Jones, Virginia Run Through Buffalo, 50-21
Nov. 13, 1999
By JUSTIN POPE
Associated Press Writer
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Thomas Jones rushed for 221 yards and Dan Ellisthrew a school-record six touchdown passes Saturday as Virginia beat winlessBuffalo 50-21.
Jones, the nation’s leading rusher, blew away one of the nation’s worstrushing defenses, scoring on a 37-yard run and an 84-yard reception for theCavaliers (6-4).
Jones did the dirty work on several long Virginia drives, setting up scoringpasses from Ellis.
Jones’ 331 all-purpose yards set a Virginia record. Ellis, a juniorquarterback who nearly lost his job after backup David Rivers led Virginia overGeorgia Tech last week, tied an Atlantic Coast Conference mark with the six TDpasses.
For three quarters, Buffalo (0-10) kept things respectable against Virginia,a 49-point favorite, with an assortment of trick plays and 141 receiving yardsfrom Drew Haddad. Quarterback John Freedy threw for 193 yards and Josh Roth ranfor 114 yards in the Bulls’ highest scoring output of the year.
But Buffalo had no answer for Jones. The 5-foot-10 senior’s day appeared tobe finished after he scored his first touchdown early in the fourth quarter onan 84-yard catch. But after sitting his star out a series, coach George Welshreinserted him late in the game, and Jones scored his second touchdown on a37-yard run up the middle with 3:19 left.
Virginia barely broke a sweat on its first two possessions in taking a 14-0lead. Ellis capped drives of 87 and 72 yards with touchdown passes of 28 yardsto to Kevin Coffey and 30 yards to Billy McMullen.
Bulls coach Craig Cirbus dug deep into his bag of tricks, calling fakepunts, kick return reverses and a pass off a lateral to a wide receiver. A19-yard pass from Haddad to Dahnahl Singfield at the Virginia 19 set up theBuffalo’s first touchdown, an 8-yard run by Roth.
Buffalo tried an onside kick, but failed to recover and set up Virginia onthe 50. Giving the ball exclusively to Jones, Virginia marched to the Buffalo7, where Ellis finished the drive with his third touchdown pass, a 7-yarder toMcMullen.