clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

History of the Penn State Nittany Lions - Buffalo Bulls Football Series

New, 5 comments
Most UB fans will remember the 2007 matchup between Penn State and Buffalo. 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 two touchdowns but Penn State would finally break the UB defense and pile on 4th quarter points.

The defeat in 2007 was Penn State revenge 107 years in the making. With the win Penn State evened out the all time record against UB at 1-1.

The first time UB played Penn State was on Thanksgiving Day in Buffalo, New York, in the year of our Lord 1900.
Penn State came with the reputation of having done some wonderful work during the season, but against our brawny athletes was unable to compete successfully. In the first half she more than held her own, the ball being in Buffalo’s territory most of the time, yet in the second half her line, it became evident, was far too light to withstand the onslaughts of solid formations. Battered and bruised in the mud of Athletic Field, their skill gave way to superior strength, allowing Buffalo to twice cross their goal line, and finish the season with a score of ten to nothing.

—Iris Yearbook, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 1901
The first half more or less belonged to Penn State. But despite playing most of the half on Buffalo's side of the cold, wet, and muddy field Penn State was unable to score. They did manage to get all the way down to UB's five yard line but Buffalo finally held, an early bend, but don't break defense. UB got the ball back and punted out of danger.

Buffalo was led by a player coach named Seth Thomas. After a scoreless first half the Buffalo squad went to tight formations and rammed the ball down Penn State's throat. Eventually Thomas squeezed through for the first touchdown and after a missed kick UB led 5-0. Just before the end of the second half, as darkness closed in Seth Thomas was again pushed over the line after a determined stand for the second touchdown.

Penn State's coach at the time, William "Pop" Gold, said that if the field was dry and the visitors locker room had been heated then the game may have had a different outcome. He said that he hoped a game between the schools would become an annual affair.

Alas it would be 107 years until the teams played again. Meaning this week's game, like a comet in orbit, could be the last time for a while before UB sees the Nittany Lions again.