It’s been awhile since losses dominated a UB season, but this past year a combination of Coaching chaos, player turnover, and plain bad luck led to a 4-8 season, the worst record the program has had since year two of the Lance Leipold regime.
For awhile it looked like Coach Linguist might, against all odds, pull off a winning season in the face of tremendous obstacles but a late-season slide was enough to doom the Bulls.
Here are UB’s losses in order from least to most painful.
#8 – Coastal Carolina
This was UB’s second loss of the season, but it was easily the one defeat that ended with Buffalo looking their best. Coastal Carolina was ranked #16 in the country, and UB was coming off a dismal performance against Nebraska
Buffalo got within a field goal with 2:41 remaining. Kevin Marks’ 7-yard touchdown run capped a 92-yard drive that started when Logic Hudgens intercepted McCall in the end zone.
After this game, my feeling was that this team could “punch with” anyone left on our schedule. For the next several weeks that played out. UB never came out on top, but darn if they didn’t play with everyone.
Pain Rating: Papercut, with some lemon juice
#7 – Nebraska
Before the turnover, this was a game UB fans really felt like they could compete in, and if the offense had not been anemic they would have. For most of the game the offense did nothing, leaving the defense with poor field posistion and gassed from a lopsided TOP.
But the defense was undisciplined both in allowing big plays and taking two unessary unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and two facemasks.
But, hey, the check cleared.
Pain Rating: Being slowly choked out, and not being able to do anything about it
#6 Ball State
It hurt, a bit, but really there was no consequnce to this game and the defense looked like they half cared what was going on.
UB’s first quarter sealed the game as they gave up two touchdowns in the span of 53 seconds thanks to a BSU interception and a blocked punt.
Pain Rating: Knocked out with a sword handle
#5 Western Michigan
This could be where the season really turned, the fourth quarter of a game Buffalo should have won
UB seemed to have an in to win but then Eleby threw a 64-yard strike to give the Broncos a lead with 9 minutes remaining. After Buffalo went three-and-out for the fourth straight possession, the Broncos burned almost six minutes off the clock before La’Darius Jefferson scored from a yard out.
Yup, UB had four straight three and outs after building a seven point lead.
Pain Rating: Sliced Cheek
#4 Kent State
This just felt like the WMU game on steroids. Buffalo was terrible for more of the first half, amazing in the third quarter, and then went to sleep in the fourth. Kent was up 31-10, then Buffalo was up 38-34.
Pain Rating: Bonked in the head by a Giant
#3 Northern Illinois
We are just snake bitten against NIU, always have been. What else do you say when you fight back to get to overtime and then on the first possession fumble it at the goal line.
Pain Rating: ROUS Gnawing At your shoulder
Buffalo gave up 536 yards of offense to Miami, and 5.1 yards per carry. They were but a speed bump to the Redhawks.
Pain Rating: Run through by a blade
#1 Bowling Green
I really think this was the game that set up Buffalo’s end of season slide. To this point in the season UB had been competative in almost every game and showed glimmers of beaing able to win six. They faced a terrible Bowling Green team that had not done anything all year, or the year before, or the year before that.
UB managed to make the Falcons look like a New Years day bowl team. The final score says 56-44 but it really wasn’t that close. Bowling Green went to sleep for a moment and UB closed the gap but our defense was useless.
Pain Rating: The Machine is set to 50, The sound of ultimate suffering