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Buffalo Countdown to Kickoff 1952

Travis Pitzonka - Linebacker #52

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  • Position - Linebacker
  • Class - Sophomore
  • Hometown - Lancaster, NY
  • High School - Lancaster
  • Size - Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 217

It's not too often that a walk-on gets on the field each and every game as a freshman but Pitzonka did just that. During his freshman year he became a staple on the Bulls kick coverage team.

Against UMass last season Travis Pitzonka was a backup during made a career-high three tackles. He was backing up Jake Stockman in place of the injured Blake Bean. Coming into this season he may well be on the defensive two deep more often.

About 1952:

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1952 Helmet similar to one worn by the Bulls

Following World War II the UB athletics department restarted football. For six years under Jim Pelle, Frank Claire, and Jim Wilson the team never had a losing record, it remains one of the best stretches of UB Football to date.

Then in 1952 Fritz Fabel, who played Guard for Purdue in the 1930's took over the team. Fabel's initial season went very poorly.

The team would start my losing their first seven games before winning the season finale against Saint Lawrence.

Coach - Fritz Febel

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Fritz Fabel was a fixture at UB long before he took over as the schools head coach in 1952.

The Purdue Graduate was an assistant coach at the University from Assistant coach, 1936-48. Those were some of the more successful seasons that the Buffalo football program had ever known. So when there was an opening in 1952 Febel, already a faculty member, was an obvious choice to take over the team.

Unfortunately Febel was never able to make his teams as competitive as the teams on which he had served as a head coach. Febel would coach for three years before being replaced by Dick Offenhamer.

Gov- Thomas Dewey

Another New York Governor who led the liberal/moderate faction of the Republican Party. Dewey was an advocate for the professional and business community of the Northeastern United States, which would later be called the "Eastern Establishment." This group supported most of the New Deal social-welfare reforms enacted during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and it consisted of internationalists who were in favor of the United Nations and the "Cold War" fight against communism and the Soviet Union.

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