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A Century of Bull: 1899

A Century of Bull: 1899

The 1899 Buffalo football team
The 1899 Buffalo football team
UB Libraries


Going into the 1899 Season Buffalo was still looking for C.W. Dibbles replacement and they had to go no further than the Cattaraugus Reservation to find him. Bemus Pierce played for the great Carlisle Indian School teams from 1894-1898 and would later played professional football for the championship teams from the Homestead Library & Athletic Club of 1900 and 1901.

Between his amateur and professional playing Career Bemus was hired to coach the UB football team as it moved into a strictly armature configuration. In the years leading up to 1899 there had been some accusations that the University team had availed themselves of the professional athletes in the city. By the time the century was winding however down Buffalo was seen as strictly a university team.

U.B. Played seven games in 1899. Six against Universities and one against a professional club from the city of Duquesne. Buffalo was perfect in their collegiate games but fell to the professional squad by a score of 52-5.

Month Day UB Opponent
Oct. 14 6 Rochester 0
Oct. 21 18 Case Tech 0
Nov. 4 16 Syracuse 0
Nov. 11 51 Hobart 0
Nov. 18 5 Western Reserve 0
Nov. 30 30 Bucknell 0

The star of UB's offense was the full back, TD Gordon. In the late 1800's the Full back was typically a teams main offensive weapon and Buffalo was no exception to this.

In UB's shutout of Syracuse Gordon scored three touchdowns and kicked the teams loan try goal. In effect he was UB's 1899 offense.

But what made the 1899 team so dominant was the defense, which shut out every collegiate opponent on the schedule. Aside from the blemish against the Duquesne athletic club the University played a perfect season.

When the college season was over multiple news outlets declared UB the best school in Western New York.

LE Haase
LT Simpson
LG THomas
C Umhehaam
RG Wilson
RT Donavan
RE Hewett
QB Duncan
RHB Phil McPhearson
LHB Leon Cursons
FB TD Gordon