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Mark Gaughan

Sports writer at the Buffalo News for more than 30 years, covers college sports and writes Bills game analysis. Past president of the Pro Football Writers of America. Past selector for Pro Football Hall of Fame. Buffalo native. Buffalo State College graduate.


Bills

(This is the next in a series of in-depth features on potential quarterbacks for the Bills). The great debate on quarterback Josh Allen is all about one number: 56.2. How much of a red flag is the career completion percentage of the University of Wyoming star? "Find me a guy in the league you would consider a top 20 quarterback who completed under 60 percent," ask…

Colleges

ALLEGANY – St. Bonaventure pulled off its biggest win of the year Friday and breathed new life into its NCAA Tournament hopes. The Bonnies upset 16th-ranked Rhode Island, 77-74, snapping the Rams' 16-game winning streak, which was tied for longest in the nation. The win was a huge resume-booster for the Bonnies, and one they probably had to have if they don't earn an…

Colleges

ALLEGANY – St. Bonaventure pulled off its biggest win of the year Friday and jacked up its expectations even higher for the final month of the college basketball season. The Bonnies upset 16th-ranked Rhode Island, 77-74, for their eighth straight victory. The result snapped Rhode Island's 16-game win streak, tied for longest in the nation, and it was the Rams' first con…

Bills

About the only time University of Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst found himself under the radar the past year was when he was moonlighting as an Uber driver in Ann Arbor, Mich. "Being an Uber driver in Ann Arbor is pretty interesting," Hurst said in an interview on the Big 10 Network. "You see some big-time fans that will notice you. You see some guys who don't …

Bills

(This is the third of three stories on the Bills' salary cap.) Players on their first NFL contract who start are like gold. Consider the salary of Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback Carson Wentz, a Pro Bowler in just his second season. He will play in 2018 on a contract that averages $6.6 million a year. That's a third of what the 16th-highest paid QB (Miami's …

Bills

(This is the second of a three-part series on the Bills' salary cap heading into the 2018 free-agency season.) One look at the top seven players on the Buffalo Bills' salary table shows why the team still is a ways from title contention. The top two – quarterback Tyrod Taylor and left tackle Cordy Glenn — surely aren't part of the long-term future of the team, regard…

Bills

Luke Tasker is having himself a great career in the Canadian Football League. And the arrow still is going up. Tasker signed a two-year contract with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Monday, just before the start of CFL free agency. Tasker, son of Bills great Steve Tasker, is coming off the best of his five seasons in the CFL. He caught 104 passes for 1,167 yards and seven to…

Bills

The Indianapolis Colts added to their Western New York connections Monday. The Colts have hired Jamestown native Nick Sirianni to be the new offensive coordinator for head coach Frank Reich. The hiring was first reported by ESPN. Sirianni, a 1999 graduate of Southwestern High School, spent the past five seasons as an assistant with the San Diego and Los Angeles Charg…

Bills

This is the first of a three-part series on the Bills' salary cap as the team prepares for the NFL free agency period. The Buffalo Bills will enter the 2018 free-agent shopping season in better salary-cap shape than in the past two years. They're still a long way from where Brandon Beane and Sean McDermott want to be in the cap department because they lead the NFL in…

Bills

The Buffalo Bills have the sixth-most draft-pick capital in the NFL heading into the 2018 draft. That's the Bills' quantifiable ranking if you apply the Jimmy Johnson trade-value chart to all of Buffalo's eight picks. The Cleveland Browns have by far the most draft capital, with two firsts, three seconds and 12 picks overall. The website Tankathon.com added up all th…

Bills

The Philadelphia Eagles' use of run-pass option plays was one of the storylines of their Super Bowl-winning season. It was not a storyline of the Buffalo Bills' 2017 season. The Eagles ranked No. 1 in the NFL regular season by using RPOs on 181 plays (17 percent), according to Pro Football Focus. The Bills called only 20 RPOs, which amounted to 2 percent of their …

Bills

Super Bowl Play to Watch: Read zone with bubble screen The Eagles have used run-pass option plays to simplify the game for quarterback Nick Foles and get him in rhythm. Much of the RPO attention goes to the screens, quick slants and quick outs Foles completes. But the run element will be key against the Patriots, who are stout when teams try to play smash-mouth. When th…

Colleges

Friday night's basketball game against Western Michigan was the kind the University at Buffalo would have struggled to win the past two years. Western Michigan made only seven turnovers and gave up only seven fast-break points. The Bulls have destroyed teams in transition during coach Nate Oats' tenure. But get the Bulls in a half-court battle, and the UB offense has…

Colleges

Steve Hawkins is in his 15th season as head coach at Western Michigan and is the dean of basketball coaches in the Mid-American Conference. He has seen a lot of good MAC teams. Hawkins is mighty impressed with the University at Buffalo after losing to the Bulls for a second time this year. "This is the best Buffalo team that I've seen," said Hawkins after his team's …

Bills

A distinguished era is coming to an end at One Bills Drive. And it may signal a shake-up in the Bills' athletic training department. Long-time Bills trainer Bud Carpenter is retiring after 33 years with the team. "We mutually agreed that now is the time," Carpenter said. "It was time to retire. How lucky am I to be 31, 32, 33 years in the same occupation and not have…