AMHERST, N.Y. - The UB football team is preparing for its Mid-American Conference opener on Saturday night at Ball State.
The Bulls are coming off a 35-7 win against Stony Brook at UB stadium last Saturday which evened their record at 1-1 on the season. "That was a solid win for our program and we need those moments so they understand that their work is going to be rewarded," said UB head coach Jeff Quinn.
Ball State is also 1-1 on the season. The Cardinals beat Indiana 27-20 in their season opener but lost to South Florida 35-7 last week. Quinn is not worried about kicking off conference play so early in the season. "We have to go play Ball State and our kids understand that. I told them, the best team is going to win the MAC, the best team is going to win this league."
The Bulls will look to win their MAC opener for the fourth straight year. Last season UB won at Bowling Green to start conference play, but that would be their only MAC win on the season. The Bulls lost to Ball State 20-3 at home last year. "This is a different team, this is a new year, a different team," said Quinn.
UB will head into Muncie with a lot of confidence on both sides of the football. On offense the Bulls got a career performance from running back Brandon Oliver in the win against Stony Brook. The sophomore piled up 126 yards rushing and three touchdowns on just 15 carries. Oliver needs just 58 yards to surpass his total from all of last season.
Senior QB Chazz Anderson threw his first two touchdown passes of the season in the win. The transfer has 440 yards passing in his first two games as the Bulls starter.
On defense sophomore linebacker Khalil Mack was named the MAC defensive player of the week. Against Stony Brook, Mack finished with eight tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, a sack, two forced fumbles recovered by the Bulls, and an interception. Mack was also named as the National Defensive Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards.
"He wants to be the very best every snap," said Quinn. "He's hungry, he's starting to show that he can go out there and compete and make some great things happen for our defense."
Kickoff between the Bulls and Cardinals is set for Saturday at 7:00 p.m. at Ball State.