BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Even though the UB Bulls are coming off a tough loss in the MAC Championship game, their season isn’t over.
After going 5-0 and dominating in the regular season, the Bulls fell short in the conference title game to Ball State, 38-28 but they’ll now have the opportunity to win the program’s second bowl game in team history as they’ll now play Marshall in the Camellia Bowl on Christmas Day.
“We had an opportunity to represent the Mid American Conference as one of two teams that would have the opportunity to participate in a Bowl. We felt very comfortable to move forward with the bowl,” UB Athletic Director Mark Alnutt said.
This will now be the third straight season UB will play in a bowl game and the fifth time in program history. They also have the opportunity to win the team’s second straight bowl game and second in program history.
“When you get a chance to be in a bowl game wherever, you know there’s only two teams in our league that are getting this opportunity in this crazy year for us to have that we need to embrace it,” head coach Lance Leipold said.
“I’m so proud of what they’ve been able to do this season. Not just what they’ve done on the football field but just going through this process and roller coaster with them arriving back in the summer understanding the guidelines, the testing protocol, preparing for potential preseason camp and having that canceled at that time and then being able to see their willingness, their wanting to play in September and when the decision was made to resume football you can tell the body language, the attitude,” Aluntt explained.
Leipold even went back to reflecting on the season a few years ago when they finished 6-6 but did not get a bowl invitation to explain how much they need to cherish this moment.
“I go back to that 2017 season where we told our team if they took care of business and got to 6 wins we’d go to a bowl game and then we had to walk into a room and tell them that they got left out so that was very disappointing so we need to embrace it. We’ve got a great opponent, they’re also coming off a conference championship tough loss,” Leipold said.
And while this has been a crazy season, it’s quite the accomplishment to do what they’ve been able to do even though this pandemic.
“We were very fortunate that we weren’t the cause of any disruption within our season,” Alnutt said.
“So definitely a roller coaster but one of those things that I take great pride in when we were able to move forward, how this team, how this staff responded and that we were able to get in close to a full season except for Ohio but to be able to make it to Detroit, obviously fell a little short but now I feel this is a resilient group and they’re looking forward to playing in this next game,” Alnutt explained.
Leipold also said running back Jaret Patterson is planning to play in this game even though he got banged up against Ball State.