:19, RUTGERS 7 - UB 0 3rd 06:53 UB - BAKER, Michael 33 yd field goal, 14-55 5:55, RUTGERS 7 - UB 3 03:53 RUTGERS - ITO, Jeremy 33 yd field goal, 10-53 2:54, RUTGERS 10 - UB 3 00:38 RUTGERS - TUCKER, Shawn 14 yd pass from HART, Ryan ( ITO, Jeremy kick), 6-51 1:34, RUTGERS 17 - UB 3 RUTGERS UB FIRST DOWNS................... 13 21 RUSHES-YARDS (NET)............ 32-138 44-121 PASSING YDS (NET)............. 150 228 Passes Att-Comp-Int........... 29-14-1 41-25-0 TOTAL OFFENSE PLAYS-YARDS..... 61-288 85-349 Fumble Returns-Yards.......... 0-0 0-0 Punt Returns-Yards............ 3-14 6-13 Kickoff Returns-Yards......... 2-48 2-46 Interception Returns-Yards.... 0-0 1-53 Punts (Number-Avg)............ 9-41.8 7-37.4 Fumbles-Lost.................. 1-0 2-0 Penalties-Yards............... 10-74 6-58 Possession Time............... 23:58 36:02 Third-Down Conversions........ 5 of 15 7 of 20 Fourth-Down Conversions....... 0 of 0 1 of 5 Red-Zone Scores-Chances....... 3-3 1-4 Sacks By: Number-Yards........ 4-13 0-0 RUSHING: Rutgers-LEONARD, Brian 24-121; RICE, Ray 5-11; FOSTER, Willie 1-7; HART, Ryan 1-0; TEAM 1-minus 1. Buffalo-KING, Steven 13-60; SAMPSEL, Stewar 11-44; PATTERSON, Jare 13-12; DAWSON, Dave 2-4; WILLY, Drew 4-2; WALLACE, Evan 1-minus 1. PASSING: Rutgers-HART, Ryan 13-27-0-143; TEEL, Mike 1-2-1-7. Buffalo-SAMPSEL, Stewar 15-26-0-140; WILLY, Drew 10-15-0-88. RECEIVING: Rutgers-TUCKER, Shawn 3-48; LEONARD, Brian 3-25; MOSES, Tres 2-26; JOHNSON, Sam 2-24; HARRIS, Clark 2-14; RICE, Ray 1-7; DANIELS, Marcus 1-6. Buffalo-HAMLIN, Brett 6-56; WALLACE, Evan 5-63; DYER, Derrick 5-56; UPSHAW, Chad 5-48; LARMOND, DeSean 2-13; KING, Steven 1-minus 2; PATTERSON, Jare 1-minus 6. INTERCEPTIONS: Rutgers-None. Buffalo-IMES, Jesse 1-53. FUMBLES: Rutgers-FOSTER, Willie 1-0. Buffalo-IMES, Jesse 1-0; SAMPSEL, Stewar 1-0. Stadium: UB Stadium Attendance: 17620 Kickoff time: 8 pm End of Game: 11:36pm Total elapsed time: 3:36 Officials: Referee: Thomas Tomczyk; Umpire: Paul H King Jr; Linesman: J Griesser; Line judge: Wayne Mackie; Back judge: Ronald Boyd; Field judge: Dyrol Prioleau; Side judge: Bruce Williams; Temperature: 67 Wind: Light Weather: Partly Cloudy