99 for 99 - #73: Running Downhill: The 1996 Buffalo Bulls Part 2

Gerald Carlson via www.ubathletics.buffalo.edu

September 14, 1996 - Buffalo (2-1) 36, Colgate 16

Buffalo, coming off a loss to UConn traveled to Colgate who had not won a game since 1994. Mark Taylor hit Jamie Gasparre for TD passes of 25 and 70 yards. Swan amassed 119 yards on 19 carries while Pace chipped in 57 yards and 2 touchdowns. On the defensive side, Craig Guest made 10 tackles and joined former teammate Pete Conley as the only UB players in history with 350 career tackles.

The real story of the Colgate game was UB's Special Teams Unit. The Unit blocked a punt, blocked a field goal and converted on a fake punt. Kicker Gerald Carlson set a UB record with 6 field goal attempts, making 3. The 50% success rate hides the fact that each of Carlson's misses was from 50 yards or longer.

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Anthony Swan via www.ubathletics.buffalo.edu

September 21, 1996 - Buffalo (3-1) 34, Lehigh 20 - McDuffie & Hansen Save the Day, Swan Runs for 215.

Down 20-17 in the final quarter, but dominating on the ground, Buffalo sent it's offense out for a fourth-and-inches conversion, but they failed to get the first down. Lehigh had the ball, the lead and all of the momentum; until Steve McDuffie and Keith Hansen saved the day. McDuffie sacked Lehigh's Quarterback, the ball came loose, Hansen picked it up and rumbled 48 yards for a touchdown and a lead that the Bulls would never relinquish.

In the second quarter, UB up 3-0, Lehigh was threatening deep into UB territory. Cornerback Bill Tipton intercepted a Lehigh pass and returned it 89 yards for a touchdown. It stands as the second longest return in UB history behind Gerry LaFountain's 90-yard return in 1965. With a 10-0 lead, Buffalo squandered opportunities to put the Engineers away, missing 3 field goals allowing Lehigh to take a 12-10 lead to halftime.

The defense had to play well to overcome Mark Taylor's awful outing. Taylor only managed four completions for 54 yards. However the running game stepped up and moved the football. After 63 yards in the first half, Anthony Swan took his first carry 64 yards down to the one. Pace bowled into the end zone the next play giving UB a 17-12 lead. The backfield duo had another great night; Swan finished the game with a career best 215 yards on 29 carries while Todd Pace picked up 127 yards on 22 carries. Swan broke his own career high of 204 yards set against Fordham in 1995. It was the third best running game in UB history (now fifth).

September 28, 1996 - Buffalo (4-1) 17, Edinboro 7 - 300th Win, Longest Field Goal in UB History

In their 83rd season of play, UB had a chance to win their 300th game against Edinboro. Edinboro came prepared to spoil the party. Edinboro took their opening drive 80 yards on 11 plays to take a 7-0 lead. Their defense came out just as intense, preventing Buffalo from moving the ball as easily as they had the previous few weeks. However it seemed UB was destined to get the 300th win this day.

Buffalo has only kicked nine 50+ yard field goals since 1947. Four of those kicks were by Carlson. On this day, Carlson opened the scoring for Buffalo with a UB record 54-yard field goal. Carlson also helped UB in the field position game with a UB Stadium record 79-yard punt, the third longest punt in UB history.

UB took a 10-7 lead late in the 2nd quarter on a seven-yard Taylor pass to Drew Haddad. Just when it seemed Buffalo had all of the momentum, the Bulls muffed the kickoff to start the second half. But once again, nothing would ruin Buffalo's 300th win. Bill Tipton snatched his third interception of the year to end the Edinboro scoring threat. The game continued as a defensive struggle; UB forced 5 turnovers and recorded 5 sacks in the game. Edinboro racked up 185 yards in the first half, but UB's defense tightened up, only allowing 52 yards in the second half.

Finally with ten minutes remaining in the game, Mike Chichester intercepted a pass and returned it 51 yards for a touchdown, sealing the 17-7 victory. In the final seconds of the game, UB added one more interception. It was the 16th takeaway of the season, third most amongst all D-1AA teams.

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