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UB Bulls fall to Army

Bulls Fans
End Zone Bleachers full.
J. David Brand

This is exactly what the UB athletic program wanted. It was exactly what Buffalo Bulls fans wanted. A buzz and known opponent coming to Amherst. A 5 – 0 record on the line. Best in UB history. Can be 83% to Bowl eligibility and still in September. Felt like big time college football in Amherst. First time since Baylor came to town. Shows what UB athletics could be.

A beautiful fall day in Buffalo. Parking lots packed. Orange Bowl Committee in the house checking out the Buffalo Bulls. Delay in the fly over but Army helicopter rambles across the stadium. Endzone seating had the first level full. Second level almost full and crowd still piling in five minutes into the start of the game. Full crowd on the Bulls side. Packed. Uninforms are classic and the logo on the helmet really stands out. I missed the concert, but I always miss country concerts.

AJ did not start the game. UB comes out on fire and on the fourth paly from scrimmage a 53-yard TD screen pass. Smart play. Exploit the athleticism of the Bulls. Time to see if the Bulls defense can handle to Army running option. Bulls interception early on Army’s first drive. Could not ask for a better start. Bulls initially fail to convert on the turn over. Tyree telegraphing passes early in the game. Bulls get a break with a roughing the punter. Extends a Bulls drive. Bulls with a long rushing touchdown called back on a holding penalty. Tyree is really struggling to hit receivers or even come close Turn over on downs but UB eating clock to start the game. Army with a huge pick up on third on long with first completion of the game. Army with a long drive and tie the game with 2:12 left in the first quarter at 7. UB struggles and next drive which goes nowhere to end the first quarter. Tyree starts 1 of 9. Momentum and field position swings to Army after a perfect start to a game for the Bulls.

Army is grinding out a long drive to start the second quarter. Big play on the drive is a wide-open throw to TE. Beats Brandon Williamson for 40 yards. Way too easy throw and catch. Exactly what UB fans feared. Army grinds out the remaining yards and punches in for TD and with successful extra point and go up 14 - 7. We all knew that Army would get yards and TD’s but shocked on Tyree’s slow start.

Emanuel Reed is getting the bulk of the carriers to start the game. The game is starting to slow down for Tyree and working through his progressions. Nunn should have caught a TD pass on a great throw from Tyree. Drive stalls and UB has a field goal attempt blocked and Army returns for a TD. A 72-yard punt block return for a touchdown. A special team disaster. What a swing and takes any noise out of this crowd. It is why the Bulls has not kicked a field goal the previous two games. Mitcheson with no height on the kick. Time is ticking away. UB stalls on another drive. First half ends 21 – 7. A huge difference being up 14 – 10 to down 21 – 7.

Army receives the ball but goes three and out. Great start for the Bulls D. A tackle for loss for ten yards on third down. The punters for both sides getting great bounces. With runs and throws Bulls get the ball to the Army’s 1. Failed to punch in and loss of 3 on passing play. UB is bailed out with a penalty in the end zone and Marks finally punching it in. It is an 87-yard, 12 play game. And then the Bulls miss the extra point. Two kicks have turned the game from 17 – 14 with UB on top to 21 – 13 with Army in the lead.

Army starting the rev up the ground and pound. Terrible foul by Roy Baker gives Army 15 yards. UB holds Army to fourth down but Army converts, and the very next play throw a 23-yard TD. Army goes up 28 -13 with 2:49 left in third quarter.

Tyree is starting to heat up. From 1 – 9 to 7 – 16 but the drive stalls and Bulls kick away. Was it time to start having to go for it on fourth down with less than 2 to go? Even in your own half of the field? Bulls punt it away.

The Bulls have a chance to stop Army especially after a chop block penalty. Third down stops are killing the Bulls. Army is 9 – 12 on third down. It is tough to watch Army. So frustrating but exactly what they want. They have worn down the Bulls which has opened huge passing plays. Buffalo killing themselves with stupid penalties. This time Jordan Collier throwing the running back to the ground well after the played has been thrown dead. Army slowly chewing up yards as the play clock keeps ticking down. Army pounds another TD in to up the score to 35 – 13.

I can feel the heat from the Bandwagon burning. Mass exodus as the stadium is starting to clear out with almost the whole fourth quarter left. A paid announcement attendance is 23,671. This is the fifth largest attended game in UB history. Could this have been a program defining win. I really believe so. Like UB history, it failed to come up big and have a true tipping point connection with the area. Western New York fans will support college football. It would have been great to see how many came back if the Bulls would have gone on to win this game.

Army came to Buffalo and played excellent. Final score is 42 -13. UB special teams and terrible penalties handed this game to Army. Anthony Johnson was terribly missed. UB gets into the meat of the MAC next against Central Michigan who also lost to Michigan State. Seven straight MAC games left in the season. Still much to be gained for this squad. Need to forget this game and focus on MAC East champs.