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Bulls looking for 2-0 start against Temple

UB will face their first road test of the 2018 season

September 05, 2018 - 8:06 pm

Jonathan Simon reporting

The Buffalo Bulls opened their 2018 campaign last Saturday with a huge 48-10 home win over Delaware State. There was a lot of anticipation heading into the opening weekend and UB showed that the hype surrounding this year’s team is very real.

Quarterback Tyree Jackson shined against the Hornets, throwing for six touchdowns (five in the first half) in a little over two quarters of play. The junior’s six passing scores are tied for the second most touchdown passes in a game in UB’s history, one shy of the record. His performance also earned Jackson the MAC East Offensive Player of the Week honor.

“From day one obviously [Jackson has grown] a lot, not just physically but you watch his confidence grow, his understanding,” said Bulls head coach Lance Leipold at his press conference on Tuesday. “The game is starting to slow down for him again. He’s doing everything you want out of a guy who’s in his fourth year in the program.”

As great as Week 1 went for the Bulls, it’s time to put the Delaware State victory behind them and focus on their Week 2 matchup, and first road test of the season against the Temple Owls.

“That’s the first thing we addressed [in the team meeting],” Leipold said. “I believe our guys are wise enough to know that things are going to step up here on Saturday and Temple is a very good, physical football team. We have to be ready and we have to be able to match that physicality they’ll bring at kickoff on Saturday.”

Despite the fact that they dropped their season opener to cross-town rival Villanova, who (like Delaware State) plays in the FCS, Temple will most likely be a tougher opponent for the Bulls. The opening week loss could even provide extra motivation for the Owls.

“They’re coming after us this week,” Bulls wide receiver George Rushing said on Tuesday. “They don’t want to lose games back-to-back, especially not at home. We just have to go out there and play our best football. I think their phrase is ‘Temple Tough,’ we just have to show we’re just as tough, if not tougher.”

In 2017, Temple finished with a 7-6 record and ended their season with a win in the Gasparilla Bowl over Florida International University. The Owls also had back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2015 and 2016, reaching the AAC championship game both years and winning the conference title in 2016. The loss to Villanova was a shocker for a team that’s had a lot of recent success, which is why Leipold knows that Temple is still a very competitive and talented team.

“I think defensively they’re going to be a big challenge for us,” Leipold said. “I think they also have excellent size at the wide receiver spot, you know you’re always worrying about those 50/50 balls that may occur.”

Saturday’s game in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. will be the first matchup between UB and Temple since 2011 when the Owls’ were still a member of the MAC. Another interesting note is that the game will be played at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Philadelphia Eagles, which is a grass-surface stadium. This will be the Bulls’ first time playing on grass since September 19, 2015 at Florida Atlantic University.

UB will also be looking to make history; a win over Temple would give the Bulls their first 2-0 start to a season since moving to the FBS in 1999.

Saturday’s kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. You can hear the game on ESPN 1520 along with pre-game and post-game coverage.

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