BUFFALO, NY -- Even though Buffalo’s run game deservedly got much of the credit in Saturday’s 38-22 win over Temple, the play of redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Myers was a key. (The Bulls rushed for 217 yards and four touchdowns.)
It was expected that Temple would be able to rattle the relatively inexperienced quarterback, but it never happened.
Myers didn’t have eye-popping statistics, but he also kept his mistakes to a minimum.
He was 9 for 15 for 62 yards and an interception that led to Temple’s first touchdown. After that, he calmly ran the offense, was sacked just once and rushed for a 7-yard touchdown on a naked bootleg that increased Buffalo’s second quarter lead to 17-7.
“We had to get him in obvious passing-down situations, and we weren’t able to do that in the flow of the game,” Temple coach Rod Carey said. “He played within the confines of the offense and did a nice job.”
Carey had seen enough. An errant snap on a punt that resulted in a 40-yard loss forced the Temple coach to make a change.
A week ago in Temple’s 20-17 win over Maryland, Temple also had snap issues on punts. So redshirt sophomore Cole Lerch, who was the starter last year, was replaced after Saturday’s errant snap.
In came redshirt freshman Ronald Gaines, who is a walk-on after beginning his career at the University of Illinois.
“He went in and did a nice job for us snapping," Carey said of the 6-foot-5, 285-pound Gaines.
Carey felt the move simply had to be made.
“I like Cole a lot, he is still going to hold (on field goals and PATs) for us,” Carey said. “He fought through the last game, this game he came out and did the same thing so I had to make the switch.”
Temple actually had more total yards than Buffalo, 289-279, among the most misleading stats. The Owls accumulated their most yards in the fourth quarter, which they entered trailing 31-10 and would get down 38-10 before scoring the final two touchdowns.