Looking ahead: Football in the future

Bulls to play Ohio State, others in coming seasons

football

Last September, UB football entered Beaver Stadium as a 31-point underdog to the then No. 15 Nittany Lions.

The Bulls didn’t let that deter them: for 30 minutes, they were the better team. At the half, they led Penn State 10-7. For a fleeting moment, it seemed the Bulls were on the verge of an upset, until the Lions stormed back and handily defeated the Queen City team.

It was a poignant reminder that the Bulls aren’t far off from competing with some of the better programs in the country. Now, over the next few years, they will have multiple opportunities to do so.

Next season, the Bulls have their most difficult road non-conference schedule in years: on Sept. 5, they kick off their season against Kansas State; on Sept. 19, they travel to Columbus to take on third-ranked Ohio State; and on Oct. 24, they will battle with the Military Academy in West Point. They will also take on Saint Francis University at home on Sept. 12.

In 2021, the Bulls will travel to Lincoln to take on University of Nebraska at Memorial Stadium. In 2022, they’ll head to Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium to take on the Terps.

Also on the docket: a 2023 trip to Camp Randall Stadium to take on Big Ten powerhouse Wisconsin, a 2024 match against SEC contender Missouri, and a 2025 battle with Minnesota.

The football team is borrowing a page from Nate Oats’ playbook. The former head basketball coach deliberately scheduled tough opponents so his team would gain valuable experience and be prepared for postseason play — something Lance Leipold and his staff are likely doing here.

The Bulls quietly continue to add more opponents to their future non-conference slate. Currently, they play four non-conference teams per season, with their non-conference schedule figured out through the 2023 season.

Justin Weiss is the senior sports editor and can be reached at justin.weiss@ubspectrum.com and on Twitter @Jwmlb1

JUSTIN WEISS


Justin Weiss is an asst. sports editor at The Spectrum