BUFFALO, NY – The UB football team will open the 2011 campaign on Saturday at Heinz Field against the University of Pittsburgh Panthers. Second year head coach Jeff Quinn says his team does not fear the Big East opponent and his players are excited to get the season started.
The Bulls spread offense will be led by fifth-year senior and Cincinnati transfer quarterback Chazz Anderson alongside a talented receiving corps. The Bulls return their top five receivers from a season ago, including starters Marcus Rivers, Terrell Jackson and Alex Neutz.
"Being able to have Chazz and his maturity and experience, and his ability to learn and understand the game and what we want from that position is a good feeling going into game one," Quinn said.
Buffalo travels to Pittsburgh coming off a 2-10 season in 2010. Despite the team's struggles a year ago, Quinn is optimistic about his new players and coaches.
Buffalo added three new coaches to the staff in the offseason - all on the offensive side of the ball. Offensive coordinator Alex Wood, quarterbacks coach Don Patterson and running backs coach Matt Simon will offer a new look from 2010, developing the Bulls explosive offense.
Pitt is coming off an 8-5 season in 2010. The Panthers' high-powered offense will test the Bulls young defensive backs, who replaced four starters from 2010, three of which attended NFL camps. Cornerbacks Najja Johnson and Cortney Lester each had a solid preseason to earn the starting jobs. Despite being a sophomore and redshirt-freshman, respectively, both players are eager to prove themselves. Buffalo will have move experience at the safety spots in senior Josh Copeland and junior Isaac Baugh.
"When we can get our guys to the point of attack, we have to rally to the ball and we have to be relentless in our pursuit," Quinn said. "We're going to play four quarters at high energy."
Saturday will be the third meeting in four years between the two teams. Pitt has won both previous match-ups in 2008 and 2009. Kickoff is slated for 6:00 pm.
Fans can catch the game live on ESPN3.com or on the radio at WECK 1230 AM in Buffalo or WHTK 1280 AM and 107.3 FM in Rochester.