When Khalil Mack takes the field at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Friday afternoon, he’ll be playing in the most significant game of his Buffalo career to date.
His last “home” game as a Bull, Mack will be celebrating Senior Day alongside 20 fellow seniors as Buffalo aims for a school record tying ninth win.
But if all of that wasn’t enough, Mack and his Buffalo teammates contest against Bowling Green on Friday has even more significance.
With a win, Buffalo will clinch their first MAC East division title since 2008 and earn a berth in the MAC Championship Game to take on undefeated Northern Illinois.
This game is one of the biggest games in the history of UB football and you better believe that both Jeff Quinn and Khalil Mack are excited.
“It’s by far the most exciting time around here. I know how important it’s been for this senior class to work their way into this position.” Quinn said.
“It’s a big week. It’s a big game. One of the biggest of my career.” Mack said, “I’m looking forward to it. I’m looking forward to the challenge.”
Buffalo will be taking on a Bowling Green squad that enters with the same exact record as the Bulls in a winner take all battle.
A contest that will be played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, the Bulls will play their biggest home contest of their regular season away from home.
It’ll be the sixth NFL stadium that UB football has played in but it won't be the first time that a college football game has been played at the Ralph.
Miami (FL) and Syracuse took on each other in the last college contest at the Ralph back when it still went by Rich Stadium on October 27th, 1979.
But despite moving the game to Buffalo's biggest sports venue, Quinn believes that it won't make an impact on the game.
“We've been in a lot of different stadiums.” Quinn said, “If you block all those external factors out, it doesn't matter where you play.
For Mack, the game at Ralph Wilson Stadium could be the first of many games there after college.
A projected Top-15 pick in next year's NFL Draft, many UB fans are hoping that Mack will continue his career down in Orchard Park as a member of the Buffalo Bills.
Only 2.5 tackles for loss away from tying the NCAA record, Mack could tie/break the record Friday in what could end up being his next home field.
When he reflects on what has been accomplished in his Bulls career, Mack is humbled but understands that there is still much more to accomplish as his time at UB dwindles down.
“You can say we’ve turned it around but I don't think we've turned it around until we get to where we want to be.” Mack said, “That’s the MAC Championship and calling ourselves the MAC Champions.”
Mack and his UB teammates can get one step closer to accomplishing their goal of a MAC Championship in two days with a win over Bowling Green.
You can catch the game Friday by tuning into ESPNU at 1:30pm.