By Mark Gaughan
Here were three standout performers from the University at Buffalo controlled scrimmage on Saturday:
X Sophomore receiver Boise Ross, who caught four passes for 73 yards. He’s a starter who saw time with both the first and second units. He had a 53-yard catch-and-run from No. 2 QB Tony Daniel down the left sideline that went down to the 7-yard line.
“It was just an outside release,” Ross said. “They were running cover 2 so he threw it right in the hole of the zone. Great throw by Tony.”
X Junior receiver Marcus McGill, a 6-foot-1, 222-pounder from Rochester who caught five passes for 22 yards. One was a 10-yard TD catch from Licata on the two-minute drill. He used his bulk to bull over the goal line.
McGill missed the last 10 games of last season due to a broken hand. He’s going to see plenty of time as a third or fourth receiver.
“Being injured last year definitely took a toll on me,” McGill said. “I just wanted to come out here and show everybody I still can play and show my quarterback I’m ready for the season.”
“We need him to step up,” Quinn said. “He needs to keep his focus and build on what he’s capable of achieving. He’s a good player. Very strong.”
X Defensive end Brandon Crawford looked like a force against the run. He’s a 6-2, 275-pound true sophomore who was an all-state pick as a high schooler near Tallahassee, Fla.
Crawford stood up running back Anthone Taylor with a big pop at the line of scrimmage on the first play of the session and helped smother McGill for a 4-yard loss on a receiver screen.
The starting units got 29 snaps against each other, as did the second-stringers. The third stringers got 18 snaps. Starting QB Joe Licata was 10 of 18 for 74 yards.
UB’s offense walked away with a decent feeling due to a 65-yard drive for a touchdown in a two-minute drill.
Notes collected on each of the possessions:
1. First string. LB Jarrett Franklin had a pass breakup on third and 5 to force a 3-and-ou.
2. Second string. A three-and-out series. The second O-line was, left to right: Matt Murphy, Jason Bunk, Brandon Manosalvas, Todd Therrien, Tyler O'Henly and Albert McCoy. Brandon Manosalvas is the usual No. 2 center. I think he was sitting out today. Jordan Johnson was the No. 2 RB. Tony Daniel was the No. 2 QB, although Colin Michael took a few reps with the 2s.
The receivers rotated extensively, and Devin Campbell sat out due to a hard hit on Friday.
The WR pecking order at the moment looks like this: 1. Boise Ross. 2. Devon Hughes. 3. Devin Campbell, John Dunmore and Marcus McGill (each could be No. 3 in a given situation). 6. Ron Willoughby (although he's seeing snaps with the 2s and even had a few reps with the starters). 7. Jacob Martinez. 8. Malcolm Robinson. (Both Martinez and Robinson got some reps with the 2s.) 9. Jamarl Eiland.
The second string defense: DL-Kendall Roberson, Dalton Barksdale, Max Perisse; LB-Nick Gilbo, Greg Lis, Kyril Threats. DB-Dwellie Striggles, Brandon Williams, Andrews Dadeboe, Houston Glass. Numerous others rotated in too, such as DBs C.J. Stancil and Brandon Berry.
3. First string. Offense started at its own 2. Three and out.
4. Second string. Offense started at its own 2. . . . 24 net yards. Michael hit Ross for 7 yards and Robinson for 11.
5. Third string. Three and out with two sacks, one by Frederick Haynes.
The third-string defense the first time out included: DL-Haynes, Chris Ford, Demone Harris. LB-Will White, Solomon Jackson, Myles Nicholas. DBs-Ishmael Hargrove, Daniel Escobar, William Rembert, Keith Takeh, among others.
The third-string offense the first time out included: OL-Andy Fidler, Dan Collura, Skylar Hartley, Jason Bunk, Bill Galley. QB: Craig Slowik. RB: James Coleman. FB/TE-Colton Caldwell. WR-Patrick Zingler, Jordan Shay, Mikel DeMonte. Others rotated in.
6. Third string. Offense drives to 22 yard field gaol. Caldwell had a 20-yard catch.
7. First string, from midfield. Offense drives to the 13 but a 30-yard field goal try into the wind was wide left. A deep sideline pass from Licata to Willoughby drew a 15-yard pass interference penalty on Cortney Lester, who had good coverage and didn't need to interfere. Hughes caught a 9-yard hitch.
8. Second string. Three and out.
9. Third string, with Chris Merchant at QB. One first down, a sack by Hargrove and a punt.
10. First string, from the 25. Skinner makes a tackle on fourth-and-1.
11. Second string, from the 25. Drive to 24-yard field goal. Daniel had a 14-yard scramble.
12. Starters, two-minute drill: 65-yard drive to a TD, on a 10-yard pass from Licata to McGill.
13. Second string, two-minute drill: 62-yard drive that ended at the 3. Daniel hit Ross for 53 yards to the 7. Pressure from Lis and Travis Pitzonka forced a fourth-down incompletion.