BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Coming off a huge 69-7 blowout win in the season opener against Wagner, the UB Bulls are shifting their attention to a very different type of opponent in the Nebraska Huskers.
Even though the task may look a little daunting: traveling to take on a Big 10 opponent in a sold out stadium with over 80,000 screaming Husker fans in the stands, but it’s not the first time the Bulls have stepped into an environment like this.
Two years ago, UB traveled to Happy Valley to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions, and about half of this team played in that 2019 game, so they’re are ready for their next Big 10 challenger.
“It’s really cool to be in those environments, especially with fans, but something that probably every coach in the country is going to say is that the field is the same length and it’s the same width, there’s two end zones, there’s hashes, so when we get out there it’s football, and you gotta attack it like that,” UB quarterback Kyle Vantrease said.
“We have a good amount of guys that did play in that Penn State game, but we also have a good amount of guys that haven’t been in a big atmosphere,” UB head coach Mo Linguist said. “We did a thing as a team and culture and showed them Memorial Stadium over there in Lincoln so they can just get their eyes on it. We showed them a video of what it looked like, and we’re anticipating and expecting a sellout crowd of over 85,000 and dealing with the noise and all the things that go along with that.
“We also have 27 new additions to our team that just really haven’t been in these big atmospheres. We’re looking forward to this sellout crowd and all the challenges ahead of us in preparing our team throughout the week for what’s ahead of them.”
Two years ago, the Bulls were practicing with amplified white noise and music on full blast to get ready for the environment at Penn State. Now heading into Nebraska, the team is cool, calm and collected, and they’re keeping the focus on them, instead of their opponent.
“It all comes back down to the culture. The bond and the friendship and the family of this team. Coach Mo always says a connected team is a dangerous team and we’ve become extremely connected off the field so that it can translate on the field,” Vantrease said.
“We believe in our culture. We believe in our process and our way of doing things in a systematic approach. The opponents are going to always change, there’s always going to be someone new, but what we want to do is just play the game the way we play the game and our identity and our brand of football, really regardless of who’s on the other side,” Linguist said.
“We let the narrative of the underdogs and all those things get taken care of on the outside of our four walls, but we go back to our systematic approach of how we do things and put ourselves in the best position and mindset to go out there and play our brand of football.”
UB and Nebraska kick off on Saturday at 3:30 pm at Memorial Stadium. The game will be broadcast on Big10 Network.