Quinn's First Season is one to Forget
Football team ends season on 0-7 skid
The football team has nowhere to go but up in 2011. Spectrum File Photo
UB's football program wasn't relevant until the 2008 team reached the International Bowl. After a mediocre 2009 campaign, new head coach Jeff Quinn brought with him hope of a return to Mid-American Conference championship glory in 2010.
Unfortunately for UB fans, it was clear that Quinn couldn't revive the football team overnight. The Bulls limped through the 2010 season and finished 2-10.
Last season there were times that the Bulls just simply beat themselves, according to Quinn. The Bulls just made too many mistakes and the turnovers haunted them throughout the season. Quinn felt that there was a serious lack of balance on his football team.
"Our kids are very competitive," Quinn said. "They gave great effort and wanted to win, but we just came up short. I always said that we were a good team that didn't play very good football, and so the offseason was focused on getting bigger, faster, stronger, and smarter."
The bright spot for the Bulls last season was their defensive unit. Quinn thought his defense was one of the best in the MAC and he looks for it to continue to have an impact on games for Buffalo.
It was a season of chaos and confusion for Buffalo. Quinn looked like the right man for the job and Buffalo put a hurting on its opening day opponent, Rhode Island. With sophomore quarterback Jerry Davis making his Bulls debut, Buffalo routed the Rams, 31-0. Davis passed for 302 yards and four touchdowns and the defense pitched a shutout. The Bulls were off to a roaring start.
Then reality set in considering the Rams were a Division 1 subdivision school. The lowly Rams were no accurate barometer for how successful this Bulls team would be, as Buffalo found out in Waco, Tx. The Baylor Bears put a hurting on Buffalo, 34-6.
After being outmanned by a far superior Big 12 opponent, the Bulls came back home with hopes of getting back on the winning track. Central Florida stood in the way. Though the score was 10-10 midway through the fourth quarter, UCF pulled away to win the game, 24-10.
Following the heartbreaking home loss, the Bulls took to the road for three consecutive games and it didn't begin the way they hoped. Connecticut bested the Bulls, 45-21.
With its record now 1-3, the Bulls desperately needed to get a win at Bowling Green. The defense ensured Buffalo did just that. The Bulls put up 441 yards to Bowling Green's 176, but Buffalo only narrowly escaped, 28-26. The squad recorded a win in its first MAC game of the season, but more importantly, the team was back on track.
Or so it appeared. The Bulls proceeded to get mauled by Northern Illinois, 45-14. The offense mustered a season-low 250 yards.
The next game featured much anticipation for Buffalo. It was the homecoming game and the Bulls put a new starting quarterback on the field. Quinn felt that Davis wasn't getting the job done, so freshman Alex Zordich was given the reins. With all that promise, Bulls fans expected to see a better product on the field, but they filed out of UB Stadium with heads hung after a 42-0 shellacking. Zordich was sacked five times and he threw three interceptions.
Zordich pulled it together in his next start. The freshman went 16-for-33 for 210 yards and he scored his first touchdown against Miami (OH), but the Red Hawks held off a late Bulls' surge to win 21-9.
The Bulls took on the Ohio Bobcats in Zordich's next appearance. The freshman showed off some impressive running skills, but the Bulls fell behind 21-0 and couldn't recover. The game ended in a 34-17 Ohio victory, as the Bulls dropped to 2-7 on the season.
The next game was one the Bulls would like to forget. With the team leading 3-0 in the first quarter, starting quarterback Zordich went down with a rib injury. Davis came in and struggled, going 5-for-16 for 39 yards. The Bulls dropped the affair, 20-3.
Davis and the Bulls looked much better in their next game, but the Bulls still couldn't get a win. Though the quarterback went 20-for-32, threw for 222 yards, and ran for 42, Buffalo lost to Eastern Michigan, 21-17. The game came down to the final play, as Davis' desperation Hail Mary fell incomplete in the end zone.
In the last regular season contest, the Bulls attempted to send out their seniors with a win. However, Buffalo fell 22-14 in Akron, as Davis fumbled on the potential game-tying drive.
This year, the team looks to rebound.
"The exciting part is that we have a new year ahead of us," Quinn said. "We're a football team that was extremely competitive, but we had to fight through some challenges and struggles. This year's team has learned from that.
With a year of Quinn's system in place and two talented quarterbacks with game-time experience, Buffalo fans have high expectations.
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