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Sheehan has offense on a new level

AMHERST, N.Y. – Gregg Brandon got a Gatorade shower and Tyler Sheehan blew out his candles with a solid 31-17 win over Buffalo Saturday.

“I’m going to have to get a video review on that, but it was great to get that shower,” Brandon said, when asked who the cooler culprits were.

The big play was a big reason for the Falcons’ win. Three of the four BG scores were 25 yards or longer. Even kicker Sinisa Vrvilo went big with a 40-yard field goal.

One of the knocks on Sheehan, who celebrated his 20th birthday Saturday, has been that he can’t throw a great deep pass. But his 83-yard throw to Chris Wright Saturday couldn’t have been any better.

Sheehan had seen Buffalo’s safeties creeping down to defend the run all game long, so he stood in the pocket and hit Wright in stride for the former defensive back’s second receiving touchdown of the year.

The sophomore quarterback also connected with Freddie Barnes on a 44-yard strike. Barnes caught the pass inside the 40 before turning upfield, and thanks to two great blocks by Shane Steffy and Marques Parks, ran by everyone down the sideline to give the Falcons the lead for good at 17-10.

“It was my chance to show everybody another gear,” Barnes said candidly.

For the players in the system, the big play opportunities aren’t a surprise. They practice them every week. But it’s hard to deny that the unit is firing on all cylinders after averaging 36 points a game in three straight wins. All but one touchdown was scored by the offense in that stretch.

“It’s kind of normal for us, but at the same time, from the outside looking in, we’ve got a lot of momentum,” Barnes said.

Sheehan seems more and more confident with every game since fully recovering from a shoulder injury. He completed 20-of-29 passes in the game and before halftime he had already thrown for 206 of his 248 passing yards.

His success in the past three games are a big reason the Falcons went from 4-4 to 7-4.

“We battled back from having a mediocre season to having a good season,” Sheehan said.

With a win over Toledo on Friday, the Falcons will give themselves a chance to have the MAC’s best record this season.

That does make for a pretty good season, doesn’t it?

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