BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — University at Buffalo has gone 0-fer out of conference for the first time in 18 seasons.
Saturday night’s 45-38 loss at Louisiana dropped the Bulls to 0-4, following defeats at Wisconsin to open the season, and at home against lower-division Fordham and Liberty.
UB overcame an 0-3 start last season to finish 7-6 with a bowl victory. The Bulls begin Mid-American Conference play next Saturday at Akron.
Third-year coach Maurice Linguist is now 3-10 in non-conference games at UB, including the Camellia Bowl win against Georgia Southern. He is 8-8 in the MAC, and the Bulls were picked to finish third in the East division in the preseason poll of MAC coaches.
Playing their 25th season since elevating to Division I FBS and joining the MAC in 1999, this is the fifth time the Bulls have gone winless in non-conference games. They also were 0-4 in ’03, and 0-3 in ’99, ’00, and ’05, as part of an 0-9 start coach Jim Hofher’s final season.
The Bulls have struggled most on defense this season under Linguist, who coach secondaries in college and with the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys for 14 seasons and was hired to be Michigan’s defensive coordinator before accepting the job in Buffalo.
UB has given up an average of 512 yards through four games after Louisiana out-gained them 518-373 on Saturday. Opponents are averaging 44.5 points against the Bulls this season, with only a Ragin’ Cajun interception return for a touchdown on Saturday night not counting against UB’s defense.
The defense and special teams did come up with three takeaways that helped UB’s offense pile up 38 points after halftime and nearly come back from down 31-7 in the third quarter.
Cole Snyder was 17 of 34 passing for 198 yards and his 10th touchdown pass of the season for UB. He was intercepted twice, including on the final drive when the Bulls had a chance to score a tying touchdown. Snyder entered the night leading MAC quarterbacks in TD passes and passing yards per game (245).
Ron Cook rushed for 48 yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter after the Bulls forced turnovers deep in Ragin’ Cajun territory. Mike Washington had 88 yards rushing before leaving the game when he took a hit to the side of his left knee. Backup quarterback CJ Ogbonna also ran for a touchdown, and Jacquez Barksdale scored off a turnover to get the Bulls within a touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
Jonah Bronstein joined the WIVB squad in 2022 as a digital sports reporter. The Buffalonian has covered the Bills, Sabres, Bandits, Bisons, colleges, high schools and other notable sporting events in Western New York since 2005, for publications including The Associated Press, The Buffalo News, and Niagara Gazette. Read more of his work here.