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Monday, June 24, 2024
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3 things to watch in UB football’s home opener against Fordham

After losing a hard-fought game to Wisconsin, the Bulls are looking for a rebound

<p>UB students fill the student section at UB Stadium.</p>

UB students fill the student section at UB Stadium.

For the second straight season, the UB football team (0-1) will play its home opener against an FCS opponent. 

The Fordham Rams (1-1) will be in town Saturday evening, with kickoff set for 6 p.m. at UB Stadium. In last year’s home opener, the Bulls were upset on a last-second Hail Mary against FCS Holy Cross, losing 37-31. 

UB will look to rebound this week after last Saturday’s 38-17 loss against No. 19-ranked Wisconsin (1-0).

Pay attention to these three things in Saturday’s game:

Stop the run

While the UB defense made some plays last week, recording a sack and two interceptions against a dynamic Wisconsin offense, the Bulls’ run defense was heavily exposed. After allowing 314 yards on 40 rush attempts, UB will need to improve this week against a Fordham team that also relies on its rushing attack. Last week against Wagner, the Rams ran the ball 44 times for a total of 194 yards. 

“We had some guys in position who didn’t [tackle] like we’d like,” Bulls head coach Maurice Linguist said when asked about last week’s struggles. “If a guy does miss a tackle, you’d like to see a second or third guy clean it up.” 

Fordham also features a dual-threat quarterback in sophomore CJ Montes, who ran for 58 yards against Wagner — another threat that UB will have to watch out for. 

Opportunities to throw 

UB graduate quarterback Cole Snyder threw the ball 41 times last week, completing 26 of his attempts. Snyder should have his opportunities to air the ball out again this weekend against a Fordham defense that’s allowed 587 passing yards and six passing touchdowns through two games this season.

“We have some unknown, maybe nationally unknown receivers, but I really like our group,” Linguist said.

Twelve different UB receivers caught a pass against Wisconsin, setting a new program record.

UB history could be made Saturday

Graduate kicker Alex McNulty has kicked for UB since 2018 and has a chance to make UB football history on Saturday. He has 315 career points, which puts him just four points away from surpassing former running back Jaret Patterson for the program record (318). 

Saturday’s game can be streamed on ESPN+ and will be broadcast on ESPN 1520 AM radio.

Brandon Cochi is the sports desk editor and can be reached at brandon.cochi@ubspectrum.com

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