99 for 99 - #78: Highest Attended Home Game of the 1900’s

Linebacker George Ursetti at Sisters Hospital after the Colgate game. Ursetti had to be strechered off the field after breaking his leg in two places. (Via The Spectrum)

99 for 99 takes a look at the 99 biggest moments in UB Football history in anticipation of the 99th Season of UB Football which begins on September 1st, 2012. These moments are not in any order, however the top 10 moments have been saved for last.

September 29, 1951 - Buffalo 13 - Colgate 47 - Set Attendance Record for UB Home Game That Stood for 53 Years

The second game of UB's 1951 campaign was the Homecoming Game against Colgate at Civic Stadium. This was Colgate's first game of the season, but their returning starters made Colgate the overwhelming pregame favorite. Colgate came in with two star Quarterbacks, Ted Stratton and Dick Lalla. The QBs were equipped with four big and fast receivers. Colgate's aerial attack would be a real threat, but UB was confident in their offense after putting up twenty-six points the previous week in a win over Cortland.

26,126 fans rocked Civic Stadium as UB QB Don Holland ran for a touchdown on the game's opening drive. The twelve play, sixty-four yard drive gave UB confidence they could hang with the Red Raiders of Colgate. On the ensuing drive, Colgate's Walt Liggett fumbled, Linebacker Elmer Jahn recovered and lateraled to Art Calandrelli who then scampered twenty-six yards before being knocked out of bounds at the one. On the next play, Holland scored his second touchdown, and UB took a 13-0 lead after the extra point was blocked.

Sometimes when you land the first big blow, your opponent never recovers, other times, you just make them mad; Colgate got mad. Colgate scored seven unanswered touchdowns and won 47-13. Especially damaging was the loss of all three starting linebackers to injury. By the end of the game, UB was fielding freshmen linebackers.

Despite the negative outcome, the atmosphere showed what UB was capable of with support and leadership. The marching band, which played their first game the previous week, performed admirably. The Spectrum described the event as:

A real game. Even the gals were satisfied... support from over 26,000 fans yelling themselves hoarse. Everybody felt that this was something like big time football with the trimmings

Although UB's best years were still ahead of them, the team would not draw this big of a crowd for 53 years. On September 11, 2004, UB drew 29,013 in a matchup against another intrastate rival the Syracuse Orangemen.

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