UB prepares to face defending MAC Champions

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Jaret Patterson ran for 137 yards against Northern Illinois. (Photo courtesy: UB Athletics)

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — University of Buffalo’s road doesn’t get easier in week two. They welcome the defending Mid-American Conference Champions next Tuesday when Miami-Ohio comes to UB Stadium. This meeting comes just six days after facing Northern Illinois, the team that won the MAC two years ago.

“Just because it’s a short season, the whole thing’s going to be important,” head coach Lance Leipold said.

With just six games in 2020, every matchup is crucial for UB, and they’ll find out a lot about themselves early on with the past two MAC champs on the schedule.

“A lot of times there’s sayings that you make big progress between games one and two,” Leipold said, “and after watching the film though very pleased with the victory and some of the things we had. We have a lot to clean up and improve upon to play a team like Miami.”

Running back Jaret Patterson could be a big key to this game. Last week, the RedHawks allowed 130 yards and two touchdowns from Ball State running back Caleb Huntley. In last year’s meeting, Patterson ran for 183 yards and a touchdown in the Bulls’ loss to Miami, so there could be a weakness to the ground game in the RedHawk defense.

Defensively, UB is tasked with stopping receiver Jack Sorenson, who led the RedHawks in receiving yards each of the past two seasons. Sorenson also had 139 yards last week against Ball State.

“He’s one of those guys you’ve got to contain,” Leipold said. “Excellent route runner, very disciplined. You can see he’s got great timing with his quarterbacks. Fundamentally he’s very sound in the techniques of his routes. Great hands, very confident player, so you’ve got to kind of mix things up and make sure you’re ready to give our corners some help.”

Leipold mentioned mixing up the coverages and the difficulty of keeping Sorenson from being a big threat. He also said there’s more to Miami than just one receiver.

“Their whole offensive scheme has always been very impressive to me and how they go about it,” Leipold said. “They’re well-coached. [Head coach] Chuck Martin is an excellent football coach and he’s kept a majority of his staff for a very long time and that has helped them build that program into the consistent program that it’s become.”

Leipold is 2-3 in his career against Miami with wins in 2018 and 2015. That 2018 victory also came at UB Stadium. Buffalo is 7-15 all-time against the RedHawks.

Kickoff is scheduled for Tuesday, November 10th at 8 p.m.

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