September 12, 2013 - 9:45 AM
By Bob DiCesare
A new era of sorts begins Saturday as UB athletics launches a game-day initiative aimed at drawing the community to UB football games and, just as importantly, cultivating dedicated fans who'll return for more.
The tailgate experience begins at 12:30 p.m. -- three hours before kickoff against Stony Brook -- when Stampede Square adjacent to the stadium opens to the public. At 1:15 p.m., UB players will stage the "Walk to Victory," and a pep rally begins.
The first concert of the season-long series commences at 1:30 with a performance by Blues Travelers. On-site activities include a miniature golf course, a climbing wall, and an autograph booth. Buffalo Sabres goaltender Jonas Enroth will appear.
Regular readers know I'm not a big fan of all the intiatives launched by UB athletics. But this one is right on target. In covering UB away games I've witnessed first hand the enthusiasm generated by the game-day experience at other institutions. It's quite a sight.
UB athletics has made a relatively sizable financial commitment in an effort to bring that kind of feel to Buffalo. I'm interested to see if it makes an impact, boosts attendance and takes WNY's affinity for UB football somewhere beyond lukewarm.
September 11, 2013 - 8:36 PM
September 11, 2013 - 8:28 AM
September 9, 2013 - 11:17 AM
By Bob DiCesare
UB won't spend a lot of time today reviewing the tape from Saturday's 70-13 thrashing at the hands of Baylor. And that makes a lot of sense because, seriously, what good would it do? The Bulls will encounter dangerous athletes at the skill positions as they move on with the season but they won't see anything remotely close to the collection that Baylor threw at them Saturday in Waco.
Here's what head coach Jeff Quinn had to say on this morning's MAC coaches conference call:
"The only thing that I want is anything that allows our coaches, our staff, to try and make a point in terms of teaching moments, whether it's structural, whether it's effort, a technique, an assignment," Quinn said. "It's got to be positive. It has to be something that we utilize so our players can learn from it. But to sit down and watch every single play is not going to be the mindset today. That's not what we're going to do. We're going to focus a little bit on what we have to accomplish in terms of looking at things that happened Saturday, isolated situations, and then move on."
UB plays its home opener against FCS Stony Brook at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Stony Brook has been off since a 24-0 victory over Rhode Island in Week One. The Seawolves were picked seventh and Rhode Island last in the Colonial Athletic Association preseason poll.
September 7, 2013 - 11:17 AM
September 3, 2013 - 7:21 PM
By Bob DiCesare
The emergence of the Baylor football program in recent years hits home with UB secondary coach Maurice Linguist, an all-conference safety with the Bears before graduating in 2006. Baylor was an afterthought in the Big 12 until the arrival of quarterback sensation Robert Griffin III. Now the Bears have gone to bowl games each of the last three years, saw RGIII win the Heisman and have a new $250 million home in Baylor Stadium set to open next season.
"The Baylor family down there is committed to trying to build that program up, the same thing we're trying to get done here in terms of financial support," Linguist said. "They got a big project with the stadium going up and I think they got some big donations going on with that and obviously the football team winning a lot of games has helped. Coach Briles has done a great job bringing that program up to a premier national program.
"It all starts with us, it all starts with wins, and it starts with people on the outside just really being committed the way guys on the inside are committed as well."
Linguist said it's been a couple of years since he paid a visit to his alma mater.
"It's always good to get back whenever you get a chance but Buffalo's home right now and we're trying to get this thing done and go win some games."
September 3, 2013 - 11:49 AM
September 2, 2013 - 2:06 PM
By Bob DiCesare
Here's what Baylor coach Art Briles had to say about UB LB Khalil Mack on today's Big 12 coaches teleconference. The Bears entertain Bulls at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Waco:
"He's definitely different. He's a guy that you certainly have to account for from an offensive standpoint. He's very dynamic. I've seen where he's been rated as the No. 2 linebacker in America this year so he sticks out. As soon as you put the film on -- we started watching yesterday -- it takes about one play to figure out who their guy is. I mean, he's it. He's good. He's earned his reputation and plays extremely well."
The Bears opened the season walloping FCS Wofford, 69-3, and have scored at least 41 points in five straight games. Quarterback Bryce Petty was 19 of 24 for 312 yards and two TDs in his first career start andjunior RB Lache Seastrunk went for 111 yards and two scores on 11 carries. Nine Baylor players had receptions and six of them averaged at last 10 yards per catch.