Buffalo's Khalil Mack had solid game in rout of Ohio


Buffalo senior outside linebacker Khalil Mack is one forced fumble away from tying for the NCAA career lead in that category after forcing one in Tuesday night's 30-3 rout of Ohio.

Mack forced a fumble on the first play of the second quarter (he also recovered it). That gives him 13 for his career, one shy of the record held by five players: Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan, Southern Miss' Cordarro Law, Cincinnati's Antwan Peek, Arizona State's Terrell Suggs and USC's Kenechi Udeze. Wisconsin senior linebacker Chris Borland also has 13 career forced fumbles.

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Mack (6-foot-3, 248 pounds) added five tackles, 0.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries against Ohio; the win kept Buffalo all alone at the top of the MAC East Division standings.

Mack also has 67.5 career tackles for loss, 7.5 behind the record held by former Western Michigan defensive end Jason Babin (2000-03), a first-round pick by Houston in the 2003 draft. Babin now plays for Jacksonville.

Mack has 7.5 sacks this season, and Tuesday's game moved his streak of having at least a half-sack to six consecutive games. He had a huge game in the season opener, a loss to Ohio State, but hadn't really stood out since; NFL Media draft analyst Gil Brandt said Mack has played just OK since the opener.

An NFL scout who wished to remain anonymous told CBSSports.com's Bruce Feldman that he was high on Mack: "He's so explosive and there's so much he can do for you. He can do everything. He's got it all -- he's athletic, quick, fast and instinctive."

Mack and the Bulls play on each of the next two Tuesdays, against Toledo and Miami (Ohio). Each of those contests will be nationally televised on one of the ESPN channels. The regular-season finale against Bowling Green is on Nov. 29, the Friday after Thanksgiving, and that, too, will be on one of the ESPN channels. That could be for the MAC East Division title.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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