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Canisius Hoops Signing

In case you haven't heard, Canisius has signed 6-7 forward Phil Valenti of Aquinas in Rochester to a basketball letter of intent. As a junior, Valenti averaged 17 points and 11 boards and helped the Little Irish to the state Class A semifinals.

Griffs coach Tom Parrotta says Valenti is "without a doubt one of the toughest, hardest-working high school kids out there."

I'll say it right now. The Griffs will struggle in the post this season but they're going to be a terror next year when Freddy Asprilla and Jordan Heath become eligible. That'll allow Valenti to transition in without pressure. You never know how the chemistry's going to work out, but the Griffs could be a title contender in 2012-13.

-- Bob DiCesare

Oliver, Mack named to MAC 1st Team

Record-setting running back Branden "Bo" Oliver and standout linebacker Khalil Mack today were named first-team all-Mid-American Conference. The two sophomores -- and offseason workout partners -- were the only two University at Buffalo players named to the first team. Wide receiver Marcus Rivers was selected to the second team and Terrell Jackson given honorable mention at punt return.

Oliver and Mack were obvious first-team selections. Oliver finished second in the conference with a school-record 1,395 rushing yards and was UB's workhorse, rushing a record 306 times. He also had 1,760 all-purpose yards, breaking the UB mark held by James Starks.

Mack, like Oliver a Florida native, was first in the MAC and fourth in the country with 20.5 tackles for losses. He was 10th in the nation with five forced fumbles.

Rivers comes as a surprise. While he led the Bulls with 60 catches, he barely averaged 10 yards a reception and found the end zone just twice. However, he ranks among the better blocking receivers in the league.

Jackson, last year's first-team punter returner, missed the second half of the season after suffering a head/neck injury against Temple.

Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish was voted the Offensive Player of the Year (a no-brainer), Western Michigan DL Drew Nowak the Defensive POY, Ohio PK Matt Weller the Special Teams POY and Bowling Green RB Anthon Samuel the Freshman of the Year. The MAC's top coach was Ron English of Eastern Michigan.

-- Bob DiCesare

College Football/Hoops Chat

UB-Bowling Green Game Analysis

Bowling Green 42, UB 28

Game Analysis: Bowling Green stacked the box and that was it for UB's offense. The strategy
contained Branden Oliver and UB's sideline throws were easily defended. Is it illegal to throw
between the hashes? Was there a slant in the playbook? UB defense wasn't as bad as the score
indicates. Falcons had scoring drives of 6, 28, 39 and 36 yards.

Turning Point: Faced with a third-and-1 on their 41 with less than 2 minutes left in the
first half, the Bulls took to the air. Chazz Anderson's pass, a cross-field throw into the
wind, fell incomplete. The Falcons went 74 yards in nine plays, took a 21-20 lead into
intermission and put UB away in the third quarter with the wind again their ally.

Player of the Game:  BG QB Matt Schilz bounced back from two early interceptions to throw
for four touchdowns. His 64-yarder to Kamar Jorden was an absolute gem.

Unsung Hero: Falcons middle LB Dwayne Woods was in on 15 tackles as BG held Oliver to 3.7
yards per attempt.

Record Book: Oliver picked up 127 yards on 34 carries and became UB's all-time
single-season rushing leader with 1,439 yards. Some people say, That's only the school I-A
rushing record." Yeah, well no one cares what anyone did against Baldwin-Wallace.

Stats of the Game: Bowling Green had the ball just 26:43 and converted only 5 of 15 third

He Said It: It's tough to go out this way with our kids.‘-- Bulls coach Jeff Quinn.

In the House: The paid crowd was 12,262. There might have been a third of that in the

The Final Score: UB finishes 3-9 overall, 2-6 in the MAC.

Next Up: It's on to offseason workouts, spring ball, training camp and next year's opener
at - gulp - Georgia.

-- Bob DiCesare

UB vs. Bowling Green Live

UB-Canisius Game Analysis

UB 94, Canisius 59

How UB Won: Canisius had no answers for UB's size and its physical post play. The Bulls got 40 points out of their post players and dominated the backboards, 43-25. Canisius needed to shoot it well from the outside to have a chance. It didn't happen. Leading scorer Harold Washington was scoreless in the first half and finished with 10. Gutsy effort by Gaby Belardo (team-high 16 off bench). He's been bothered by a sore back after suffering a concussion just before season. Griffs coach Tom Parrotta said maybe he shouldn't have played him.

Player of the Game: Mitchell Watt was a force in the first half as UB pulled out of a five-point deficit and built a 10-point lead at intermission. He had 14 of his 16 in the opening 20 minutes and finished with 16 points, six rebounds, four blocks, three assists and three steals.

Best Supporting Role: The Bulls got a high-quality game out of guard Tony Watson, who entered and helped spark UB out of a sluggish first half. He finished with a career-high 13 points and went 6 of 6 from the line. Watson sat out UB's season-opener after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery.

Stat of the Game: It was UB's largest margin of victory ever over the Griffs.

In the House: 2,122 at Alumni Arena with the students having fled home for the holiday.

What It Means: UB goes to 3-1, Canisius 1-3.

Next Up: Both teams have some time off. UB plays at Dayton a week from today. Canisius plays its home and MAAC opener against Iona on Dec. 2.

On My Mind: The Town of Amherst ought to repaint the road lines on Audubon Pkwy. They're indistinguishable at night.

-- Bob DiCesare








Canisius @ UB Live

Live College Football/Hoops Chat

UB-Akron Game Analysis

UB 51, Akron 10

Game Analysis: Whew. Bulls continue to elevate their play at home. They controlled both lines of scrimmage. They got big plays from RB Branden Oliver and QB Chazz Anderson. LB Khalil Mack cast a menacing, disruptive presence. The Zips? They're a shambles. Akron's been outscored 121-16 the last three games.

Turning Point: Brandon Murie (Iroquois) set the rout in motion when he returned the opening kickoff 93 yards to the Akron 1. Branden Oliver plunged into the end zone on the next play.

Player of the Game: Oliver was electric as UB offensive line shredded the Zips. He set the UB single-game Division I-A record with 235 yards. He had another 38 yards in receptions. He found the end zone twice. He carried just once in the fourth quarter. Oh, and he picked up a blitzer to enable Anderson's second touchdown pass.

Stat of the Game I: Bulls reeled off 28 first down, giving them 61 in their last two home games.

Stat of the Game II: Oliver produced more yards from scrimmage (273) than Akron players combined (239).

He Said It: “The way he played today he might be one of the best running back we’ve played against because we’re still looking for ways to tackle him.”” – Akron coach Rob Ianello on Oliver.

What Was He Thinking?:  Ianello used two timeouts to “ice” Buffalo kicker Patrick Clarke before a 26-yard FG attempt on the final play of the first half with UB already leading, 27-3. 

In the House: 14,059 paid.

What It Means: Progress. Bulls are 3-8 overall, 2-5 in conference, a one-game improvement over last year on both counts with one game remaining.

Next Up: UB concludes regular season at noon on Black Friday when Lew-Port grad and former UB assistant Dave Clawson brings his Bowling Green Falcons to UB Stadium.

 -- Bob DiCesare


FINAL: UB 51, Akron 10; Oliver Has 235

BULLETIN: Branden "Bo" Oliver has broken UB's i-A single-game record with 235 rushing yards and needed just a hair over three quarters to do it. Record of 231 was set by James Starks in 2008. He'll need 66 yards next week to break Starks's single-season record of 1,333 yards.


Hello everybody from UB Stadium, the Miami of the north. Temperatures in the 50s today and it would feel downright balmy if not for the whipping winds that have the flags straining toward, I guess it would be Oshawa. The UB band makes up about 25 perfect of the attendance at this point, but we're still more than a half hour from kickoff for UB vs. Akron in the penultimate game of the season.


UB 7, AKRON 0, 14:41: UB's Brandon Murie returns opening kickoff 93 yards to the Akron 1 and Branden Oliver goes in from there on the next play. Murie broke kicoff up left side and had a posse with him. Murie's fast and has great football instincts. Never understood why the Bulls haven't made greater use of him both in the return game and as a change-of-pace back. Anyway, it was a HUGE start for Bulls, who are going into the teeth of a howling wind this quarter.

Bulls driving after forcing three-and-out. Oliver just rocketed through line for 31 to Akron 18.

UB 14, AKRON 0, 9:29: Chazz Anderson finds Fred Lee alone in the end zone from 10 yards out to complete nine-play, 77-yard drive. Bulls are just an entirely different team at home. Line is blowing Zips away at scrimmage.

UB 14-3, 5:52: Zips on the board. A.J. Fox hits from 26 with brisk wind at his back.

1:15: Okoye Houston muffs punt and Akron recovers at UB 22. I'm not going to say the Bulls have the worst punt-return game in the nation. Their play speaks for itself. I will say that the wind and the ball's knuckling flight made for a challenging catch.


14:06: Najja Johnson intercepts Clayton Moore pass at the UB 1 and returns it to UB 32. Came on a third-and-8 play.

13:44: Oliver justed ripped off 18. He's at about 90 already. ... Completion to TD Jimmy Gordon. Wow. Amazing. As promised by coach Jeff Quinn, Bulls utilizing tight end in passing game!!!

UB 17, AKRON 3, 11:51: Patrick Clarke connects from 41 yards. He's now 2 for 2 career, both over 40 yards.

8:15: Khalil Mack forces fumble on sack of Moore. Steven Means recovers at Akron 44.

UB 24, AKRON 3, 5:18: Anderson and Lee connect again, this time from 13 yards out, and the rout is on. Oliver enabled it all to happen by picking up Akron star LB on the blitz. Wagner had a clear path to Anderson before Oliver applied the block.

UB 27, AKRON 3, 2:10: It keeps raining points for the Bulls. Clarke nails another, a 49-yarder with the wind. ... Oliver up to 131 yards on 17 carries. Anderson 10 of 14 for 67 yards and the two TDs. But he overlooked Devon Hughes wide open while throwing incomplete on the play preceding the FG.

HALFTIME:  UB 30, AKRON 3: Clarke makes his third FG of the day as time expires, a 26-yarder. Akron coach Ron Ianello called two times out before the kick. I kid you not. A critic might say it's the only coaching he did all half. Zips are awful. Program's taken huge step backward since firing of J.D. Brookhart.

Most points by Bulls in first half since 2007 vs. Toledo (36).


UB 37-3, 9:59: Oliver scores his second TD from a yard out, capping 47-yard drive. Start began with Khalil Mack punt block after Akron punter Zack Campbell muffed snap. Oliver up to 163 yards rushing with another 38 in receptions.

NOTE -- Oliver just went for 58 before being hauled down at 11. He's over 220. James Starks's single-game record of 231 sure to fall. And his season mark of 1,333? It's in sight. Bo needs about another 50.

UB 44, AKRON 3, 2:22: Anderson goes final 1 yard on a keeper. Drive was 84 yards in seven plays. Total yards at this point: UB 405-117.

1:20: Alex Zordich in at QB for Bulls.


UB 44, AKRON 10, 12:05: Akron backup QB Patrick Nicely connects with Marquelo Suel on a 64-yard pass-and-run touchdown.

Oliver done for day it appears.  Still 11:23 remaining.

UB 51, AKRON 10, 1:13: Jeffvon Gill -- remember him -- scores from the 3. Bulls go 98 yards with their backups. Most points by UB since Oct. 31, 1992 against Central Connecticut State.

-- Bob DiCesare


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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |