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BULLS: COME GET IT BACK IN BLOOD
The Nebraska loss can be a morale breaker or the punch in the eye that leads to an upset of #16 Coastal Carolina.
The Athletic’s Gene Clemons picked them as one of the underdog covers of the week. The Daily Nebraskan said keeping junior quarterback Adrian Martinez upright will be a tall task for Nebraska against the Buffalo pass rush on Saturday. A CornNation.com columnist straight up wrote “I expect it to be painful...I think Buffalo wins.”
Image from huskersfbnation
“The Bulls came up with a nearly perfect performance in the first game under Maurice Linguist. They ripped through Wagner 69-7 – getting up 62-0 before giving up a late score – and they’ve got the ability to pull this off against a very, very shaky Nebraska,” added College Football News.com’s Pete Fiutak. “Buffalo needed to get the passing game tuned up. Kyle Vantrease hit 15-of-19 passes. The running game had to show it could go on without Jaret Patterson. The 312 yards and seven scores weren’t a problem. The pass rush was dominant, there weren’t any turnovers, and the team was in total control. Yeah, it was against Wagner, but there wasn’t even the slightest bit of a blip. The team is ready.”
We know what happened on Saturday.
Nebraska put a beating on the visiting Bulls, 28-3. The Bulls shot themselves in the foot with 10 penalties for 88 yards, including drive-killers in the third quarter that could have changed the game. Buffalo’s vaunted rushing game managed 135 yards to the Huskers’ 231. QB Adrian Martinez outgunned Buffalo’s Kyle Vantrease 296 passing yards to to 224 on 30 fewer attempts. The Bulls’ defense gave up an average of 8.6 yards per play.
Image from coastalfootball
UB can sit around and feel sorry about the big loss at Nebraska, or they can pay it back in blood.
Coach Linguist Speaks
“(It was a) hard fought game over there in Lincoln,” Buffalo head coach Maurice Linguist told the press on Tuesday. “You thought about where we were back in May, and when we took the job, and I told the team it was about the steps and strides that have been made over a very short period of time, and the expectation for us was really to go in there and walk, battle, challenge, and come out of there with a W.
”We did not do not that, (but) I think it’s a testament to the culture of the locker room of this team that the expectation was to go out there and do that.”
So now Coastal Carolina comes to town. It’s not time to show the 16th-ranked team in the country love. It’s time to be furious.
It’s not time to run scared from Grayson McCall (pictured above), the Chanticleers redshirt sophomore quarterback who was the 2020 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year.
McCall was named to the 2021 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Walter Camp Football Foundation 2021 Player of the Year, 2021 Maxwell Award, 2021 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award, and 2021 College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) National Performer of the Year preseason watch lists.
McCall has thrown for 507 yards, tossed three touchdowns, and has a 213.7 QB rating this season—and he can run, rushing for 569 yards in 2020.
“Mobile quarterbacks always present a threat,” Linguist said. “You know, last year in Dallas (where Linguist was a secondary coach), we played Kyler Murray in Arizona, we played Lamar Jackson in Baltimore—the element of a running quarterback just gives you another layer you have to defend on defense.
”We had three blitzes on Nebraska, an unblocked blitzer at the point of attack, and Adrian did a great job of making people miss. Adrian did a really good job of making a really long run.”
Here’s a really important point from Linguist:
”We’d call those same calls again, in terms of putting a person in position to be successful at the point of attack.”
It’s not time to let junior Chants running back Reese White (pictured above), the Sun Belt’s Offensive Player of the Week after gashing Kansas for 102 yards and three TDs in the Chanticleers’ 49-22 win last Friday, get into UB’s heads (and secondary).
It’s time for Buffalo’s Kevin Marks, Jr. to remind the college football world that he averaged over 100 yards a game in 2020 and hung 85 yards on a much better Nebraska defense last week.
It’s not time to start treating freshman Coastal DE Josaiah Stewart, the Sun Belt’s Defensive Player of the Week, who had 3.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for losses against Kansas last week, like he’s the next Taylor Riggens (pictured above). Again, the Chanticleers were beating up on a Kansas team that barely knocked off FCS South Dakota in Week 1.
Riggins had four tackles and a tackle for a loss against the Huskers. Yes, Coastal Carolina has a veteran offensive line that has been together for over a season now—the group is called “the Mighty Mites” — but it’s not a Big 10 bunch. Let’s see how they do against a beast like Riggins and properly motivated large men like DLs Josh Rogers, Daymond Williams, George Wolo, and Eric Black.
At the same time, you have to respect the complexity of the Chanticleers’ offensive system. Imagine if Army could throw downfield.
“It's unique,” Linguist said, discussing Coastal Carolina’s deadly triple spread option offense. “They attack you on all three layers of the defense. They put pressure on the line with the run game.
”They (have the) element of the option always, with eye discipline and assignment football, and they have a very sound and very potent throwing attack and passing attack...in which they were able to hit some big plays down the field throwing the ball over the top.
”I think they are a very confident team, very well coached. The QB makes them go, and it's going to be a good challenge and test for us.”
It’s not time to run and hide because the Chants have talent all over the field. There’s DL Jeffrey Gunter, a turnover machine, and C.J. Brewer, a defensive tackle capable of tearing a back apart.
There’s WR Jaivon Haleigh (pictured above), maybe the best receiver and most dangerous all-around weapon in the Sun Belt conference.
There’s TE Isaiah Likely, a 6’4, 240 TE who’s likely to end up in the NFL next year.
“Our defensive coordinator, Joe Cauthen, was at Arkansas State—he’s had some familiarity with Coastal and what they can do...It’s going to take all 11 (players), all the coaching staff, all of us putting our minds together, to put plan in place to stop a very potent offense.”
So what is Buffalo, a 13.5-point underdog, supposed to do?
Quit? Wait for the Old Dominion game next week to win back some respect?
Get out of here with that.
“It’s looking ourselves in the mirror and our standard of play,” Linguist said. “It’s about how we play the game.We apply a game plan to a specific opponent. You look at that opponent for who they are, and what they do, and you look at yourself.
”It starts with our play style...Creating explosive plays, eliminating explosive plays, and making and breaking tackles...and ultimately knowing and respecting all situations in the game.”
The Bulls (1-1) aren’t dead. The season’s barely started. We’re weeks away from the first MAC games! Don’t start wearing RIP shirts yet.
UB isn’t The Citadel. They aren’t Kansas. Those are the two teams Coastal Carolina whupped this season.
Let’s see what those Chanticleers really have.
Stats, Obscurities, and Other News of Note
• This is the first meeting between Buffalo and Coastal Carolina.
• This will mark just the second time a UB team will play a team from the Sun Belt Conference. The Bulls faced Troy in the 2018 Dollar General Bowl (L, 42-32).
• The Bulls are 1-13 all time against ranked opponents. Their lone win came against #14 Ball State in the 2008 MAC Championship Game. At 16, Coastal Carolina will be the highest-ranked team to play at UB Stadium since the Bulls hosted #8 Baylor in 2014 (which did not go well).
• Buffalo is 16-2 in its last 18 games played at UB Stadium.
• Taylor Riggins has 15.5 career sacks, tied for eighth in program history. He is a half sack behind Keith Hanson (1994-97) for seventh place.
• Kevin Marks is three rushing touchdowns shy of tying Branden Oliver (2010-13) for third in school history with 33.
• Alex McNulty (134) is one point shy of Mark Mozrall (1991-94) for fifth place in program history in career scoring by a kicker.
• Quarterback Kyle Vantrease has only been sacked twice in the last 16 games. He is also is 53 yards shy of passing Jim Rodriguez (3,401) for 10th in school history in career passing yards, and 72 yards of passing Ken Hyer (3,420) for ninth in school history in career passing yards.
• Linebacker James Patterson is two tackles shy of 200 for his career.
White Out at UB Stadium: The UB Football Team is set to take on #16 Coastal Carolina on Saturday, September 18th at Noon. It is a white-out game, so all fans are encouraged to wear white to the game.
Stampede Square opens at 9:00am with Food Trucks, Inflatables, & Tailgate Games. It’s also BIG TRUCK DAY, with a variety of Monster Trucks, Large Equipment Trucks, and Emergency vehicles on display throughout Stampede Square. The first 200 kids to stop by the Chick-fil-A Booth in Stampede Square can pick up a Pom Pom and be ready to cheer on the Bulls!
WEAR A DAMN MASK
As a reminder, the University at Buffalo has updated its on-campus face covering policy to include all large outdoor gathering including UB Football games. Face coverings must be worn, regardless of vaccination status, throughout the stadium. We thank you in advance for your cooperation. For a complete release, click here.
Bull Sunday Updates
How are our former Bulls in the NFL faring this season? Some better than others:
K.J. Osborn (Vikings WR, pictured above) - 7 catches, 76 yards, 9 targets
Jaret Patterson (WFT RB) - 2 carries, 9 yards
Tyler Mabry (Seahawks TE) - active, DNP
Malcolm Koonce (Raiders DE) - DNP
Tyree Jackson (Eagles TE) - injured
Practice squads: Cam Lewis (Bills), Demone Harris (Chiefs), Mason Schreck (Bengals), Evin Ksiezacrzyk (Washington) and Kayode Awosika (Eagles)