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Buffalo versus the Big10

By definition the first time you play someone it's an historical event. Even when everyone else is doing it.

There is nothing fantastically unique about playing an opening week game at :The Shoe". Ohio State, like most Big 10 teams likes to bring in a mid-major for their tune up game early in the year and are willing to pay quite handsomely for the honor.

Year Opponent Score
1900 vs Penn State 10-0
1901 at Michigan 0-128
2002 at Minnesota 17-41
2003 at Iowa 7-56
2006 at Wisconsin 3-35
2007 at Penn State 24-45

Even though it might be commonplace in the grand scheme of things it will still mean a lot for the UB players, especially the ones from Ohio, to take center stage in Columbus this week.

This year on Bull Run we are going to try and take a historical look at the UB series against their opponents picking one game to talk about. In the absence of any history with Ohio State I will just look at the Big 10 against UB.

Buffalo has played teams from the Big10 Six times, but to be fair the first game was not against a then Big Ten Member but it was the teams only win before a series of lopsided losses, one of which is still up there in terms of the worst ever beat downs in college sports.

The Michigan game was so bad members of the team quit late in the second. Turk Gordon, Buffalo's coach was so angered by the development that he told the news:

"I will play fullback in the next game and I’ll have a gun with me. The first Buffalo man who shows yellow, I’ll drop." -- Coach Turk Gordon to the Buffalo Express

When Buffalo made the transition to FBS they did what all Mid Majors seem to do, look at UMass. They stacked up as many paycheck games as they could and suffered greatly for it.

Let's focus on the win shall we?

The UB Penn State game was played on Thanksgiving day in Buffalo New York.

After a scoreless first half the Buffalo Squad scored their first points of the season and contnnued to hold Penn State in check. UB was aided by the field conditions which The New York Times described as "more fit for water polo than football."

Penn State's coach also chimed in on the locker room conditions which he claimed made the difference for UB. A lack of heat in the visitors locker room along with cold temperatures and wet clothing were blamed for a sluggish second half.

Penn State would get revenge in 2007 when the Bulls, ready to start a two year march to the MAC Championship gave Penn State a surprisingly difficult game. An early fourth Quarter James Starks touchdown would bring UB to withing tow touchdowns but Penn State would finally break the UB defense and pile on a lot of 4th quarter points.

This year's squad is maybe the best team to square off with a Big10 team since Turk Gordon coached the Bulls against Penn State in 1900. It's been 112 years since UB beat a team in the Big10, I'd say we are probably due.