BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – They didn’t need a second-half comeback or any last-minute heroics on Saturday. UB just thoroughly handled the Akron Zips on the road to snag their second straight MAC victory, 45-10.
“From what we demanded of the team in terms of playing 60 minutes of football, they really came close to that,” head coach Mo Linguist said. “I really feel like we are just ascending and improving into the right part of this season right now.”
Their defense played well, but Kyler Laing stood out as the top player. The junior broke the school’s single-game sack record. He got to the quarterback for 3.5 sacks on the afternoon, something even NFL talents like Kahlil Mack and Malcolm Koonce didn’t accomplish in their time at UB.
“I’m just very humble,” Laing said. “It’s a blessing. It’s all God. Without my brothers on the D line, I couldn’t do it. Without the corners in the back end covering their behind off, I couldn’t have done it.”
“We have some pretty good pass rushers like Khalil Mack that have come through here,” Linguist said. “I love Khalil Mack to death and to be mentioned in the same breath as him, it talks about the level of ascension some of these guys are making.”
The Bulls offense scored on seven straight possessions in the first three quarters, starting with Alex McNulty’s field goal late in the first and ending with a touchdown drive in the third where Kyle Vantrease connected with Dylan McDuffie, making it 45-10.
“The team, we knew we had to come out fast,” wide receiver Jamari Gassett said. “We knew we had to come out with a sense of urgency.”
Vantrease had arguably his best game of the season. The senior threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns. He also rushed for a TD.
“I’m just so proud of him because you’ve really seen the ascension,” Linguist said. “Kyle‘s been the guy leading the offense under center of the entire way and we really felt like heading into this week that the challenge was to play 60 minutes. We put that challenge on Kyle and really to everybody and he responded in a big way and really proud of him.”
Dylan McDuffie also performed well with another 100-yard game on the ground. He finished the night with 111 rushing yards and a touchdown. Linguist said his recent success has come from the effort put in throughout the week.
“He’s doing the extra work,” Linguist said. “He is putting in the time necessary and he is preparing himself to play major roles every single week and you just see him continue to grow, grow and grow throughout the course of this season. I’m just really proud of where he is right now.”
The Bulls move to 4-4 on the season and 2-2 in conference play. They face Bowling Green next week at home. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday at noon.
Paul Stockman is a sports reporter who joined the News 4 team in 2020. See more of his work here.