Friday, August 27, 2010

Game week Begins

Thursday was the official end of preseason camp and after morning meetings and lifting, we had lunch in the dorms for the last time and it was great to see the new students moving into the dorms and we hope that they all attend the welcome BBQ tomorrow and our home opener next Thursday.  This is a personal invitation to all students to pack the True Blue section of the stadium and get loud.

At 7pm the team started the last official scrimmage of camp under the new bright lights at UB Stadium.  It was a scrimmage that focused on every possible situation that could occur during the course of a game.  This included surprise onside kicks, blocked kicks and punts, penalties, sudden changes, fakes, big plays and overtime.  The team is confident that no matter what a game or opposition throws at us we will be prepared for it.

Tomorrow the team has most of the day off with our only team activity being our attendance at the Welcome BBQ.  It will be a chance to mingle with our newest fans and get them excited for the upcoming season.
We hope you have enjoyed reading this blog as much as we have enjoyed writing it.  There is a chance that we may continue it into the regular season if there is enough interest.

GO BULLS!!!!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Wait is Almost Over

In our previous blog we forgot to mention our team building activity that occurred on Sunday night.  We held our UB’s Got Talent night which allowed players a chance to get up in front of their teammates and entertain them.  We had some great impersonations of Coach Quinn, Coach Jones and strength Coach Duval.  Also there was the always popular look alike Powerpoint presentation. 

Intense Tuesday kicked off with our usual meetings and lifting sessions followed by lunch and our afternoon practice.  Tuesday also saw the first practice with our “Scout Team”. The scout team is the group of players that are assigned to give the starters and immediate back-ups a look of what the opposing team will run. The scout team is very important to give a good look and prepare the starters for the upcoming game.  So the Rhode Island preparations are now in full swing and we are moving ever closer to the September 2nd home opener. After practice, another great team dinner was had on the concourse of the stadium and followed by more meetings.  When camp finishes, it will be strange to have to prepare meals again for ourselves. We are getting kind of used to having it ready for us right after practice.

Working Wednesday came and went and mirrored both Monday and Tuesday in terms of the schedule and it will be great to have camp officially close tomorrow with our first scrimmage under the new lights.  That will mark exactly one week til the kick off of the 2010 season and the first under Coach Quinn.  Fans you better be getting “PUMPED UP” for it because your team is prepared and ready to unleash itself on Rhode Island and the rest of the 2010 schedule.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Getting Closer to the Opener

A lot has happened since our last Blog so we will try to cover it all without dragging it out too long.  Friday was our last two a day (wooohoo) although I reckon the other players maybe even more excited than us specialists to see the end of two a days.

Saturday was another scrimmage which focused on some specific situations that may occur in the course of a game, such as backed up punts, 2 minute drills, different down and distance situations and even needing to kick a field goal without any timeouts left.  All in all we thought it was another step in the right direction and of course one day closer to Rhode Island.

Sunday the team went to Darien Lake amusement park for some team bonding and to get out and promote the team and the upcoming season.  It was great to relax a bit and enjoy time with the team outside of the stadium, dining hall or meeting rooms.  It was fun to see some of the big guys try and fit into the roller coaster seats and enjoy the water park. This weekend also saw us move out of the dorms into our permanent housing for the semester, which meant for us back to the house and our own beds, which is probably what players miss the most during camp.  The entire weekend was family weekend so many parents and other family members came into Buffalo for the scrimmage and some came to Darien Lake as well.

Monday we returned to a single practice however that didn’t mean we had the morning off, instead we had meetings and lifted.

Just a reminder that time is running out to get your tickets for Rhode Island and the rest of the season.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Working Wednesday and Perfect Practice Thursday

As we write this blog we are watching three former Bulls playing in an NFL preseason game which is a testament to the caliber of players that the program has produced.

Following media day it was back to the grind of camp and another two-a-day.  Some of the emphasis has switched from our own schemes to allow for us to prepare for what Rhode Island will show on offense and defense. The urgency in practice is building as the days count down to the season opener.  By this stage of camp players can be excused for getting frustrated with the limitations placed on one another like the defense not being allowed to hit the quarterback or the offensive line not being allowed to cut the defensive linemen.  I think fans will like what they see when the players are unleashed in the season opener on September 2nd. 

We urge fans to get there tickets by visiting or the ticket office at Alumni Arena and whilst your there consider the great packages available for the season and bring along a few mates too, you won’t be disappointed with the atmosphere created by True Blue, the spirit groups (“Thunder of the East” marching band, the cheerleaders and the dance group “the Dazzlers”, former players and alumni and college football fans in general).

Friday is our last two a day before our second scrimmage on Saturday which is family day followed by a trip to Darien Lake on Sunday for some relaxation and fun.

A few blogs ago we mentioned we had a very special member of our team break the huddle, we can now tell you that it was Jacob Ortel, a young kid from Orchard Park who is battling Leukemia and we are privileged to have him and his courage as part of our team.  Jacob is and will always be part of the Buffalo Bulls Football Family and fans will be able to see Jacob on game days when he joins us and his other teammates on the sidelines.

Time to get back to the preseason game and watch some former Bulls shine.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mental Monday and Intense Tuesday

Mental Monday saw the start of another week of two a days, whilst most people count days by the usual names, players during camp break the days up into singles and doubles.  It really doesn’t matter if it’s a Monday, Wednesday or Sunday players simply look at the schedule and see if it’s a single practice day or a two a day and prepare both mentally and physically so as to perform at their highest level.  During the season mental Monday will be a chance to “lock back” in, in preparation for the next opponent after a lay day following the game.  Since we had a lay day on Sunday it seemed appropriate to be challenged mentally on Monday.

Tuesday saw us have a modified practice in the morning followed by Media Day in the afternoon.  Practice is starting to incorporate specific situations that may arise during the course of a game, like two minute drills, last second field goals as well as long 3rd down situations and two point plays.
Media day is a chance to let the media have access to all players and for the communications department to get our head shots and video board sequences done. In addition to the many photos taken by the photographers, there were also many other pictures taken by the players in the locker room and on the field, enjoying the first day in uniforms. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sleep In Sunday

Sunday saw our first day of camp without a practice and a much needed day of rest. Coach Quinn let us sleep in today, letting us sleep til 8:30 instead of the usual 7:00. We then broke off and met offensively and defensively to breakdown and analyze Saturday’s scrimmage. 

After watching the scrimmage, Coach Quinn took all the seniors for a little time away from football and treated us to a day at Dave and Buster’s. We had a more than filling lunch and headed out into the game room with Coach Quinn and a few other members of the coaching staff. With us all being great competitors, the intensity and competition was high even in these small games. There was pool, bowling, racing games, basketball and many other games that we engaged in competing with teammates and coaches. It was great to get out with my fellow seniors and Coach Quinn outside of football and relax and have some fun. 

The rest of the team attended a media session which discussed the do’s and don’ts when dealing with reporters and being interviewed.  Following that the team went into alumni arena for some down time in the diving pool.  It was interesting to see players overcome their fear of heights or water and also some of the unusual techniques employed off the diving platforms.  As divers we definitely make great football players.

The rest of the evening was spent with a team meeting in which we locked back into ‘camp mode’ in preparation for another two a day on “Mental Monday.”

Successful Swarming Saturday

Today was the first of two scrimmages slated for camp.  The day was treated like a normal game day with a wake up and breakfast, special teams meeting, offensive and defensive walk thru, then a pre game meal.  

The punt unit was first to be put through some scenario’s.  It was live to the punter and on one of the snaps a man came live and hit me, however the punt still got off and the official said he would have thrown a flag for roughing the punter.  Once that was done it was time for the scrimmage to begin.

All in all it was a solid scrimmage with positive plays on both sides of the ball and the team is definitely coming to grips with the new schemes.

Those in attendance would have seen the bright aqua Nike shirt that Athletic Director Warde Manual wore for the day; I think he must have lost a bet because the big man is usually impeccably dressed.  Oh and his golf game isn’t too shabby either.

Following the scrimmage we had a very special member of the UB Bulls Football Family break down the huddle.

So after the players had showered, received treatment and had something to eat the official spoke to the team about the new rules and interpretations that will be in effect this season, just one more thing the coaches are doing to make sure the team is prepared for September 2nd.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Focus Friday

Friday was the second of our two-a-days and whilst the humidity and heat may have been a bit lower, the intensity and aggressiveness was not. Both sides of the ball got after it and if it had been a boxing match it would have been a split decision. The offensive line, led by senior guard Peter Bittner #73, stepped up and showed that they are capable of protecting our quarterbacks and creating gaps for the running backs. Both quarterbacks, sophomore Jerry Davis #4 and redshirt-freshman Alex Dennison #12, made some impressive throws showing that they are both capable of starting.

Once again the middle part of the day was used to refuel, hydrate and rest before the second practice. Fans that will be moving back into the dorms when school starts maybe interested to know that construction on the new buildings is progressing well. We have a front row seat as we drive past the construction site each day in our golf cart. That’s right fans, the specialists utilize a golf cart to move between the stadium and dorms conserving gas and cash.

The second practice (which was referred to as the second half) came around all too soon as even some of the players shoulder pads had not dried off from the morning practice. The defense came flying out of the gates with three picks whilst the offense was backed up inside their own 10-yard line. First was senior corner Dominic Cook #25 who made up for his perceived small stature by leaping in front of the receiver and holding onto the interception even after crashing to the ground. Redshirt-freshman Carlos Lammons #31 had a red letter day pulling off two interceptions during the team portion of the practice. It wasn’t all one-sided though with Jerry Davis #4 connecting with redshirt -freshman Alex Neutz #19 for a gain of over 40 yards.

Saturday will be our first scrimmage and the officials will be there, meaning that players won’t be able to get away with the little holds and other tricks employed to get an advantage.

Go Bulls

Pete #13 and AJ #39

Perfect Practice Thursday Dominated by the Defense

This coaching staff is definitely concerned with dotting all the I’s and crossing all the tees even going as far as taping every players last name on the front and back of their helmet to speed up the process of learning everyone’s name and to help the returners get to know the freshmen and vice a versa.

With the high humidity and heat the team goes through about 100 gallons of Gatorade in one day plus water as well. The team also uses enough tape to stretch around the track at UB stadium four times.

Below are some of the questions and our answers that fans posted on UBFan.

Q: How were your golf games after the outing? Still hitting them straight?

PF: The UB Golf Day was a lot of fun and we are both avid golfers. We spent some of our time off just before camp started in Myrtle Beach playing some of the courses down there. In Buffalo we play courses such as Glen Oak, Buffalo Tournament Club and The Links at Ivy Ridge. AJ usually shoots in the low 80s and I can usually shoot in the low 90s.

Q: Being kickers, practice basically amounts to practicing kicking over and over and over again by yourselves (unless the team is specifically practicing special teams as a full unit). If you could ask the guys if there are any little games that they play amongst themselves to make that part of practice more interesting for them all? And if it gets pretty competitive as well?

PF: Well we don’t get much time to play games, however we do sometimes place a trash can on the track about 40 yards away and try to punt or kick the ball into the can. As always it gets super competitive with everyone trying to one up the others. We also practice throwing at various targets around the stadium in case we run a fake punt or FG.

Insights on Quinn

Pete- He is a very intense and passionate individual. He is always “jacked up” and that definitely rubs off on the group. You can’t help but get fired up with him around.

A.J.- I have to agree with Pete on this one. Everything he does is intense. Even just today we were playing some cards during some down time, and Coach Quinn was watching and commentating on the game, trying to get us all “jacked up”. It’s amazing how Coach can make such a simple thing as a card game feel so intense and exciting. I can’t wait to see how fired up he is on September 2nd.

Toughest conditions you ever kicked in?

Pete- In 2008 against Bowling Green were the toughest conditions I have ever punted in as it was cold, windy and snowing.

A.J.- The toughest weather conditions I have kicked was in my freshman year in Buffalo against Akron. A combination of rain, sleet and constant 30 mile an hour winds made it very difficult to kick in. The toughest crowd I have kicked in front of was also in my freshman year but it was against Penn State at Beaver Stadium in front of 107,000 screaming fans.

Favorite moment at UB Stadium

Pete- The game against Miami (OH) in 2008 is my favorite at UB Stadium. It was a nationally televised game and we ran a fake punt where I threw the ball to Mike Newton for a 15-yard completion and a first down. The atmosphere that night was fantastic and to beat Miami (OH) for the first time made it my favorite moment at UB stadium.

A.J.- I have seen some amazing moments in my time here at UB, but there are 2 that stick out in my mind. The first was the Temple game in 2008 with the Hail Mary from Drew Willy to Naaman Roosevelt as time expired. The second moment was later that year against Army. I had a field goal in overtime to give us a three point lead, and then our defense came up big to hold them to a long field goal try in which they missed. The fans made the atmosphere great and we pulled out the win in overtime.

How much, if at all has the Duval regiment helped your power?

Pete- To be honest I haven’t noticed a change in my power as such, I have made some technique changes which has led to more consistency. I definitely think Coach Duval’s regiment will help the other players on the team be faster and stronger.

A.J.- With Coach Duval’s new regiment, I have noticed an increase in my power. I feel my body is stronger overall and it will help me through the duration of the season.

How (if at all) does Coach Quinn's spread offense change your role and approach to the game?

Pete- He is definitely more aggressive with his play calls and as such we need to be prepared to perform.

A.J.- Well with a more aggressive and fast paced offense, comes more opportunities to score, so we need to be ready to score a lot and hopefully kick lots of extra points.

Do you think Quinn has confidence in you to take kicks longer than 45 yards?

A.J.- Well that is one thing that I have stressed this off season; to gain the distance and accuracy from long range. The goal for this season is to have the confidence of Coach and the other players to hit any field goal inside of 50 yards.

How's your throwing arm?

Pete - Having not grown up throwing the football I have had to work at throwing, however I am confident I can make any throw the coaches may ask me to perform. I will say that it may not look pretty but it will get to where it needs to be.

I expect to see a trick play at some point this year.

I’m sure you will

Go Bulls

Pete #13 and AJ #39

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Working Wednesday

“Working Wednesday” was the first two a day for camp and the intensity was high from the first practice period when we worked the Field Goal unit live against the defense.  Overall the three kickers (AJ #39, senior John Rachuna #85 and freshmen Jack Molloy #97) went 8 for 10 with the defense blocking two and showing that they will definitely block a few more PATs and FGs this season.  Special mentions go to senior Anel Montanez #74 and junior Richie Smith #54 who led the destruction up the middle.

Richie Smith and Anel Montanez both produced again during the team period of practice with Anel recording a sack and Richie tallying up a tackle for loss on the running back.  The defense definitely got the upper hand in the morning practice with the defensive backs and linebackers recording a few interceptions and pass breakups.

Having completed the first practice it was time to refuel, hydrate and rest in preparation for the afternoon practice where the emphasis was on finishing and being mentally “locked in”.  The conditions today meant that some players lost up to 12 pounds during one practice.  During the small amount of down time we get between practices, meetings, meals, lifting and sleeping, players do different things.  Some can be found watching extra film, whilst others like to unwind playing cards or video games in the new players lounge and some even enjoy hanging out with their pet ferrets.  Fans maybe interested to know that quite often the locker room turns into a dance floor and a dance off ensues.  We’ll leave it to your imagination as to who might have the best dance moves but let’s just say the players with the quick feet on the field are usually pretty decent off the field too.

The second practice allowed the offense to redeem themselves and some impressive plays were made.  The highlight in our opinion was redshirt Freshmen receiver Derek Brim #84, who after making a good catch, broke through a tackle to find the end zone during the live team portion of the practice.  Coach Quinn has made it clear to all that he will play the best players no matter what their class.  It has made the freshmen hungry to compete and kept the upperclassmen working harder.
The first two a day is out of the way and thankfully we are one day closer to September 2nd and the team made some significant steps towards bringing the MAC Championship back to Buffalo!!!!!

Please keep the questions coming and we will endeavor to answer them all in a timely fashion.  If you would like to submit questions please visit and click on the “Kickin it with AJ and Pete” link.

Go Bulls
AJ #39 and Pete #13

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Welcome Bulls fans to the official blog of the 2010 fall camp.  Senior kicker AJ Principe and junior Punter Peter Fardon will bring fans an insight into the preparations for the 2010 season.

While most students are still enjoying their summer vacation, the Buffalo Bulls football team hit the field for the first of 29 practices in preparation for the season opener on Sept 2nd versus Rhode Island at UB Stadium.  The summer conditioning phase of our preparation (which was brutal) is over and we finally got to put the helmets back on.  There was a definite buzz in the newly refurbished locker room as players prepared for the first practice.

The booming voice of new head coach Jeff Quinn echoed through UB Stadium as players hit the field and his intensity is infectious.   The sense of urgency to install the offensive and defensive schemes was reflected in the intense mood of the practice even if we were just in helmets.

Most of the time the team eats meals in the Richmond dining hall in Ellicott and for a couple of upper classmen it was definitely strange to move back into the dorms, which will house the team for the next few weeks.

NCAA regulations stipulate that Tuesday was the first day we could be in full pads and it was appropriate that it coincided with “Intense Tuesday.”  The mood of practice definitely shifted a few gears and the most noticeable difference was the sound of the collisions and hits.  Highlights from the day included the defense stopping the offense on 14 consecutive plays during a run play script.  However the offense got it back with some significant yardage gains from the receivers during 7 on 7 drills.  Special mention to Marcus Rivers and Fred Lee who made some impressive catches.  Whilst Bulls fans will see some exciting stuff on offense, the Bulls defense led by a number of returning starters will no doubt put some serious hurt on opponents this season.  The hits that Davonte Shannon, Justin Winters and Co. put on will alone be worth the price of admission.

Come Sept 2nd Bulls fans will be able to see the team a little bit clearer with the addition of four lighting fixtures and upgrades to the existing four.  From what we have seen so far fans will NOT be disappointed with what they see.

Go Bulls

AJ and Pete