AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) — On the first day of UB Bulls football practice, coach Maurice Linguist said he wants to build off on the positives of the practice and continue to work off them until the season opener.

“We want to take one little thing, do it well, do the simple right thing well and then improve on it and refine our technique and our fundamentals,” Linguist said Thursday.

Since joining the Bulls in 2021, Linguist collected a 11-14 record. In his second year, the Bulls finished second in the MAC East and won the 2022 Camellia Bowl against Georgia Southern.

Despite the initial struggles, the 39-year-old said it’s all about how to handle the unpredictability of the regular season. One of these things include the performances of DJ Mangas and Roert Wright as first year offensive and defensive coordinators respectively. However, his history with both men built up the chemistry and what can be expected in the game plan.

“They know me, they work with me,” Linguist said. “They know my system, they know our expectations, they know how we do things and what to expect.”

One of the expectations is the performance of star linebacker Shaun Dolac, who was named 2022 All-MAC First Team and ranked second in the nation in tackles with 147. Dolac said working with Wright changed the mentality of the defense preparation.

“He’s fired up and he’s got the guys fired up,” the senior linebacker said. “Making it simple for the defense, but it takes time and that’s why the leaders have to step up and take the younger guys in.”

Dolac said he’s looking forward to being a leader for the younger guys after working his way up from being a walk-on in 2020.

“I have a job to do and that’s making sure these guys are in the right spots,” Dolac said. “We have a high standard in this program and that’s just holding these guys accountable every single day.”

Dolac’s leadership builds on the team connection’s coach Linguist hopes to achieve ahead of the season opener.

“We want to be one of the most connected teams in the nation,” he said. “We want to be selfless with being great teammates and we want to establish our on the field playing identity.”

The Bulls open the season on the road against Wisconsin on Saturday, Sept. 2.

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