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UB football gameday: Bulls vs. Delaware State

Kickoff: 6 p.m. Saturday.


Radio: ESPN 1520.

Records: Buffalo 0-0, Delaware State 0-0.

Gameday: Tickets are $30, with Stampede Square opening at 3 p.m. Local pop singer Keith James, who appeared on the sixth season of NBC's "The Voice," will perform at 4 p.m. as part of the Tailgate Concert series.

History: These teams have met only once before, a 40-30 UB victory on Sept. 13, 1997. UB is 4-1 all-time against MEAC foes and 2-0 since jumping to the Football Bowl Subdivision level, having bested Morgan State in 2012 and Norfolk State in 2014.

Welcome home: UB has won seven of its last eight home openers, including last season, when the Bulls racked up 486 yards on the ground in a 33-10 victory against Colgate on Sept. 16, 2017.

Back at it: The Bulls return 14 starters, eight on offense and six on defense. Six of those players appeared on preseason award watch lists: quarterback Tyree Jackson, wide receiver Anthony Johnson, running back Emmanuel Reed, tight end Tyler Mabry, center James O'Hagan and linebacker Khalil Hodge.

Johnson is the first player in program history to be named an Associated Press Preseason All-American. A second-team selection, Johnson was one of three players outside the Power Five to earn a spot on one of the top two teams. He ranked second in receiving yards per game (113.0) and third in receiving touchdowns (14) in the nation last season.

Great expectations: The Bulls, who went 6-6 last year in coach Lance Leipold's third year, were picked to finish second in the Mid-American Conference East in the conference's preseason media poll.

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For the foes: Delaware State is the only Football Championship Subdivision opponent on UB's schedule this season. New head coach Rod Milstead, a former NFL offensive lineman and Delaware State alum, inherits a program that has won only five games in the last four years and is picked to finish last in the MEAC preseason poll. While UB doesn't have the prestige of the Hornets' two FBS opponents from last year, West Virginia and Florida State, the results of those two games are telling. Delaware State lost those outings by a combined score of 136-22.

The Hornets return a pair of quarterbacks who threw for 1,000 yards last season in Keenan Black and Jack McDaniels. Running back Mike Waters, who missed the last seven games of last season with a knee injury, was an All-MEAC third-team selection in his freshman year in 2016. The defense features two All-MEAC preseason selections in cornerback Keyjuan Selby and inside linebacker Brian Cavicante.

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