Jeff Quinn is not a coach that likes to shy away from a challenge.
It's one of the reasons why he decided to come to Buffalo to try and turnaround one of the bottom college football programs in the country.
It's also one of the reasons why as head coach of the Bulls, he schedules BCS competition including the likes of Ohio State, Baylor, Georgia and Tennessee each year.
While the probability of winning any of these contests is normally quite low, the positives that can come out of these games can help coaches like Quinn evaluate where there programs are headed.
Quinn knew the odds were stacked against his Bulls winning Saturday afternoon but came away pleased with his team’s fight in their 40-20 loss to #2 Ohio State.
"I really felt our players and coaches never backed down" Quinn said during Monday’s MAC teleconference.
"What I was proud of is when I look at the score of the second quarter, third, fourth, it couldn't change what happened in that first quarter at that time but I thought our senior leadership and our coaching staff did a tremendous job of just settling the kids down on the sidelines and they responded."
One player that stood out versus Ohio State for the Bulls was star linebacker Khalil Mack.
Mack finished the contest with 9.5 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a 45-yard interception return for a touchdown.
"The best player on that field was Khalil Mack" Quinn said "He wanted to show what he's capable of doing against a very talented football team"
Quinn contributed Mack’s great performance to his work effort in the off-season.
"He’s a lot bigger, he’s smarter, he’s stronger" Quinn said "his growth and his development has been outstanding."
Quinn was also satisfied with the way Redshirt Sophomore quarterback Joe Licata played Saturday afternoon.
"I think Joe Licata, our quarterback did a very nice job"
Going up against a stout Ohio State defense, many expected Licata to struggle in the loud, hostile Ohio Stadium.
Instead, Licata looked calm, cool and collected as he went 19-32 for 185 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
One reason for Licata’s solid performance was the big boys in the trenches protecting him.
"We only gave up one sack. Our offensive line did a great job protecting Joe." Quinn said.
Overall, Quinn and his Bulls squad left Ohio Stadium Saturday feeling a lot more confident about the direction they’re heading in.
The Bulls coach puts it best…
"Coach Meyer asked "how good do you think you are?", I said we’ll be as good as we decide to be."