by Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
After the disappointment of UB’s basketball loss to Texas Tech in the second round of the NCAA tournament I think we should reflect back on what a monumental year it was for the UB sports teams this year.
The UB football and basketball team went a combined 42-8 this year. This was without question the best year in the history of UB sports and I think we should take a minute to appreciate what we witnessed.
The UB football team started off the non-conference schedule with a thrilling win in Temple. Anthony Johnson’s game winning touchdown catch while injured was one that was hard to forget. The Bulls then went into Rutgers and destroyed the Big 10 team 42-13.
KJ Osborn put on a show with 188 yards receiving as the Bulls opened up the MAC schedule with a thrilling 35-28 win over Eastern Michigan. The Bulls continued their historic year by going into the Glass Bowl and holding Toledo to 65 yards of offense in the second half in a 31-17 win. Beating long time nemesis Toledo in such a resounding fashion made a strong statement.
MAC mid-week action provided a thriller as the Bulls put up 51 points at UB stadium in outscoring the Redhawks of Miami 51-42. Tyree Jackson accounted for six touchdowns and Anthony Johnson had a school record 238 receiving yards.
The Bulls would end the year with two tough losses to Northern Illinois in the MAC Title game and to Troy in the Dollar General Bowl. Still a 10-4 record with the most wins ever at the Division 1 level and the most MAC wins as well.
The football season will be complete in late April when Tyree Jackson, Anthony Johnson and Khalil Hodge are drafted in the NFL draft.
Basketball season started in November with CJ Massinburg dropping 43 points in West Virginia as the Bulls topped the Mountaineers in overtime 99-94. UB won the Belfast tournament in handing San Francisco their first loss of the year. The victory moved UB to 7-0 on the season.
UB provide to be the dominant local team after blasting St Bonaventure 80-62 and Canisius at the Koessler Center. The Bulls also went into the Carrier Dome and beat Syracuse for the first time since 1963. UB outscored the Orange 39-23 in the second half in beating Syracuse for the first time since 1963.
UB opened MAC play by laying 110 points on rival Toledo at Alumni arena. Jeremy Harris led the Bulls with 34 points. UB scored 65 points in the second half. The Bulls hit a school record 19 three pointers in their destruction of Ohio 114-67. Jayvon Graves led the way with 7 three pointers.
An emotional senior night was capped off with an 84-73 win over Bowling Green. The Bulls increased their home court winning streak to 26 games. UB would defeat Bowling Green again in the MAC title game for their third MAC title in four years.
UB played their best game of the year in knocking off former coach Bobby Hurley in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The Bulls proved worthy of the highest seed ever by a MAC team since the expansion of the NCAA field.
The Bulls didn’t play their best game against Texas Tech and their season came to an abrupt end at the hands of a very good Red Raiders team.
Still it needs to be appreciated that both the football and basketball teams had the most wins in school history. We may never see two seasons like this again in out lifetime.