Before the season began, Buffalo football fans penciled the team's game against Eastern Michigan as a definite win. The Eagles were coming off an 0-12 campaign in 2009 and had the potential to finish with a similar record in 2010.
The Eagles erased the notion that they were a pushover to Buffalo and secured Buffalo's worst season since 2006.
In a matchup college football fans billed as the pillow fight of the week, Eastern Michigan and Buffalo came to UB Stadium fighting for pride. The struggle came down to a failed Hail Mary attempt by Buffalo.
The days of bowl games and wins at UB Stadium seem like a distant memory.
Eastern Michigan (2-9, 2-5 Mid-American Conference) knocked off UB (2-9, 1-6 MAC) 21-17 during senior day at UB Stadium on Saturday. EMU's win halted its three-game losing streak and extended Buffalo's run of futility to six games.
This is Buffalo's longest losing streak since the Bulls lost seven in a row in 2006.
"I would have liked to stopped them more. I would have liked to score more. I would have liked a lot of things to have an opportunity to have a different outcome," said head coach Jeff Quinn.
In a season of lows, Buffalo has plummeted to the bottom. In front of 9,786 fans – the smallest crowd at UB Stadium since Buffalo's last game versus EMU in 2005 – Buffalo came without fire and never held the lead against a team that's been outscored by 21 points a game this season. The Eagles came into Saturday's matchup with a 4-30 record during the last three seasons and ranked 118 th in scoring defense out of 120 Division I football teams.
But Buffalo's offense held the same rank in scoring offense, and the adage "defense wins championships" rang true in this "toilet bowl" between two of the MAC's worst teams.
Buffalo's running game failed to execute and left sophomore quarterback Jerry Davis to fend for himself. The Bulls' running backs accumulated 30 yards on 16 carries. In comparison, Davis rushed the ball eight times for 42 yards.
Contrary to Buffalo's ineffectiveness, the Eagles had no trouble establishing a running game. Running back Dwayne Priest had a career day with 192 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. As a team, EMU rushed for 261 yards.
The running game was just one of the few areas in which Buffalo was outplayed.
"It's all the little things that make a big difference, and in this football game, we just didn't make enough plays to succeed," Quinn said.
Though Davis was left without much help, he played his best game since the season opener against Rhode Island. After conceding the starting job to freshman quarterback Alex Zordich for four games, Davis got a second chance this week due to a Zordich injury and completed 20 of 32 passes for 222 yards and two touchdowns. For the first time this season, Davis did not throw an interception in a game.
To Davis, his productive performance didn't heal the sting of another disappointing loss.
"We just came up short, and it ‘s just a repeating act," Davis said. "We keep playing hard but we keep coming short. It hurts."
Friday marks the end of Buffalo's tumultuous season. In another pillow fight, Buffalo travels to Akron, Ohio to face the Akron Zips (0-11, 0-7 MAC) in a battle for last place in the MAC East.
"We don't look at win-loss records at this point. You look at the positives and what we can build off of," said junior wide receiver Terrell Jackson.
Kickoff is slated for 2 p.m. on Friday.