Willy's passing, solid ground game help Bulls top Miners

AMHERST, N.Y. -- Drew Willy threw four touchdown passes to help Buffalo open its season with a 42-17 win over Texas-El Paso on Thursday night.

Willy was 10-of-16 for 221 yards with no interceptions. His first completion broke Cliff Scott's school record for career completions, and he went on to dismantle the UTEP defense, which surrendered 484 total yards.

Willy threw touchdowns to Brian Kisabeth, Gary Rice and Naaman Roosevelt, who scored on passes of 68 and 56 yards.

Buffalo rushed for 263 yards, as James Starks led the Bulls with 179 yards on 31 attempts while Brandon Thermilus scored twice, rushing for 102 yards on 16 carries.

UTEP (0-1), making its first trek into New York state, rolled up 266 yards but had three turnovers and muffed a punt snap deep in its own territory.

Trevor Vittatoe completed 20 of 37 passes for 199 yards and a 2-yard touchdown to Jonny Moore, but he was picked off three times and sacked twice.

Terrell Jackson led UTEP with 67 yards on 18 carries and scored on a 1-yard run.

UTEP fell behind after stalling on its first possession. Punter Kyle Petersen flubbed the snap from center for a 13-yard loss, giving Buffalo the ball at the Miners' 20.

Starks ran three times to the UTEP 5, but after Anthony Morrow sacked Willy for a 10-yard loss, the Bulls' quarterback hit Kisabeth for a 15-yard touchdown.

Buffalo upped its lead to 14-0 when Willy found Roosevelt on a quick slant. Roosevelt grabbed the pass and sprinted through the UTEP defense for a 68-yard score.

UTEP answered with a 13-play, 80-yard drive.

Jackson scored UTEP's first points, cutting the lead to 14-7, after Vittatoe completed to Jamar Hunt for 23 yards on third-and-6 to the Buffalo 1. Hunt had six receptions for 86 yards.

Vittatoe found Moore for a 2-yard TD pass as UTEP turned a Willy fumble into points just three minutes later to tie the game at 14-14.

Willy gave Buffalo a 21-14 lead just 30 seconds before halftime with a 34-yard touchdown completion to Rice.

Willy has a streak of 251 pass attempts without an interception, the longest streak in the nation. His last pickoff came in the first quarter of the Bulls' 49-14 loss at Ball State on Sept 29, 2007.