By Rodney McKissic
UB coach Jeff Quinn is excited about the Mid-American Conference adding the Camellia Bowl beginning next year in Birmingham, Ala.
Teams from the MAC and Sun Belt will meet in the new bowl game, ESPN announced Monday, which will debut in December 2014 under a six-year deal. The newly renovated Cramton Bowl will serve as the host of the bowl which is tentatively scheduled to be held prior to Christmas Day.
The MAC was able to gain another guaranteed bowl because of its product, which reached its peak in 2012. Seven teams – Kent State, Bowling Green, Ohio, Northern Illinois, Ball State, Toledo and Central Michigan – gained bowl eligibility in 2012, a conference record. Northern Illinois became the first MAC team to qualify for a Bowl Championship Series bowl.
“We have a lot of quality players returning in our league,” Quinn said. “It’s a great league and its definitely deserving of these postseason opportunities. … It’s nice to see the MAC secure another bowl.”
The MAC has deals with the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the GoDaddy Bowl as well as an option for some of the ESPN-owned games.
Junior guard Trevor Sales missed practice on Tuesday with an injury to his right knee although Quinn said the injury isn’t serious. Sales was hurt during Monday evening’s session of two-a-days.
“He felt really good in the morning and we’re going to do what’s right to get him back and healthy for Ohio State,” Quinn said. “He told me, ‘Look coach, don’t worry if you need me to go, I’m ready.’ Trevor is probably as tough as anybody I’ve ever coached.”
The boot was removed from Dillon Guy’s left foot, another
sign that the junior guard is close to returning to practice after suffering an
Senior wide receiver Fred Lee, also recovering from an ankle injury, also missed practice. Both remain day-to-day. Senior safety Derek Brim returned to practice but was limited.
Others who sat out Tuesday were junior linebacker Ryan Paxson, sophomore linebacker Brandon Tammaro, sophomore offensive lineman John Kling, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Dan Collura as well as linebacker Brandon Crawford and tailback James Coleman, pair of true freshmen.
Running the ball was the emphasis during both 11-on-11 drills and senior tailback Branden Oliver received plenty of reps.
“We have one of the best tailbacks in the country, and we’re going to put the damn ball in his hands,” Quinn said.
Quinn didn’t, nevertheless, care for the blocking along the offensive line. One defender greeted Oliver as soon as the ball was handed off.
“I need guys up front who understand the responsibility of being a good, pad level, powerful guy. We have solid schemes and it’s about having players with the right attitude.”
The Bulls practice twice today and will hold a situational scripted scrimmage on Thursday, Quinn said.
“We’ll finish things off with some things in a game that are unusually or special that don’t happen every week but when they do you want to be prepared,” Quinn said. “Things like clock management, personnel, last seconds of the game and so on and so forth.”
The Bulls practice Friday before a bench-controlled scripted practice on Saturday.
“We’ll go through everything imaginable and put it all together,” Quinn said. “That will be a thud or tag off mentality, not tackling.