AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — As the sun set Saturday at UB Stadium, the Bulls’ postseason outlook dimmed. A sixth win ensuring bowl eligibility was on the horizon. Then the blue sky began to darken, and yet another apparent UB victory turned into a mirage.

Blowing a two-touchdown lead late in the fourth quarter, UB lost 30-27 in overtime against Kent State. The Bulls (5-6) have now dropped three in a row since a five-game win streak put them within one victory of qualifying for a bowl game. And they have collapsed with big leads in the second half of the past two defeats.

Returning from a 17-day layoff and playing at home for the first time in five weeks, UB led 24-10 lead when Alex McNulty’s 33-yard field goal attempt hit the upright with 8:32 left in the fourth quarter. Kent State responded urgently with an 80-yard touchdown drive, then got the ball back in a flash and went 76 yards to tie the game with one minute left in regulation.

UB got a field goal from McNulty on its overtime possession before Tommy Ulatowski threw a 7-yard touchdown to Devontez Walker to win the game for Kent State (5-7). Marquez Cooper rushed for 140 yards and two touchdowns for the Golden Flashes. Ja’Shaun Poke also had a 10-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.

Matt Myers set career highs rushing for 109 yards and three touchdowns in the senior quarterback from West Seneca West’s first extended action of the season. Cole Snyder (Southwestern) was 20-of-28 passing for 165 yards in a stiff wind.

Shaun Dolac (West Seneca East) claimed a UB single-season record and continues leading the NCAA FBS with 86 solo tackles through 11 games. Dolac made 14 tackles (nine solo) against Kent State.

The Bulls get one more opportunity for a sixth victory on Friday when they wrap up the regular season against Akron (2-9). The game was rescheduled from Nov. 19 because of travel difficulties caused by the snowstorm in Western New York. Playing only five games at UB Stadium for the first time in 15 seasons, this will be the only time the Bulls are at home in consecutive weeks.

UB is seeking bowl eligibility for the fifth time in six seasons and seventh since returning to Division I in 1999. The Bulls won the Camellia Bowl in 2020 and the Bahamas Bowl in 2019. They lost the Dollar General Bowl in 2018, the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2013, and the International Bowl in 2008. The 2017 team was not invited to a bowl game after finishing with a 6-6 record.

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Jonah Bronstein joined the News 4 roster in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. Read more of his work here.