University at Buffalo senior center Matt Bacoulis will miss the next six to eight weeks with a broken left fibula, coach Turner Gill said on his MAC conference call today.
The 6-foot-3, 318-pound Bacoulis suffered the injury on the first play from scrimmage last Saturday at Temple. Bacoulis, who is in his first season as a starter, was injured during an off-tackle run by tailback Brandon Thermilus.
Bacoulis walked off the field with a noticeable limp with the help of trainers and was replaced in the lineup by sophomore Josh Violanti. He was carted off to the locker room for X-rays. Bacoulis was seen on the sidelines with his left foot heavily wrapped and walking on crutches. The earliest Bacoulis could return is the Nov. 10 game against Ohio.
"It hurts because he was really playing well," Gill said. "He was a great addition. . . . He was a big center who can move very, very well or going up against those big nose tackles he was a big asset for us."
Violanti, a sophomore out of St. Francis, moves into the starting lineup. After Bacoulis was injured, Violanti, the former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship during training camp, played the remainder of the Temple game.
"I was really proud with the way he played," Gill said. "He got a chance to go against some good football players. We're going to miss Matt but that gives another opportunity for another young man in Josh Violanti."
Redshirt freshman Graham Whinery, whose father played at Auburn and whose grandfather played at Notre Dame, will back up Violanti at center.
Also, the Bulls won't know the status of senior cornerback Kendric Hawkins until the end of the week. Hawkins suffered a concussion during last Saturday's game.