UB’s football season ends on a low note
blog by Dan Ludwig • November 26, 2011 @ 7:00am
Halfway through the second quarter of the University at Buffalo Bulls match-up against the Bowling Green State University Falcons, Bulls fans surely felt confident in their team’s chances. Buffalo was leading Bowling Green 20-14 in the Black Friday battle at UB Stadium, but the scoreboard did not tell the whole story—momentum is often intangible. The Bulls defense had come up with two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown. On the other side of the ball, running back Branden Oliver was coming titillatingly close to James Starks’ single season rushing record.
But when BGSU scored a touchdown to push the Falcons ahead by a point before halftime, the flood gates had opened. As we reported yesterday, the Falcons went on to score three unanswered touchdowns, making the score 42-20. The Bulls scored a late touchdown to round out the scoring and UB fell to Bowling Green 42-28 on a day that the Bulls’ football program said goodbye to 20 graduating seniors.
Head coach Jeff Quinn commented on the frustration that comes with failing to send-off the senior class with a win. “This is a very disappointing loss, there is a lot of seniors that are hurting right now,” explained Quinn. “Its tough to go out this way. It’s frustrating.”
For sophomore running back Branden Oliver, however, the game proved to be bittersweet. After registering 132 yards on 34 carries against the Falcons, Oliver finished the season with 1,399 yards on the ground, eclipsing James’ Stark record of 1,333 (2007). Oliver continued to re-write the record books in the second half. With 92 receiving yards in Friday’s game (mostly accumulated in the fourth quarter), Oliver brought his all-purpose yardage mark to 1,724—a number that bests Starks’ mark of 1,694 all-purpose yards (2007).
Of course, the Bulls’ loss took some of the shine off Oliver’s record-setting day. “I just wanted to get it for the seniors today,” Oliver said plainly. “I would’ve rather won.”
One of the more notable departures will be that of Chazz Anderson, the Bulls’ senior quarterback who played his last game for Buffalo on Friday. Anderson did not have a stellar day through the air, finishing the game 16-39 with 157 yards through the air and one interception. Despite Friday’s loss, the senior quarterback looked back on his time at UB with warm regards.
“I’m truly grateful to the coaching staff and to my teammates for giving me the opportunity [to play]. I’ve built relationships here that will last forever,” said Anderson. As a first-year transfer student to the Bulls, the ex-Cincinnati Bearcat was given the starting role over the summer. Even though he enjoyed his time at Buffalo, Anderson has no illusions about his future in football. When asked what was next for him, the quarterback replied bluntly, “Get a job, hopefully.”
With the loss, UB finishes the season at 3-9 (2-6 MAC). Although this record is an improvement from last year’s 2-10 mark, nobody in the Bulls’ locker room was happy with the way the season finished. After the game, Quinn pointed out an important contrast, saying, “Our record is nowhere near the type of quality young men these [seniors] are and what they’ve done for this football program.”