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NIU opens season with 49-30 loss to visiting Buffalo

The Huskies allowed the Bulls to score three touchdowns on defense.

Northern Illinois running back Erin Collins carries the ball against Buffalo during the first half of an NCAA college football game Wednesday night in DeKalb.
Northern Illinois running back Erin Collins carries the ball against Buffalo during the first half of an NCAA college football game Wednesday night in DeKalb.
Mark Busch/AP

DEKALB — Jaret Patterson had 20 carries for 137 yards and two touchdowns and the Buffalo defense scored three touchdowns as the Bulls beat Northern Illinois 49-30 on Wednesday night.

Patterson opened the scoring with a 5-yard run about three minutes into the game and his 56-yard touchdown with 2:14 left in the first half gave Buffalo (1-0, 1-0 Mid-American Conference) a 21-10 lead. The junior has a school-record 35 career rushing touchdowns in just 28 games.

Tim Terry Jr. and Isaiah King scored on fumble returns of 46 and 42 yards, respectively, and Kadofi Wright had a 65-yard pick-six that made it 49-16 with 12:14 to play.

Ross Bowers had 202 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception for NIU (0-1, 0-1). Tyrice Richie had nine receptions for 106 yards.

Kyle Vantrease completed 11 of 17 for 175 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Nunn, and scored on a 4-yard run. Nunn finished with six catches for 102 yards.