AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — For the second consecutive season, University at Buffalo’s football team lost its home opener against an opponent from the lower-division Football Championship Subdivision.
Fordham won 40-37 on Saturday night at UB Stadium, coming back from down 21-3 early in the second quarter against Buffalo team that was favored by more than three touchdowns. The Rams, who out-gained the Bulls 459 yards to 362, were picked second in the preseason poll of Patriot League coaches behind Holy Cross, the nationally-ranked FCS team that won 37-31 on a Hail Mary pass at UB Stadium a year ago.
UB kicker Alex McNulty missed a 54-yard field goal attempt to tie the game with 34 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. McNulty, a graduate student who was Mid-American Conference special teams player of the year last season, became UB’s all-time all-time leading scorer on the fourth of his five point-after tries giving him 320 career points.
UB quarterback Cole Snyder (Southwestern) was 24 of 30 passing for 265 yards and three touchdowns without a turnover. His second scoring pass to Marlyn Johnson (seven receptions, 105 yards) gave UB a 37-33 lead with 8:03 remaining in the fourth quarter.
C.J. Montes out-dueled Snyder, completing 23 of 26 passes for 309 yards and five touchdowns, while rushing for another 40 yards. Mekai Felton caught two touchdowns, and MJ Wright had 159 yards on seven receptions, capped by his 15-yard TD catch putting the Rams ahead for good with 5:31 remaining. Julius Loughridge rushed for 106 yards and caught a nine-yard touchdown that gave Fordham its first lead, 26-21, midway through the third quarter.
The Bulls gained some momentum after the Rams had scored 23 straight points when Caleb Offord blocked an extra point and Clevester Hines returned it for two points.
UB’s fortunates turned midway through the second quarter when it squandered a long kickoff return and turned the all over on downs in a goal-to-go situation. The Rams drove 99 yards for a touchdown that made it 21-17, and added a field goal after the Bulls went three-and-out to make it a one-point game just before halftime.
The flow of events was similar to UB’s game against Holy Cross in 2022, when the Bulls led 21-7 late in the second quarter before getting out-scored 30-10 after that. Fordham on Saturday night out-scored UB 30-9 over a 30-minute span in the middle of the game.
After opening the season on the road against ranked Wisconsin with a 38-17 loss, UB (0-2) hosts Liberty (2-0) at noon Saturday.
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.