The milestone came and the victory went. That’s how Zac Dysert saw his historic Saturday.
The Miami University redshirt senior quarterback became the school’s all-time leading passer in the RedHawks’ 27-24 loss at Buffalo, completing 25-of-44 passes for 242 yards and three touchdowns.
He needed 75 yards to pass Ben Roethlisberger (10,829) heading into the contest. Dysert’s 13-yard toss to Nick Harwell with 5:34 left in the third period was the clincher.
Roethlisberger played in 38 games over three seasons in Oxford. Dysert’s four-year run has included 43 contests.
“Right now, it doesn’t feel like much,” said Dysert, who now ranks 41st in Football Bowl Subdivision history with 10,997 yards. “It’s something I’ll probably admire a little bit more down the road. I guess it’s awesome, but it sucks that the ultimate goal we couldn’t get.”
Buffalo’s defensive effort was strong most of the day and sacked Dysert three times. But the Bulls couldn’t stop a 16-play, 75-yard drive that tied the game with 0:23 on the clock.
“Once we got that first touchdown, we scored (almost) every time after that,” Dysert said. “We got in a little bit of a rhythm. We got back to our normal stuff and just started making some plays. When we make plays, we’re a tough team to stop.
“We didn’t make enough plays early. The slow start killed us.”
Dysert was 5-of-15 for 35 yards in the first half. Bulls coach Jeff Quinn said his squad was ready for MU’s aerial attack.
“I felt really good about the game plan,” Quinn said. “We spent a long time studying their passing game and what he likes to do.”
RedHawks on D: Strong safety Brison Burris had an interception and a fumble recovery for Miami, which got outgained 352-340 in yardage. Outside linebacker Chris Wade totaled 13 tackles for his eighth straight double-digit tackle performance.
“Coaches put us in position to make plays — we’ve just got to make the play,” Burris said. “I’m very upset about the game. I feel it should’ve come out a different way. I think more plays should’ve been made.”
A huge return: Devin Campbell’s 47-yard kickoff return to the Miami 35 set up Patrick Clarke’s game-winning field goal as time expired.
“I didn’t even realize the depth of it,” MU coach Don Treadwell said of the return. “I’m sure we will look at that and there will be an opportunity to make a play, but at the end of the day, they made the play. So I take nothing away from them.”
Asked about the decision not to kick the ball out of bounds and thus giving Campbell a chance to make a long return, Treadwell replied, “It’s a fine line. You can always second-guess yourself. Those are all things that you’ll look at as you go through and critique it for the next one.”
Snapping the streak: Buffalo had suffered six consecutive losses and was winless in Mid-American Conference play before Saturday.
“That’s exactly how you want to leave the field,” Quinn said. “I couldn’t be more proud of our kids. It’s a long overdue feeling and victory for our program, and it’ll go down in the history books as one of the best endings to a football game here at UB.
“It was an unbelievable experience, especially on the sideline. There was so much energy.”
Notebook: Saturday marked the first time the RedHawks have lost on the last play of the game since a 41-35 triple-overtime setback at Minnesota on Sept. 8, 2007.
Branden Oliver’s 199 rushing yards were the most by an opposing back against Miami since Toledo’s Morgan Willing ran for 330 yards on Nov. 21, 2008.
MU’s Zac Murphy uncorked a career-best 74-yard punt in the first period and averaged 43.8 yards on six kicks.
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