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Hodge's interception helps Buffalo hold off Ohio, 31-24

Jackson, Johnson hook up for 2 TDs for Bulls

BUFFALO, N.Y. – Khalil Hodge intercepted Nathan Rourke in the end zone on a fourth-and-12 play from the Buffalo 13 with 1:20 remaining, and the Bulls held off Ohio, 31-24, to close out the regular season Friday afternoon.

The Bobcats (8-4, 5-3 Mid-American Conference) rallied from a 24-7 deficit to tie the game at 24, but a short punt into the wind, followed by a K.J. Osborn 38-yard return to the Ohio 6-yard line set up the winning score – a 1-yard Emmanuel Reed run with 8:10 remaining.

Ohio answered with a long drive, but Rourke was sacked on third-and-5 to set up a fourth-down play in which the ball was tipped, Hodge pulled it in and then held off Andrew Meyer as he tried to take it away as the two fell to the ground.

Buffalo (6-6, 4-4 MAC) went up 14-0 quickly. The Bulls forced a quick punt, and then Tyree Jackson hit Anthony Johnson for pass plays of 35 and 31 yards, the second for a touchdown. The Bulls extended the advantage to 14-0 when Rourke fumbled while being sacked from behind, leading to a Charles Harris recovery and short return for a touchdown.

The Bobcats answered with a 7-yard touchdown run by Rourke, but the Bulls came back with another pick play between Jackson and Johnson – this one for 54 yards – to make it 21-7. Adam Mitcheson’s 49-yard field goal on the final play of the first quarter made it 24-7.

Ohio got a Louie Zervos 44-yard field goal in the second quarter, a Rourke 1-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter and then a 57-yard Rourke touchdown pass to Cam Odom to tie the game at 24 late in the third quarter.

Rourke finished 15-of-30 passing for 265 yards and ran 16 times for 49 yards. Freshman Julian Ross carried 19 times for 81 yards. Ross, coming off an injury of his own, got the majority of carries because of an injury that kept Dorian Brown out of the game and then another injury that caused A.J. Ouellette to leave the game on the first possession. Odom’s two catches were good for 85 yards.

Jackson went 19-of-30 passing for 294 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson caught six passes for 155 yards.

Ohio will wait until next weekend to find out its bowl destination.

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