Khalil Mack and Branden Oliver were both pupils of former Buffalo Bulls football coach Jeff Quinn, and Sunday, the two squared off an NFL gridiron.
Mack–a 1st Round pick of the Oakland Raiders–made two tackles in Week 6, but the real story was his former UB teammate, Oliver. In his second game filling in for injured running back Ryan Mathews, Oliver carried 26 times for 101 yards and a touchdown to help the San Diego Chargers to a 31-28 win.
Sunday was a banner day for Buffalo Bulls football, with the program’s blue-and-white flying high over Northern California. But Saturday was anything but banner for Buffalo up in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Buffalo fell to 3-4 in a 37-27 loss at Eastern Michigan Saturday.
Just how bad is Eastern Michigan? Evidently, losing to the Eagles is grounds for termination.
Jeff Quinn was fired as Buffalo’s head coach Monday, Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News first reported.
The win was Eastern Michigan’s first since squeaking out a 31-28 decision against Morgan State on Week 1.
The start to Buffalo’s 2014 campaign has been tough. With the Eastern Michigan loss, the Bulls are sporting Ls against two of the worst teams in the Bowl Subdivision; the other came from Army, which lost to Yale just a few weeks after it knocked off UB.
Still, a midseason firing at 3-4, just one year removed from going to a bowl game seems hasty to say the least. Jeff Quinn coached Buffalo to eight wins and a berth in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in 2013.
Add that two of his former players–Mack and Oliver–are generating some buzz for the Bulls on Sundays, and the release of Quinn seems all the more premature.
But this doesn’t appear to be a repeat of Eastern Michigan’s firing of Ron English a year ago. English was let go with just three weeks remaining in the regular season after he was recorded berating his team in a profane tirade.
No, the university’s statement on Quinn’s dismissal states that this was a football decision.
“It is with great disappointment that we have to make this change,” [athletics director Danny] White said. “Unfortunately, the performance on the field this season and over Coach Quinn’s tenure has not matched our expectations for the growth of Bulls football.”
Who knew Buffalo was so demanding? Furthermore, the UB athletic department must have some fairly deep pockets, as the university signed Quinn to a five-year contract extension after the 2012 season.
The irony is that at the time of his extension, Quinn had nine wins through three seasons–two fewer than he’s amassed in the past season-and-a-half.
Football, you are a cruel and fickle mistress.