The University at Buffalo Football team has put together a great season defeating the defending MAC champions, the University of Miami Ohio Red Hawks, in spectacular fashion on Tuesday evening. Kyle Vantrease, a junior from Stow, Ohio, threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns in the 42-10 dismantling of the defending champs. This win comes just six days after the first victory of the season where the Bulls beat the 2018 MAC champions, the Northern Illinois Huskies.
Coming out of the gates, in a season that the players and coaches didn’t even believe was going to happen for a period of two months, and beating the last two winners of the conference is as impressive of a start as anybody could have predicted.
Adam Fron, a graduate assistant for the UB football team, described the chemistry that the team has developed throughout the rocky start to the season. “I think it has brought a lot of us closer together,” Fron said. “We are all doing our best to avoid being in close contact with people outside the program, which has set it up pretty nicely for guys to form strong bonds. This is the closest-knit group that I have ever been a part of”.
A short three months ago, Coach Lance Leipold and his staff were under the impression that there would be no season. The Mid-American Conference became the first conference to officially cancel its season on August 8th.
This caused a string of panic throughout the college sports world as many other conferences were quick to follow. It was not until close to two months later that on September 26th the conference made an announcement that there would now be a shortened season. Michael Peters, another graduate assistant for the Bulls said that the team was hoping that they were going to get to play, but they had their doubts as positive tests were still in abundance on campus and all over Buffalo.
“Coach Leipold is as professional as they come, He kept the players ready incase we were put in this situation,” Peters said. “We badly wanted to play as we have 25 seniors and four graduate students on the team whose careers could have been ended by a canceled season.”
Seniors that are currently playing in the five conferences that are currently playing college football, were in a tough spot because on August 21st the NCAA extended eligibility for all fall sports by a year. That means that the seniors currently playing could technically come back for another year even though they participated in a shortened season. It will be interesting to see if any players try to exercise that and how the NCAA will respond.
UB football hit the ground running this season despite having to deal with all the other things that 2020 has brought with it. Leipold and the rest of the staff have the team ready to compete for a MAC championship and according to multiple sports books including BetOnline and Ceasers, they are currently favored to do so.