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Next for UB: Almost-Ranked Toledo

How much notice did Toledo attract with Saturday's conquest of No. 21 Cincinnati? Quite a bit. The Rockets, who visit UB Stadium Saturday afternoon, were the last-team-out in this week's AP poll after accumulating just a handful of votes heading into last weekend. So, if you care to extend the rankings beyond the Top 25, the Rockets are No. 26 and deservedly so. Their lone loss was in the season-opener, at Arizona, in OT. Arizona's three losses are all to ranked teams.

This will be a homecoming for Toledo's primary running back, Lockport native David Fluellen. I spoke with him today and we're going to feature him in our Football Friday section the day before the game. He had 161 yards vs. Cincy and has topped the century mark in four straight games. And, yes, he did almost end up at UB.

If you're my age or close you might remember when his father, David Sr., was a star running back at Medina. Not only does time fly, it flies at the speed of light.

-- Bob DiCesare

 

 

 

Bona reveals strategic plan

The first ever comprehensive strategic plan for St. Bonaventure's athletic department is being released today. The plan, titled "Your Teams -- our Extraordinary Future" is the result of a two-year planning process to help align the goals and vision of the athletic department with those of the university as a whole.

The plan focuses on eight main areas including NCAA and Atlantic 10 rules compliance, academic performance, athletic facilities, annual revenue, fundraising, athletic performance, enrollment and retention, and staff compensation.

Under athletic facilities, the plan outlines $18.8 million in facility construction and renovation projects. Fundraising is already underway for two projects -- the renovation of the women's basketball locker room and the construction of an athletic fields complex including artificial turf, seating, lighting and concession space for softball, lacrosse and soccer.

More details to come later today.

--- Amy Moritz

Holy Toledo!

Could Toledo be in line for a national ranking before the Rockets hit UB Stadium Saturday? It's a longshot but there's a strong case to be made after the Rockets knocked off No. 21 Cincinnati tonight, 29-23, behind 161 rushing yards from Lockport native David Fluellen.

Toledo's won seven straight since losing its opener at Arizona in OT. The Wildcats have three losses and they're all to ranked teams. But it would be a huge leap into the rankings for Toledo considering The Rockets didn't receive a vote in the AP poll last week and got just two in the coaches poll.

Are the Rockets ripe heading to UB? They might be. After UB they're home to Ball St. and then off eight days before they're MAC West showdown at Northern Illinois. They finish the season with Akron. Toledo could lose once more, beat NIU and win the division on a tiebreaker.

Remember last year's NIU-Toledo game? Niu, 63-60. In regulation.

-- Bob DiCesare

UB-Pitt Wrap-up

Pitt 20, UB 6

Game Analysis: Pitt yielded small-chunk yardage to the Bulls but didn't yield the big play. The Panthers had their struggles against UB's D, managing just 20 points a week after producing 35 against 16th-ranked Louisville. A 41-yard screen play and a 23-yard INT return slanted the field Pitt's way in what was otherwise a virtual stalemate. UB's still starving for the home run. Offense had possessions of 11, 12, 13 and 18 plays.

Turning Point: Free safety Jason Hendricks slipped in to intercept a Alex Zordich sideline pass and returned it 23 yards to the UB 27. That set up a shot touchdown drive that put Pitt up 13-0 midway through the second quarter.

What It Means: Pitt improved to 3-5 while UB (1-6) saw its losing streak hit five games.

Player of the Game: UB LB Khalil Mack was in on 12 tackles, seven of them solo, although the Panthers ran just 59 plays -- 22 fewer than the Bulls. He covered half the field in catching Rushel Shell from behind at the Buffalo 6 on a screen play.

Stat Watch I: UB's 1 of their last 6 on red zone chances after opening the season 14 for 14.

Stat Watch II: John Dunmore's team-high seven catches were four more than he had coming in.

He Said It: "It feels good to get a win. We had to fight through some things to get it."" -- Pitt coach Paul Chryst.

In the House: The announced crowd was 17,021. When the hard rains hit in the fourth quarter there maybe have been 1,500 braving the elements.

Next Up: Toledo and Lockport native Dave Fluellen, one of the MAC's top running backs, visit UB Stadium at 3:30 Saturday.

-- Bob DiCesare

Pitt vs. UB live chat

Oliver in Uniform for Bulls

Bo Oliver is dressed and is expected to see some action for UB today. Neither he nor wideout Alex Neutz are expected to start. Neutz was sore and missed some practice this week after the hard hit he took last Saturday at Northern Illinois. Oliver hasn't played since the first half of the Kent State game on Sept. 19. He is wearing a brace on his left knee.

-- Bob DiCesare

UB-Pitt Pregame

The Bulls are finally back home but Mother Nature hasn't rolled out the red carpet. It's cold. It's rainy. And it's windy here at UB Stadium with kickoff for today's game against Pitt about an hour away.

Excellent Neutz missed some practice this week but he's in uniform.

Looking around the MAC:

Jordan Lynch is having another big game as Northern Illinois is blistering Akron, 30-7, in the third quarter. He's run for almost 100 and a TD and passed for almost 200 and a pair of TDs. And he's only a junior and you know what that means -- the Huskies will be on UB's schedule again next year,

Bowling Green's up 21-0 at UMass and a win would put the Falcons on the verge of bowl-eligible. Meanwhile, Eastern Michigan, in search of its first victory, leads Army by 11.

-- Bob DiCesare

WNY College Sports Chat - 3 p.m.

Changes on UB's depth chart

Senior Willie Moseley moves from back up outside linebacker and is now starting at inside linebacker ahead of sophomore Jake Stockman and senior Scott Pettigrew. Senior Isaac Baugh moves back to outside linebacker after starting the last few games at strong safety, while junior Okoye Houston has been elevated from a back-up role to the starter at strong safety. Also, sophomore Kendall Roberson will back up Khalil Mack at outside linebacker.

On offense, junior Jimmy Gordon will split time at tight end and fullback and junior Alex Dennison will see more time at tight end and possibly in the backfield at tailback.

Junior Bo Oliver, who has missed the last three games because of a knee injury, is doing more in practice according to coach Jeff Quinn, but is questionable for Saturday’s game against Pitt.

---Rodney McKissic

Live chat: UB, MAC college football with DiCesare at 2 p.m.

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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 | bdicesare@buffnews.com


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 | amoritz@buffnews.com

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