AMHERST, N.Y. — David Fluellen felt comfortable at home, but in truth he has felt comfortable anywhere of late.
The University of Toledo junior running back enjoyed the best afternoon of his sterling season, posting career highs Saturday with 35 carries for 228 yards in a 25-20 triumph at Buffalo.
Hailing from about 10 minutes away in Lockport, Fluellen showed the locals what he has been up to as he stamped his fifth straight game of 100 or more rushing yards while breaking the 1000-yard barrier on the season.
“It felt good coming back,” said Fluellen, who ran for touchdowns on the first two drives of the second half. “A lot of family and friends were there to support me, and I felt like I was home.”
About 65 tickets were purchased by supporters of Fluellen, who posted the second 200-yard game of his season. He upped his yearly totals to 1,181 rushing yards and 11 TDs.
Coach Matt Campbell said earlier in the week that Fluellen is among the premier backs in the Midwest. He elevated his praise after the game, twice calling Fluellen one of the best in the nation.
“He’s a young man that has tremendous talent,” Campbell said. “He’s worked extremely hard to get to where he’s at and he’s a young man I’m extremely proud of.”
Fluellen dominated the third quarter, recording 144 yards and scoring twice.
He carried the ball on all four plays of an 84-yard drive, bursting for gains of 17, 49, 19, and 1 yards to buoy an offense that had little success through the air because of persistent rainfall.
“As soon as I got off the bus I’m like, I’m definitely back home now,” Fluellen said. “This is the weather I expected.”
FARR BACK: A surprise visitor made his way into the post game news conference. Although Danny Farr was unspectacular, recording one assisted tackle in a reserve effort, Campbell wanted the media to highlight the senior who missed the previous six games with a knee injury.
“I know a lot of people are going to look at our statistics, but it was one of our seniors that was unbelievable tonight,” Campbell said. “I couldn’t be prouder of him.”
Farr, whom Campbell estimates played 20 to 25 snaps, hurt his MCL in the second week of the season at Wyoming when a teammate crashed into the back of his leg at the end of a play. His return is welcoming news to a unit that will play the rest of the season without ends Christian Smith and T.J. Fatinikun.
“I wanted to fight back to get back in there,” Farr said. “I know how bad those guys, Christian and T.J., wanted me back in there too. In a way they kind of get to play through me, as far as me getting back.”
Farr said he is close to 100 percent but that his injury will ultimately require surgery.
SHORT YARDS: Buffalo avoided kicking off and punting to Bernard Reedy. Reedy, whose streak of games with a special teams TD ended at three, fielded just one of the Bulls’ 10 punts and none of their four kickoffs. ... UT will have a 10-day layoff before it hosts 6-3 Ball State on Nov. 6. ... Dan Molls, the nation’s leading tackler, led UT with 14 stops and recorded one of the team’s two sacks.