Army Buffalo Connectivity

Saturday, September 9, 2017

There's a link to a live stream of the game under the radio tab above.


Q&A with UB Bull Run

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Bulls flipped the script in the 4th quarter last year and pulled out the overtime win. Tim Riordian over at UB Bull Run reached out to me to do a Q&A on the upcoming Buffalo/Army game. In my questions to him we talk personnel, rivalries, and moral victories. Below are his answers to my questions, My answers to his questions can be found here.

Is your team healthy? I watched the Minnesota game pretty closely and I don't recall any notable injuries.

The Bulls got through Minnesota without any injuries, showed some promise, and the check cleared. So it was not a perfect day but it was still a pretty decent one.

 Who are some of the top performers on the Buffalo roster? 

On offense you want to watch sophomore Quarterback Tyree Jackson and his primary receiver Anthony Johnson. Jackson is in his second year as a starter and is beginning to mature into the role, his decision making was excellent in the Minnesota game. He has a cannon for an arm and is able to tuck the ball and pick up yards on the ground. 

Anthony Johnson is the cousin of NFL stars Jadeveon Clowney and Johnathan Joseph, and he's built like it. He is the first receivers I've seen at UB who looks like he might really draftable since Naaman Roosevelt. He was a junior  transfer who used a redshirt last season and he gave the Gophers fits last week in his first start.

On defense Watch out for Khalil Hodge. He had 20 total tackles against Minnesota and will be responsible for trying to gum up the works on your offense.
Do you see any positions where the Bulls may have a talent or schematic advantage over Army?

I don't think anyone's defense "schemes" well against Army. It comes down to discipline, decision making, and execution. If everyone on the defense does their job you can contain Army, if the defense gets sloppy Army will run all over the field and you just have to hope the offense can keep up.

Our offense may match up well in that we have receivers that are going to be a challenge for your defensive backs and UB likes to stretch the field. Even with Anthony Johnson catching everything in sight the Gophers did not lock in on him in the second half because they knew that would open other areas up. Our inability to run (or kick field goals) made sure that was the right decision for Minnesota. If Army can't keep UB's running backs out of the game it may be a different story this week.

This one is just out of personal curiosity:  I don't follow Buffalo very closely, and looking up and down the MAC a clear rival didn't jump off the page for me. Who does Buffalo consider their main rival in football? Do fans have a favorite regular opponent?

Buffalo has no main MAC rival in football for four reasons; History, geography, performance, and Culture.

* History - The MAC is an incredibly stable conference. Six teams have been members since before the mid 50's, four more joined in the early 70's. Only Buffalo and Akron came in during the past 90s.
* Geography - So Akron and Buffalo came in at the same time but Akron is a stones throw from Kent. You also have the Michigan Trifecta (East, West, Central), Bowling Green and Toledo are right next to each other, Miami and Ohio compete, and Ball State are also a thing.
* Performance - UB has two winning seasons since becoming a member of the conference, it's hard for anyone to consider that a rival.
* Culture - UB is not "East Coast" like New York City or Boston but it is way more East Coast than Muncie, Athens, or Toledo. A third of UB students are form New York City and 15% or so are international. We are as close to a flagship public university as New York has and that does not match anyone else in the conference.

I had hoped that UMass would have come all in because of the geography and culture would have become our rival. We even created a virtual trophy for the game, the Powder Horn.

Of the current slate of teams I would say our hoops hatred for Ohio and Akron boils over into football for our fanbase.
There is no shame in pushing a power 5 team like Minnesota to the brink like Buffalo did . After last season, is there any value in that kind of moral victory for UB fans or is the Minnesota game looked at as a missed opportunity? 

I don't believe in moral victories anymore, I've spent a lot of times over the years hanging my hat on things like pushing Ohio State or playing Pitt really close. I'm not upset at the loss but I see two missed field goals and a flea flicker which should have been caught as things which cost UB a game they really needed.

The good that comes out of it, for me, is not the moral victory but the fact UB's play calling seemed to be light years ahead of last season.

Head Coach Lance Leipold came to Buffalo with a near-perfect coaching record and more championship trophies than one could fit on a coffee table. What kind of expectations do you have for him at Buffalo?

I think a lot of people, including me, put too much on him when he came. Many people did not realize that the facilities, budget, and community support at Wisconsin Whitewater is among the very best in DIII, at Buffalo it's the other way around. He started out really well in year one. He was 5-4 with three games left and it looked like year one could be a bowl game. but the Bulls ended on a three game skid and have been truly terrible ever since. 

The Bulls were able to hang around for 4 quarters in Minneapolis but are now 0-1 on the season. If Buffalo is going to improve on last year's results, is Army a must win game? 

Buffalo lost to an in state FCS team and only won two games last season. I'd say the bar for "improving on last year's results" is rather low, in fact it may be buried underground".

That being said, before last week I had Army as a sure loss but now I'd say the Bulls have a chance and this game would be a big win for the team. Army is a good opponent and a win would make starting conference play with a 2-2 or 3-1 record possible. 

Would you care to make a prediction for the game?
Every week our community on Bull Run does the BRuPeG (Bull Run Pick'em Game). Our community's average pick right now is Army 25, UB 22. I'm going to be a homer and say Buffalo 28, Army 20. 

Thanks to Tim for the opportunity for an exchange like this. Check out UB Bull Run (and on twitter) for an alternate reality New York college football experience.


Yearbook: Buffalo

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The University of Buffalo has two different yearbooks available online. The Iris came into existence in 1897 and was the main undergraduate yearbook until it ceased publication in 1932. The Buffalonian yearbook followed the Iris and ran as a student publication until the year 2001.

These yearbooks are archived online, but as of the time I posted this the UB digital collection website had some hiccups, but after some time I was able to access the yearbooks. The complete volumes of the Iris yearbook are available from 1899 to 1907 and 1920 until 1932. The Buffalonian volumes from 1934-1948 and 1960-1969 are digitized online by the UB Library and Digital Collections. They're good images of the books and they do have a decent amount of UB's football history therein. As Buffalo wasn't a major program in the early 1900's collections like this do yeoman's work in keeping the history of college football alive and accessible.

Photograph from the 1968 Buffalonian

Beyond yearbooks, the University of Buffalo Archive's digital collections site has an outstanding collection of media for the history minded Bulls fan.

UB Digital Collections include a section titled UB Sports History Collection which features historical pictures of Buffalo Bulls athletics. There are all types of Bulls sports photos and some interesting stuff for Buffalo football fans in particular.

The digital collection at large is searchable so if you wanted to search for items on a specific sport you can easily find what the archive has available. Here's a link to a search relating to football. Very simple and effective search, and the content is top shelf.

“UB Varsity Football team play versus Army, 1960-1961 season,” © Digital Collections - University at Buffalo Libraries
Original found here

The collection even turned up about 30 archived videos of historical Buffalo Bulls football games. Here's a look at 1946 footage of Buffalo vs Hobart College from Geneva, NY. Even if you're not a Bulls fan, this video collection is an amazing look at how American football has changed through the years. I don't see many collections like this, so by all means go on over and see everything they have on offer.


It is the mission of The Unbalanced Line Online Library to present important and interesting historical texts to college football fans. Items will be added regularly as blog postings and can be easily indexed in the Yearbooks button on the site bar.

Copyrighted material is used expressly under the fair use guidelines of U.S. Code 17 #107 through #118 stating that the criticism, comment, news reporting, educational use or research of copyrighted material is not held in violation of copyright laws.

            ___________________ © 2017 The Unbalanced Line ___________________


Army/Buffalo Game Notes

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Game notes are up for Saturday's game.

Army notes are here (.pdf) and Buffalo notes are here (.pdf)


Passing Craze

Why is everyone so in love with throwing the football?

I see it all the time - Army football message boards, future Army opponents looking down the schedule, and now Army's prose contributor John Feinstein

Army's not going to rush for 539 yards every week, so it will need some semblance of a passing game. It's worth remembering that in the Navy win, Poe's 29-yard catch launched the game-winning touchdown drive.
In four years this coaching regime has shown us that they place a lot of value showing a limited playbook in the early stages of the season.
If we're going to talk about Jeff Monken's "process" let's at least look at what that process has looked like historically.

Last year's passing numbers through the first quarter of the season:

1/4, 11 YDS thrashing Temple
4/6 66 yds Rice win
7/8 174  yds in the UTEP win

so in 2016 through the first 3 games of the season, and Army threw just 18 passes in three games.

The year before Army threw 27 passes through three games with 13 of those passes coming by way of the necessity of down/distance - or playing from behind - specifically playing from behind late in the game.  Subtracting those 4th quarter comeback attempt throws - 2015 Army threw 14 passes through the first three games.

Fordham loss  7/16 with 8 passes coming in the last two drives attempting the comeback.
Uconn Loss 3/8 85 yards with 5 passes coming during the late comeback attempt.
Wake Forest 2/3 54 yards.

Army 2014  threw the ball 17 times through the first three games
Buffalo 7/7 125 yards  (Win)
Stanford 3/5   9 yards  (Loss)
Wake Forest 3/5  18 yards (Loss)

This year the Cadets stomped Fordham and had an ideal situation to work on their process. No surprises there, running the football IS the process. The team was able to finish off Fordham early so why show any more schemes than necessary? Why would they do anything other than rip off 10 yard run after 10 yard run? Army put it to the Rams anyway, there is no need to risk stopping the clock, or risk an injury to any more starters. It seems like I am the only person who appreciates that Army can keep their playbook closed until they need it, and that goes not just for pass plays. Go back and watch the Navy game or the UTEP bowl game from last year - you will see a lot more of Brent Davis' system of misdirection in those games than you will looking for what he likes to do in last week's Fordham tape. 0-2 passing through week one? Awesome. I hope they are 1-1 passing next week.

The bottom line is that this team's process involves winning games by running the football and ultimately adding layers of complexity by introducing new facets of the offense on their own terms. If that means throwing the ball as needed with 2:45 seconds on the clock, then passing is part of that process too. We've seen how this team uses the forward pass and I'm not too eager to add that element into the game based on what it would mean in terms of a game's score and situation.



Add to Google Reader or Homepage

Subscribe in Bloglines

Subscribe in a reader