Leipold, Bulls pleased with 5-1 start

UB is back on track following its win over Central Michigan

Jon Simon
October 09, 2018 - 8:04 pm

Photo: Timothy T. Ludwig - USA TODAY Sports


UB football found themselves back in the win column this past Saturday with a 34-24 victory over Central Michigan. Not only did the win improve the Bulls record to 5-1, it was also the first time in program history the Bulls defeated the Chippewas in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan.

The Bulls’ 5-1 record matches their best start since 1996 and with a win over Akron this upcoming Saturday UB would be 6-1 for the first time since 1959. A victory over the Zips would also give the Bulls bowl eligibility, something this team has yearned for since being snubbed from bowl competition last season.

“We haven’t done it yet,” Bulls head coach Lance Leipold said at Tuesday’s press conference. “We’ve talked about the possibilities of what this team could do and how this group of upperclassmen can continue to build on what we want our program to be for the long haul. But I think this team has more goals than just getting six wins.”

It was clear before the 2018 season even started that this UB team had potential to have a historic year and they lived up to the hype through the first four weeks. The disappointing showing against Army two weeks ago could’ve crushed their momentum, but the Bulls proved against Central Michigan that they can bounce back after hard losses, and that’s something that good football teams know how to do.

“I’m very pleased with the effort and attitude that we approached the whole week with,” Leipold said. “We wanted to challenge them early in the week, making sure we got back to focusing on the details of things like our approach and our sense of urgency and they accepted that challenge and had a really good week. To go to [Central Michigan], it’s a difficult place to play, and never winning there before as a program and to see them accomplish all those things was a very good day.”

Leipold also gave a lot of credit to the UB upperclassmen and how they responded after the Army loss. A lot of the juniors and seniors on this team went through the struggles that Leipold’s first few teams experienced; but those experiences and hard work have gotten the Bulls to where they are now.

“There’s a process you have to go through to get better and I think they’ve embraced that you have to go out each day to do what you need to do to get better, then prepare to give yourself a chance to win,” Leipold explained. “These upperclassmen that we seem to talk about on a weekly basis, they’re competitive nature and love of football have really helped move our program. It’s their maturity and how they approach everything that they do that has really helped us get to where we’re at. Their work ethic in the weight room, how they approach their academics, how they handle situations, they’re doing it the right way right now.”

The vision that the Bulls have had for their program started to become a reality when they had the fifth highest attendance in UB Stadium history for the Army game. With Saturday’s game versus Akron being the Bulls’ homecoming game, there could be potential for another larger crowd than usual.

“I hope we can get another great crowd,” Leipold said. “I know fans were disappointed the Army game didn’t go the way we wanted. But, to me, it’s great to see how our guys have bounced back. I hope the fans keep supporting this group of guys, I think they’ll enjoy watching them play and it’ll be a different style game than the last one. I hope that alums whether they’re local or coming back from far away can bring that home crowd advantage and atmosphere to UB Stadium.”

At the halfway point of the schedule, the Bulls couldn’t have asked for a much better start. While there are many more things for this group to accomplish this year, the team as a whole is happy and proud to be where they currently sit.

“If someone said ‘if your team is 4-1 at the end of September and the one loss is a non-conference game would you take it?’ I think you’d have to,” Leipold said. “And if you go one more week and you’re 5-1 and 2-0 in the conference, are you pleased? Me? I’m very pleased.”

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