BUFFALO, New York - Senior Zac Dysert became Miami's all-time leading passer, but Patrick Clarke's 47-yard field goal on the final play of the game lifted Buffalo to a 27-24 victory over Miami Saturday afternoon at UB Stadium. Clarke's kick, with a stiff wind behind him, was set up by Devin Campbell's 47-yard kickoff return to the RedHawks' 35 just two plays earlier.
Miami (4-5, 3-2) seemed to be heading to overtime after Dysert engineered a 16-play, 75-yard drive that tied the game at 24 with just 23 seconds remaining. Nick Harwell capped the march with a one-yard touchdown catch, but two fourth-down conversions -- the latter on a 22-yard catch by Andy Cruse on fourth-and-20 -- served as highlights.
Dysert finished the game with 242 yards through the air, passing Ben Roethlisberger (10,829 from 2001-03) for the No. 1 in the Miami record books.
After the teams played to a 3-3 deadlock in the first half, the scoring opened up in the second with the teams combining for 48 points. Buffalo (2-7, 1-4) surged ahead 24-17 on an eight-play, 65-yard drive that ended with a diving 21-yard catch by Fred Lee. Earlier, the Bulls lined up to attempt a field goal, but a bad snap scramble led to a diving first-down catch. A roughing the passer penalty at the same time tacked on another 11 yards to the Miami 11.
On Buffalo's first drive of the second half, Branden Oliver's five-yard run capped the Bulls' eight-play, 75-yard drive to put UB on top 10-3 with 9:49 left on the clock.
On Miami's second possession, Dysert artfully led the RedHawks on a nine-play, 72-yard touchdown drive. His 23-yard pass to Spencer Treadwell moved the footballl over mid-field. Dysert scrambled for 13 yards to the UB 28. A 13-yard pass to Harwell gave Dysert Miami's career passing record, eclipsing the nine-year-old mark held by Ben Roethlisberger. Dysert's 10-yard TD pass to Harwell, his 64th career TD toss, capped a nine-play, 72-yard drive that took up four minutes and 21 seconds.
UB quickly responded, using only three plays to go 70 yards for a TD. The capping play was Joe Licata's 43-yard scoring pass to Alex Neutz.
Miami roared back with a time-consuming 75-yard drive that saw 5:08 eaten up on the clock by 13 plays. Harwell's one-yard TD catch from Dysert and Kaleb Patterson PAT tied the score at 17-17 apiece. It was Harwell's 20th career touchdown catch.
On the very next Buffalo possession, the Bulls' drive stalled with a wind-aided punt that landed at Miami's own 12-yard line.
Dysert and the RedHawks were driving down the field, but a forced fumble after Andy Cruse's 18-yard catch gave the ball back to Buffalo at midfield.
Buffalo attempted a 49-yard field goal on fourth down, but the snap was poor, causing holder Tony Daniel to fumble the ball. He scrambled and just before being tackled by D.J. Brown, completed a desperation pass to Alex Dennison, placing the ball inside the 20. On the very next play, Licata hit Fred Lee on the 21-yard touchdown pass, boosting Buffalo's lead to 24-17.
Miami realitated on the next drive to knot the game, 24-24, but it was not enough as the Bulls pulled out the 27-24 win as time expired.
The RedHawks return home to host Kent State at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 10.