Bulls Host Bowling Green in Season Finale
BUFFALO, NY - While on the surface it may not seem that way, a lot will be on the line Friday afternoon as the Buffalo Bulls face Bowling Green in the 2011 season finale. It will be senior day for 20 UB players and the group hopes to end their careers on a winning note. Sophomore running back Branden Oliver will also be shooting for a historic mark, as he needs only 66 yards to become the program's single-season rushing leader.
"We're going to make this a special week and enjoy it," said head coach Jeff Quinn. "You only get one more shot at it and we have nothing to lose and a lot to gain so we're certainly excited. We have an opportunity to go out with a win against a very good football team and East division rival. I want the mentality to be that this is our championship game."
The team is coming off possibly the best game in recent years after beating Akron 51-10 last Saturday at UB Stadium. The win continued the Bulls trend of stellar home play. In Buffalo's last three home games, it has averaged 526.3 yards per game and averaging 39.7 points per game. Oliver ran for a Division IA record 235 yards and two touchdowns as the Bulls outgained Akron 497-239 in total yardage.
Bowling Green is coming off a heartbreaking 29-28 home loss to Ohio as the Bobcats kicked the game-winning field goal on the game's final play. The Falcons are led by quarterback Matt Schilz and receiver Kamar Jordan, who recently clinched his second consecutive season with over 1,000 yards receiving. Four of the previous five meetings between Buffalo and Bowling Green have been decided by two points or less, with two of the games going into overtime. Last season the Bulls won 28-26 at Bowling Green to continue a stretch of home woes on both sides of the rivalry. The home team has not won in this series since 2006.
On defense, Bowling Green will have to find a way to stop Oliver and a Buffalo offense that is electric in the friendly confines of UB Stadium. After Saturday's game, Oliver became the 15th leading rusher in the nation, accounting for more than 115 yards per game. If Oliver can surpass 100 yards against Bowling Green, not only will he be the single-season rushing record holder, he will also break the school record for most 100 yard rushing performances. He currently is tied for second in school history with seven 100-yard games.
If UB can win Friday they will not only double their win total from 2010, but have a winning season at home for the first time since 2008. The Bulls would also close out the season with back-to-back conference wins.
Kickoff is set for noon, and fans can catch the game on the radio at 1230 WECK in Buffalo or 1280/107.3 WHTK Rochester. The game will also be streamed live at buffalobulls.com.