Saturday's game between the University of Buffalo and host Ohio University was canceled on Friday due to COVID-19 issues in the Ohio program.
The cancellation allowed Buffalo to clinch the Mid-American Conference East Division title and a spot in the conference title game.
The Bulls reportedly learned they were division champions about 2 1/2 hours into the approximately 390-mile bus ride from Buffalo to Athens, Ohio. The Bulls reportedly stopped at a rest stop in Mentor, Ohio -- located just east of Cleveland -- and turned the bus around on Interstate 90 to head back to Buffalo after learning of the cancelation.
The MAC released a statement that said, "The University at Buffalo at Ohio University football game on Saturday, December 5 has been canceled due to roster issues with the Ohio football team related to positive COVID-19 tests and subsequent contact tracing. The game has been declared a no-contest."
Buffalo (4-0, 4-0 MAC) would have preferred to clinch the spot in the Dec. 18 title game at Detroit on the field.
"While we are disappointed our game at Ohio has been canceled, the health and safety of our student-athletes continues to be our top priority," Bulls coach Lance Leipold said in a statement. "I'm extremely proud of our student-athletes, coaches and staff. They have done everything the right way during these difficult times. In fact, we didn't have a single positive case this week. We were looking forward to playing Ohio, but we will now shift our attention to our next opponent, Akron."
The Bulls are scheduled to host Akron on Dec. 12. The Bobcats (2-1, 2-1) visit Kent State on the same day.
Buffalo is led by star running back Jaret Patterson, who rushed for 409 and eight touchdowns in last week's 70-41 win over Kent State. The yardage was second-most all-time behind Oklahoma's Samaje Perine, who had 427 against Kansas in 2014.
--Field Level Media