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Big Lineman Ostrowski Leads by Example
Ypsilanti-- Big and strong offensive lineman Matt Ostrowski is planning to play hard and so are his teammates in their last two games. Akron is on notice, as they will have to contend with the leader of the offensive line for Buffalo. Up front the Bulls have good size across the board and are ready for some redemption. According to the senior Ostrowski, “Our ‘O’ line is ready for the challenge. We have two games left, they are important to us and we will play our best players.”
The University of Buffalo football team has had a trying season. They went on the road and lost for the eighth time this year as Eastern Michigan took them, 30-17. They have only played EMU five times in history and dropped all of them. On the year, the Bulls are now 2-8 with two games left. There have been some bright spots though.
The Bulls played EMU tight for the first half. Buffalo went in at the break down only 9-3, as Patrick Clarke made a 43 yard field goal with four seconds left. They came out with a first possession stop and then a quick control score, capped by a three yard TD by Brandon Oliver (133 yards on 18 carries.) The 10-9 lead wasn’t the only highlight for the Bulls. Chazz Anderson threw for 18 of 31 for 137 yards.
Oliver was again explosive with a 68 yard sideline sprint touchdown, his second of the day. The sophomore has now gone over 1,000 yards for the year, only the fifth Bulls player in history to do so.
The big difference was EMU quarterback Alex Gillett, who completing 10-of-15 passes for 234 yards and four touchdowns. He also gained 89 yards on 19 carries. That was the disparity as the Eagles twice overcame second half deficits. It was a sparse 4,000 scattered throughout Rynearson Stadium to help celebrate EMU Senior Day. A Buffalo bright spot was that the Bulls limited the Eagles vaulted running game to a 179 yard total.
Bulls head coach Jeff Quinn said, “We made too many mistakes that really cost us the game. We hold a team that’s averaged about 240 yards a game rushing to under 180 and then we give up (passing) plays.”
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He later added, “Our big guys up front did a great job. They helped release Oliver.” A special highlight was the play of senior offensive linemen Matt Ostrowski and junior big boy Gokham Ozkan.
Ostrowski, who had a leg injury last year, has started all 10 games this season and has been a bright spot. The jumbo 6-6, 320 pound left tackle is an All-MAC candidate. He also plays other OL positions as well. Ozkan, on the right side is 6-7, 322 pounds. He broke open the hole for Oliver’s big run.
“Buffalo has been great for my development as a player and I love the campus, there is so much to do here,” said Ostrowski. During the summer Ostrowski bulked up and his speed and strength show that he put his time in during weight room sessions.
The Bulls are home Saturday, November 19, hosting Akron at noon. They will finish at home with a Friday contest November 25, with Bowling Green visiting on their Senior Day.
EMU is 6-4 now also with two games left and a chance for a Mid-American Conference Bowl bid. They travel to Kent State next week.
By: Raymond Rolak