Lance Leipold understands the task in front of his UB Bulls this weekend as they prepare to battle Penn State on Saturday and so do his players. The Nittany Lions destroyed Idaho last week 79-7 in front of an announced attendance of 104,527 at Beaver Stadium. The Bulls had just over 18,000 when they hosted Robert Morris in their 38-10 season opening victory.
“Our guys understand their opponent,” Leipold said at his weekly press conference inside the Murchie Family Fieldhouse Tuesday morning. “They understand the task at hand, that it’s a heck of a challenge and a heck of an opportunity.”
Penn State never took their foot off the gas last Saturday. The Nittany Lions took a 44-point lead into halftime and continued the onslaught in the second half putting up another 35. And it was a total team effort.
The 15th ranked team in the country had 673 yards of total offense which was the third most in the history of the program. Defensively, they surrendered a fourth quarter touchdown but only gave up 145 yards on the day.
Matt Myers (West Seneca West) will make his second start this weekend and coach Leipold has stressed to his entire offense that they cannot put it all on Myers shoulders. “It’s a great day for Matt as a red-shirt freshman. We have to play within ourselves and keep our composure. We have to trust our training and try not to do anything out of the ordinary. Make consistent plays, the game will be faster. He (Myers) understands that but we have to make sure we give him an opportunity to make quick decisions and get rid of the ball and establish the run game.”
Against Robert Morris the Bulls run game was unstoppable and was a big reason Myers was able to settle in at quarterback. UB rushed 47 times compiling 285 yards on the ground against the Colonials. Seven different players carried the ball including Myers who scored a 1-yard touchdown run to open the scoring. Jaret Patterson (Glendale, MD) led all ball carriers with 90 yards on 12 carries and a TD. Kevin Marks, Dylan McDuffie (Sweet Home), Theo Anderson, Ron Cooks and Kyle Vantrease all had rushing attempts.
Leipold noted that establishing the run is going to be very important but said that UB will be throwing the ball more against Penn State. “We will throw the ball more than 10 times, you can count on that,” Leipold said.
Odds makers aren’t giving the Bulls much hope, the early line shows the Nittany Lions as 28.5 point favorites. To be fair, last weekend the Tennessee Volunteers were 26- point favorites at home against Georgia State and lost 38-30.
“Our guys are motivated, most of our players dreamed of being recruited by these types of schools. Now they have a chance to line up against a guy that got the scholarship that they didn’t get,” Leipold said.
Leipold wants to see better tackling and an overall better effort out of his defense and wants to see the wide receivers utilized more on the offensive side of the ball.
Bulls wide receiver Antonio Nunn is listed as day-to-day.
Penn State will honor the 1994 undefeated team Saturday.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on FOX.
Penn State Players to Watch
True freshman Brandon Smith – 6’4”, 240-pound linebacker is a fierce competitor.
Yetur Gross-Matos, the junior defensive end had 8 sacks in 2018. Recorded 2.5 last week vs Idaho. Also had 2 tackles for a loss. Listed at 6’5”, 264lb.
Wide Receiver KJ Hamler – 5’9” a junior. Caught 4 balls last weekend for 115 yards and a couple scores. Could have doubled that had he played the second half.
Junior quarterback Sean Clifford. Has five starts under his belt, no picks.
Lance Leipold Press Conference