The Buffalo Bulls will open up their season against the Duquesne Dukes, an FCS team which hails from Pittsburgh, PA. It was a late addition to UB's calendar which was signed last season but not announced until February. The first of two FCS games UB has this year.
The Dukes spent more than a decade in the MAAC while it was a football conference before the conference dropped football. During their 14 years of Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference membership they won their conference title eleven times.
After the MAAC folded up their football operations in 2007 the Dukes found a home in the NEC. During six years of NEC play the Dukes have won the conference twice, including last season.
Their only meeting between the schools came in 1991, when both schools were Division three entities. The Bulls won the game 49-0 behind 266 rushing yards by Alan Bell. His single-game yardage record from that day still stands, though Branden Oliver came close to cracking it last season.
The Dukes head coach, Jerry Schmitt, is a Pittsburgh fixture. After coming to the Dukes he won the MAAC each of the three seasons he was a head coach in the conference and has two NEC titles since the conference change in 2007.
The Bulls will have to mind Dillon Buechel. Last season, as a freshman, he set school records for passes attempted (373) and completed (217) and threw for 2,569 yards - the sixth-highest total in school history. He ended the year as a second team All-NEC pick, after leading the conference in passing yards and passing yards per game (233.5).
On defense Safety Chris Johnson is a second-year transfer from the University of Florida where he played in all 26 games, including a pair of bowl games (Sugar & Gator). Last season, his first with the Dukes, saw him rack up 49 tackles, while breaking up five passes and forcing 2 fumbles in nine games.
While many people are quick to overlook a home opener against an FCS team but last year the Bulls needed multiple overtimes to dispatch Stony Brook and that team had Khalil Mack. UB is a team breaking in new stars and the Dukes are a team returning a lot of their core start power. and have position strengths which match up well against the Bulls 2013 graduation losses.