UB Bulls Are a Team to Look Out for

Andrew FarrellCorrespondent IJuly 14, 2008

For the many years since 1999, when the Buffalo Bulls joined Division I-A football, the team was the joke of the town and the college football community.  UB stadium, which seats 31,000, was averaging crowds of 1,000, and the team was finishing seasons at 1-11.

When former Cornell University coach Jim Hofher was hired to be the head coach in Buffalo, his team continued to struggle, not only on the field, but at the recruiting level as well.

Then came December of 2005, and the UB Bulls found the best man for the job—Turner Gill, the Green Bay Packers assistant coach and former Heisman Trophy winner with great Nebraska teams.

Gill has turned the program around since his hiring.  The Bulls have competed with teams such as Auburn, Penn State, and Syracuse, and soon will be playing Boston College.  As a reward for his efforts, Gill was named MAC's 2007 Coach of the Year.

Gill has nabbed some of the best recruits locally.  Running back James Starks played high school ball in Niagara Falls, and Naaman Roosevelt played his at St. Joe's Collegiate Institute in Kenmore, NY.

Buffalo also has one of the best quarterbacks in the country—a very underrated player by the name of Drew Willy.

Willy, who is entering his senior season, and his fourth as UB's starting quarterback, is coming off his best season.  Last season he set a career mark with the highest efficiency passing rating in school history (135.7) and also threw for 2,572 yards and 15 touchdowns.  This year, he was nominated for the Johnny Unitas award, given to the best quarterback in the country.

Senior linebacker David Hubbard, along with defensive backs Davonte Shannon, who was voted first team ALL-MAC with 123 tackles and 3 interceptions and Mike Newton, come back to lead a physical and aggressive UB Bulls defense.  The team took great jumps under Turner Gill and defensive coordinator Jimmy Williams and staff.

Buffalo also has solid special teams with placekicker A.J. Principe , but will be looking for another great season season from the Aussi Peter Fardon

The UB Bulls schedule will really show what this team is made of.  Buffalo opens the season at home against Texas-El Paso on August 28, then faces Pittsburgh, Missouri, Central Michigan, Army, Miami (Ohio), which will be televised nationally on ESPN 2, and Bowling Green

Regardless of how this season plays out, Buffalo fans can finally rest at ease, knowing this program at UB is going places in a hurry.

For a complete look at the UB Bulls schedule and roster visit them at