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99 for 99 - #4 - Jim Peele's Blueprint - Part 1

99 for 99 looks at the 99 biggest moments in UB Football history during the 2012 football season, the 99th season of UB Football.

After only four winning seasons in 21 years, Jim Peele started his UB career going 9-7 in his first two seasons as coach. Expectations were dulled however as over the next 4 seasons UB won only 8 games. In 1942, "Lockport" Lou Corriere led the Bulls to a 6-2 season. As UB football fever reached it's peak, the Bulls traded the gridiron for the battlefield.

In 1946, over 100 men returned to UB's first practice. Coach Peele, Fritz Febel, Vito Grieco and Vince Bonerb worked to craft those men into a team that could play as well as they did in 1942. In 1946 UB would play their home games four miles south of campus at Civic Stadium (War Memorial Stadium).

September 28, 1946 - Buffalo 40, Moravian College 7

UB's star Lockport Lou Corriere returned from war, and instantly got back to scoring touchdowns. He scored the first of the season with a pass to put the Bulls up 7-0. In the second half, Corriere scored on a 55 yard run on route to a 40-7 romp over Moravian.


"We ask you to give your whole-hearted support to the teams representing the University. These teams are your teams in every sense of the word; they are financed by you, they are playing for you, and they are representing your school. If you desire to see the University of Buffalo on a big time athletic scale, remember that this can never be accomplished with small time support."

By George T. Hennessey - The Buffalo Bee - 10-04-1946

October 5, 1946 - Buffalo 28, Rensselaer Poly 13

The Bulls recovered a RPI fumble deep in Trojan territory. Lou Corriere scored on the next play. RPI struck back on a 90 yard punt return by Art Beard but UB still led 7-6 after an RPI missed extra point. RPI took their first lead with a 26-yard touchdown run by Dick Powell, taking a 13-7 lead into halftime

The teams traded punts in the third and early in the fourth RPI controlled the game. An early drive was ended when the Bulls held strong on 4th and inches. Later RPI threw an interception to Bill Rudick on the 15. Rudick ran to the 30, and lateraled to Jack Whitman who took it the rest of the way for a UB touchdown, the extra point would proved to be the game winning point.

UB scored twice more: Hal Gerard flipped the ball to Sal Barone who ran 36 yards for a touchdown, followed by Frank Nappo's 15 yard toss to Gerard. With 21 points in the final eight minutes, UB escaped from their trip to Albany with a 28-13 victory.


"The team might have been content to return home with a 14-13 victory; but no, instead, they continued to play "heads up" football even though time was running out on them, returning home with a 28-13 decision.

Sticking by my previous opinion, I still maintain that this will be the greatest gridiron eleven in the history of the University of Buffalo."

By Harry Rosamilia - The Buffalo Bee - 10-11-1946

October 12, 1946 - Buffalo 20, Hobart 7

UB defeated Hobart 20-7 on a cold icy early October day Geneva. Ball security was key in the slippery conditions, as Hobart found out early. A Hobart fumble was recovered by Bill Rudick which set up Eddie Mittlesteadt for a 30-yard touchdown run.

Later in the first quarter, Corriere flipped a lateral to Mittlesteadt who then ran another 55 yards for a touchdown. Buffalo led 20-0 after Vic Cleri scored on a 21 yard run.

After halftime, the ice thawed and the field was reduced to a mud pit. The played slowed down with only one score in the half. Lou Corriere couldn't handle a bad snap, he recovered in the back of his end zone and bicycle kicked the ball out of desperation, it traveled only 12 yards, resting at UB's own 2 yard line. It took Hobart all 4 plays, but eventually they pushed the ball in from the 2 to ruin the Buffalo shutout.


The Bulls proved they are "mudders" as well as "fast track" runners in their conquest of Hobart last Saturday. Although the general aspect of the game was comparable to water polo, the boys showed flashes of brilliance even under the miserable conditions.

By George T. Hennessey - The Buffalo Bee - 10-18-1946

October 19, 1946 - Buffalo 0, Bucknell 20

UB returned home for the first homecoming game since the war. The 3-0 Bulls entered at 18 point underdogs against the Bucknell Bison.

Bucknell came into the game 0-3 with losses coming at Cornell and at Penn State. Perhaps the Bulls took the Bison lightly. UB was shut out in front of 15,000 fans. Worst than the end of the undefeated season, UB suffered many injuries including the loss of star player Lou Corriere.


Many persons last Saturday undoubtedly left the stadium very disappointed that Bucknell won the contest. Many others too probably ripped the UB squad to pieces, with their cutting phrases of sarcasm. Usually, however it is such persons, who run around frothing at the mouth, that know the least abou the game. To anyone with any football sense, the Bulls played the best game of their season thus far...

The Buffalo Bee - 10-25-1946

October 26, 1946 - Buffalo 20, Wayne State 25

Without Lou Corriere, Harry MacWilliams and jack Whitman, UB fell late to Wayne State at home. On the winning score, Wayne's Tartar Ventio was crushed by UB's Vic Manz, but not before Ventio lateraled to Haag who scampered 40 yards for the touchdown.


The Bucknell Bisons made it two in a row over our Bulls last Saturday although most people are giving the credit to Wayne University since they were on the field with the Bulls.

By George T. Hennessey - The Buffalo Bee - 11-01-1946

November 2, 1946 - Buffalo 32, Bethany 6

Eddie Mittelsteadt ran for a 30-yard TD to open the scoring, and after two quarters, UB led 12-0 via a Bill Rudick touchdown plunge. A subduded opening broke out into an exciting second half, sparked by a twenty-yard run by Lou Corriere for a 19-0 UB lead. Hal Gerard scored later to give buffalo a resounding 25-0 lead. Coach Peele sent out the reserves and Bethany took advantage with their first TD of the game to cut the lead 25-6. In response, Peele sent his first team offense back into the game resulting in a Bud Houser score to end the game 32-6 in UB's favor.


Imbued with fanatical zeal and enthusiasm for victory, the Buffalonians struck back viciously at the Bison squad to give the Bethany fans an afternoon jam-packed with football excitement. In fact, before the contest was over, many Bethanyites had been won over to our side and were wildly cheering the Bulls on to victory.

By Harry Rosamilla - The Buffalo Bee - 11-08-1946

November 9, 1946 - Buffalo 20, Alfred 12

Alfred, coached by Alex Yunevich, teammate of Peele at Purdue, came into the UB game undefeated. The key to beating UB was taking advantage of UB's sloppy play. Alfred did that early, converting a Eddie Mittelsteadt's fumble of a Bill Rudick's lateral into 6 points. Alfred however was not as good at the other key to beating Buffalo, keeping Lockport Lou in check. Corriere put UB in the endzone with a 14-yard scamble and the Houser extra point gave buffalo a 7-6 halftime lead.

For the second week in a row UB took off in the second half, Bug Houser intercepted Alfred and returned it 26 yards to the 14. Corriere plunged across the goal line for his second score giving UB the 14-6 lead. After an Alfred score, Eddie Mittelsteadt took off for 25 yards and a touchdown to seal a 20-12 win.


The Bulls really went to town last Saturday and when the smoke had cleared, there was one less undefeated, untied team in the country. Alfred had finally bitten the dust. It was a rough, bruising game with our boys being a bit tougher although the Saxons tried every trick in the books, including the unmentionables.

By George T. Hennessey - The Buffalo Bee - 11-15-1946

November 16, 1946 - Buffalo 28, Carnegie Tech 0

Buffalo faced the winless and "scoreless" wonders of Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh. To expectations, UB defeated and shutout Carnegie 28-0, although the game was closer than the score indicated. UB went ahead 7-0 early but could not pull away until the 4th quarter when they scored 21 points.

November 23, 1946 - Buffalo 36, Johns Hopkins 0

In the 1946 finale, the 6-2 Bulls hosted Johns Hopkins. Lockport Lou Corriere sparked the Bulls with an eighty-yard punt return touchdown in the first quarter. He also added a thirty-yard touchdown pass in the 3rd quarter. Paul Missana ran for a touchdown, Eddie Mittlesteadt exploded for a seventy-two yard TD run and Vic Manz hit Len Serfustilli for a thirty-two yard TD pass. The defense dominant all day also got on the scoreboard, knocking Hopkins QB Jack Adams out of the end zone for a safety.

Coach Peele became the winningest coach in UB history on November 2nd 1940 with a win over City College of NY, a distinction he would hold for twenty-two years. On October 16, 1942 UB defeated Hartwick and Peele became the first UB coach to win twenty games. Today only three other coaches have matched that feat. The Hopkins win was Peele's 30th career victory.


The University of Buffalo football team has completed its season with a record of 7 wins and 2 losses, having scored 224 points to its opponents 91 points. In its last 2 seasons it has compiled a record of 13 wins and 4 losses...

Jim Peele not only acted as head coach during the year but was also in charge of the physical education department, in charge of publicity for the team, responsible for the various items connected with the actual games played by the University at the many social functions he attended during the year. He was easily doing the job of four or five men.

By George Hennessey - The Buffalo Bee - 12-6-1946

Jim Peele's 1946 campaign showed that UB still had football talent after the war. 1947 returned most starters with an average player age of 24 years old.