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UB football gameday: Bulls at No. 15 Penn State

Kickoff: 7:30 p.m., Beaver Stadium, State College, Pa.


Radio: ESPN 1520.

Records: UB 1-0, Penn State 1-0.

Last time out: Buffalo defeated Robert Morris, an FCS program, 38-10 Aug. 29 at UB Stadium. UB running back Jaret Patterson ran for 90 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, and tight end Zac Lefebvre caught two passes for 43 yards and two touchdowns.

Penn State defeated Idaho, 79-7, on Aug. 31 at Beaver Stadium. Quarterback Sean Clifford was 14-for-23 passing for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Devyn Ford had 107 yards rushing, including an 81-yard touchdown run, on six carries.

History: This is the fourth meeting between the Bulls and the Nittany Lions, and the first since Sept. 12, 2015, when Penn State defeated UB 27-14 at Beaver Stadium. Penn State also defeated UB 45-24 in 2007 at Beaver Stadium, and UB defeated Penn State 10-0 in 1900.

A UB tie to Penn State: The defensive coordinator who is preparing Penn State to face the Bulls has some familiarity with the program.

Brent Pry, who is also Penn State’s linebackers coach, is a 1993 UB grad. He played at UB, but became a undergraduate student-coach for the Bulls in 1992 after he sustained a career-ending injury.

Pry has been on James Franklin’s staff at Penn State since Franklin became head coach of the Nittany Lions in 2014. Pry also worked under Franklin at Vanderbilt from 2011 to 2013 as the Commodores’ assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator/linebackers coach, and has coached college football since 1993, when he was an outside linebackers and defensive backs coach at East Stroudsburg.

“Brent has been really kind of (there) from the very beginning,” Franklin told reporters in State College, Pa., earlier this week. “Brent's dad was my offensive coordinator in college. We go way back. His first year coaching was my last year playing. When I got the Vanderbilt job, he was one of the first people that I called. And he's just been phenomenal.

“He's also a guy that I can go in and run things by and get his perspective. I also think it's like recruiting a coach's kid as a player; there's things that Brent has been learning about football his whole life that he didn't even know he was learning at the time overhearing conversations with his mom and dad, conversations that his dad had with him even before he decided to get into the profession. He was picking up on things.”

Imperfect Ten: UB is 1-8 all-time against teams from the Big Ten Conference, and its only win against the Big Ten came last season, a 42-13 win Sept. 22 at Rutgers. UB’s last Big Ten opponent prior to Rutgers was Minnesota; the Bulls lost 17-7 on Aug. 31, 2017 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

By the rankings: UB is 1-12 all-time against ranked opponents, and the Bulls’ lone win against a ranked opponent was in the 2008 MAC championship game, when UB defeated No. 14 Ball State, 42-24.

UB last faced a ranked opponent in 2016, when it lost 38-0 at No. 14 Western Michigan.

For the foes: Expect Penn State’s offense to be varied and balanced.

Penn State gained 673 yards of offense (331 rushing, 342 passing) in its win last week against Idaho, including Clifford's 280 passing yards. Clifford utilized 13 receivers in his first college, including K.J. Hamler (four catches for 115 yards). Ford was one of five different Penn State running backs to score touchdowns against Idaho, and Ford became the first Penn State freshman to rush for more than 100 yards in a game since 2015, when Saquon Barkley ran for 103 yards Nov. 18, 2015 against Michigan State.

Penn State’s defense, meanwhile, forced Idaho to rely on the pass, and will likely do the same against a UB team that relied on the run in it season opener against Robert Morris. The Vandals had four yards on 28 carries and Penn State registered seven sacks for a loss of 53 yards against Idaho quarterbacks Mason Petrino and Colton Richardson.

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