Chazz Anderson had a big day for UB in their loss.
After missing the would-be game-tying extra-point with just 14 seconds remaining Saturday, University at Buffalo kicker Peter Fardon needed the support of his teammates more than ever. And that’s exactly what he got.
It would have been easy to cast Fardon, a 29-year-old senior from Brisbane, Australia, as the goat. The Bulls scored three fourth-quarter touchdowns to claw within a point of evening the score with the Northern Illinois Huskies. Fardon sent the point about two feet left of the uprights.
“No one blames Pete on the team,” said wide receiver Alex Neutz. “I don’t expect him to blame himself. In that case, the offense should have scored 38 points and the defense should have stopped 24 points. At that point, we don’t blame Pete at all. We will back him up no matter what.”
“I have all the confidence in the world in Peter,” said quarterback Chazz Anderson. “What we need to do as a team is encourage Peter and just gather around him to bring him back up.”
Fardon was not a happy camper. Asked to repeat what he was going through his head while walking off the field, he said, “I probably can’t repeat what I was thinking.”
“Really disappointed that I let my teammates, coaches and fans down,” Fardon said. “I have a job to do and I didn’t do it. It’s inexcusable and it is just something I am going to have to live with now.”
With the loss, the Bulls fall to 2-6, 1-3. Despite the tough loss and losing record, optimism lingers in the locker room.
“We know we are better than two and six,” Neutz said. “We realize there are games we should have won and there are four games left in the season, so we have a chance to go six and six. Going .500 is a great season. No one is getting down and we are going to get through this weekend and come back on Monday to look at film and get ready for next week.”
Anderson’s effort against Northern Illinois was good enough for Mid-American Conference East Division Player of the Week.
He produced 460 yards of total offense to go along with three passing touchdowns and another rushing. His 35 completions set a school-record and the 406 passing yards are the most by a Bulls quarterback since joining the MAC in 1999.
Anderson’s rushing touchdown is his fourth of the year – a new single-season high by a Bulls quarterback.
“I have four games left in my football career,” said Anderson, playing in his final year of eligibility. “I am hoping the senior group can take on that attitude. Every play matters. Every practice matters. The classroom matters. We have to be willing to give it all.”
The Bulls have produced more than 500 yards of total offense two of the last three weeks, including 572 Saturday. Before this season, the program had only gone north of 500 yards three times in its history.
Defensive end Steven Means left Saturday’s game on his own two feet after a third-quarter injury.
“He got shook up,” Quinn said of Means’ injury. “Got hit in the head and felt it was a little bit more in the middle of the back than it was in the neck.”
X-rays reportedly came back negative, but his status remains uncertain for this week’s game.
Next up for the Bulls is a 3:30 p.m. tilt this coming Saturday with the Miami RedHawks in Oxford, Ohio. The game will air locally on Time Warner Cable Sports.
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