Bull Nation Stampede: bEMUddled bulls fans vent...

Bull Run Stampede is a feature in which Buffalo fans who have been there for the bad to good to bad times give their take on aspects of the program, the last game, and games to come. Participants include BullsFanInChiTown, UB2010, BRJACR, and BC Bull.

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Every time you think we have seen the bottom it gets worse. Giving up almost 200 yards to one EMU Ball Carrier and scoring under 20 points on the worst defense in the nation might seem like the bottom, can't get any worse right? Let's see who's next on our schedule...

aww Hamburgers....

UB has to go to Akron to play a meaningless game and *hopefully* salvage something for the season. If only a chance not to finish in the Bottom Ten, if only to not fall back to 2006 (record wise) let's not give up hope this week. If UB manages to be a speed bump for yet another MAC cellar dwelling team we will be the worst team in the MAC, something nobody expected this season.

This is truly the times that try fans souls, and will test the effectiveness of Warde Manuel. It's possible that Quinn pulls a 180 next year and throws the offense we were all hoping for out there if that be the case than Manuel will again look like a genius. Of course on the flip side we all saw a two year coach get canned at BSU last night.

So what Say you Bull Nation?

1) Rather than having us all pile on, that's my job, what positives can you take away from the EMU game? What players or units stood out as having taken a big step on senior day?

BC: I missed this game because of BC's senior day festivities, so I can't really talk about specifics. 17 points is nice given what this offense has shown this year, even if they came against EMU.

BRJ: Seriously, you want an answer to this question.  Other than Neutz having a very productive day, although I think we've seen that from him already this season, I'm going to go with two things. 

1.  They managed to keep me in my seat until the very end of the game, instead of walking out midway through the fourth quarter.

2.  Seeing that I got the chance to attend my first UB Basketball game after the game, Im going to say the combination of Barnett- Watt- McCrea- Mulkey - Filzen should be Reggie's go to combination.  If the football game hadnt been close, I may never of had a chance to come up with that accessment.  Sorry, not what you were looking for as far as the question, but it is what it is.

2010:  Wide Receivers.  I would have loved to see what this set of receivers could have achieved with an accurate QB.

ChiTown: The receiving core continues to show that they have a lot of potential to be a strength of this team for years to come. If they can reduce their amount of drops, they will make it much easier for whoever is our QB next season. Mack and Means continue to show us why we should not give up on our defense next year. We are going to get pressure, which will make our new-look secondary look better than they are. Finally, Shannon played another great game on his senior day. He is the man

2) It this finally it? is this rock bottom? Lets face it we beat up on an FCS team and barely survived Bowling Green, there are no other highlights this season.

BC: I could write a whole essay on this but I'll just stick with the short answer. Absolutely not. The difference between the Hohfer years and now is a lot bigger than something that's just measured in wins.

BRJ: I dont think this is rock bottom by any means.  Sure this has been a really disapointing season, but I think if we are all sitting here next year still scratching our heads, that will be closer to rock bottom than this year.  Besides, we havent yet seen players on the sidelines on their cell phones.

2010:  I really hope so.  I hope that I am pleasantly surprised next year and the years to come.  There is the eternal optimist that really hopes that Coach Quinn and his staff can right the ship.  There are many things that also concern me (play calling, time field management, and etc.)  I hope that Coach and his staff can take a big step back this year and learn from all that has happened.

ChiTown: Rock bottom hits us when we give Akron their first win next week. I don’t see this UB team beating Akron. I will be rooting and cheering for our Bulls like I do every week, but Akron has played well the past couple weeks. Unless Davis gets lucky on his deep balls again, it will be another long day (and offseason), for our Bulls.

3) 9,000 fans? has the long march towards 2006 set UB's attendance back for the long term or is this just a speed bump? What kind of performance is needed next season to bring the fans back?

BC: I could write a whole essay on this but I'll just stick with the short answer. Absolutely not. The difference between the Hohfer years and now is a lot bigger than something that's just measured in wins.

BRJ: Coming off of their great season of 2008, where UB probably had its greatest interst so far, you would have thought 2009 attendance should have been better, but it ended up being about 1000 less per game.  Now with UB looking at 3-9 or 2-10, it pretty obvious that attendance has and will take an even bigger hit.  You had the initial interest generated by 2008, but 5-7, and 2/3 - 10/9 back to back eroded that interest, and it will be harder to get that back.  It will be a long term hit if things dont improve obviously, but it can also be a speed bump.  I have said this already, but next year, UB can't afford to go 1-5 at home.  They need to start getting people to sit up and take notice again.  If they can manage to win one of their OOC games next year (not Stony Brook) or get themselves bowl eligible, prove to people again that 2008 wasnt an aberration and that there is something there at UB worth following, they'll start coming again.  Next year will be crucial.

2010: This program was building a hell of a fan base.  The International Bowl was the best thing for this program.  It really hurt the season UB had after the Bowl Game and then to pile on this season.  If you win, you will have fans.  Buffalo Fans have given their heart, soul, and money to too many teams that did not deserve it.  If this team starts to win you will get a strong fan base.  I would also like to see some games schedule to bring people to the Stadium (Syracuse or Penn State!)

ChiTown: With the situation we’re in, the only way we are going to get fans to the games is to put a winning product on the field. There are not many people in WNY (about 9,000) that want to watch a bad UB team face off against another terrible MAC team in EMU. Quinn did everything right before the season started. He put his face on commercials, he introduced Kid Cudi with the team in front of a ton of students, he participated in the Welcome Week with the team too. He said and did all the right things leading up to the season. When all was said and done, it didn’t affect the attendance come opening day. The attendance was poor all year due to a poor product on the field. With that said, getting some of the local seniors to come to UB will help a little with attendance, but in the end, winning games equals an increase in attendance.

4) Might be time to start talking about next years starters. We touched on this briefly with the defensive backs last week so put them aside. Where do you expect the most change next season in the two deep? is this where you want that change.

BC: The offensive line. Between the injuries and the ineffectiveness this year there needs to be significant change for next season. Maybe the same players will get better, maybe different players will step up. But either way, I'm expecting improvement from the O-line.

BRJ: Offensive Line.  I dont think the guys Coach Quinn inherited where the best fit for the spread, and I imagine thats where we'll see the biggest change.  This year he has gotten a chance to evaluate what he has and what he needs there still.  This is exactly where I want the change.  Offense starts with the big guys upfront, make them solid and the rest will follow.

2010: It really all boils down to the QB position.  The offense will have a strong set of receivers coming back and should have a much better run game.  The offensive line has to be better, period.  On defense, losing your entire secondary is very rough.   We are also losing two really good linebackers in Ralp and Jusitn.   UB will get lit up in the beginning of the season in the air but I really believe that the defense will be strong with the talent we have on the line and the linebackers currently on the field and stepping up next year.  I am very concerned over the QB position.  Do not want a repeat of this year at all.

ChiTown: I don’t even know what to expect out of the offensive line next year. This year, people were injured, playing all over the line, practicing different positions. The most important thing to an offensive line is stability. If things keep getting switched up, the lineman never get the chance to gel together. I don’t even know where the depth chart stands right now on the OLine, but I know that come next year, it will look vastly different. I don’t even know where to begin on it. To answer the second part of the question, YES.

5) Has this season soured you on system coaches as much as it has me? Let's face it one of two things happen at a mid major: A coach is so successful that he leaves in 3-5 years or he is so bad he is let go in 3-5 years. Is theretime for system coaches in this world?

BC: The season has definitely soured me on "system coaches", but I also recognize that any transition year is a bit of a struggle. I want to see what happens over Year 2 and Year 3 before I think all that long-term about things.

BRJ: I believe this system can work at UB.  It takes a coach who knows what he wants to do, knows what type of players he needs to run what he wants to do, and knows how to get those players he needs to do what he wants to do.  I believe Coach Quinn can do all three, even though this year may not look like it.  He has been successful with the spread everywhere he has been, which means he has been able to put the right players into it, and he has been able to recruit for it, it just takes longer than 1 year.  Its not like he came into UB not knowing anything about the inner workings of the MAC, his time at CMU gives him that.  It should be pretty obvious considering CMU's success with it, that it certainly can work at UB.  That being said, it needs to get moving next year.

2010: I truly believe that next year is pivotal to the future for Coach Quinn.  If UB has anywhere next to the same record and the inconsistency and lack of success with the offense then Coach Quinn is placing Warde in a very tight spot.  This program cannot and should not have another 4-5 run of being a bottom dweller.   If Quinn’s systems work here, I would be ecstatic.  Who would not want to see a high flying offense putting points up on the board.  I just have not seen it yet.  I hope that I do!

ChiTown: There is absolutely room for system coaches in this world. I have full faith that this system will work here at UB. When it is run correctly, it is a fun offense to play in. I think that it really appeals to recruits. We are going to have a ton of new guys next year that will help with the new system. Jasen Carlson got a ton of experience this year, and should excel next year. Jeff Veinotte is an absolute beast, and will bolster the line too. You add in the speedy receivers like Cordero Dixon, Cortney Lester, Devon Hughes and TE Dante Burton. Not to mention Jake Reeder who was emerging as a great receiving threat. You add in our best rated recruited in school history, James Potts, and the spread offense is coming together. The biggest question obviously surrounds the QB position, and I really hope to see Zordich take the role and run with it. I think he has all the tools, and from everything I have heard, he has the work ethic. The good thing about this year’s offense is that it really can’t get any worse. Quinn has a much better idea with what he is working with. The spread can and will succeed here, it just takes time.

6) What form of self mutilation or torture is appropriate for UB fans if we lose next week to Akron?

BC: Basketball season. :-)

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BRJ: Win or lose, knowing that it will be 8 long months before we start this all over again is torture enough for me.

ChiTown: My advice to UB fans if we lost next week is just to chill out. We already lost to EMU at home, and we all survived. A win would obviously be nice for the seniors, to get them out of here on a good note, but honestly it means nothing in the long run. Let’s just get this season over with, get back on the recruiting trail, and gear up for next year. (So far away )

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