University at Buffalo Athletic Director Danny White offered football coach Jeff Quinn a vote of confidence during the team’s weekly media gathering Tuesday at UB Stadium. Quinn, entering his fourth season at UB, is 9-24 overall.
“From our perspective as an administration, over the top impressed with the work of this football staff led by Jeff Quinn,” White said. “Our entire staff is working at a very high level, we have talented people who are aggressively selling the vision of where we want to take UB athletics and UB football.”
White praised the football staff for its work in recruiting, salesmanship of UB, the strength and conditioning program, as well as its work in the spring and summer camps. The expectation is bowl eligibility and contending for a Mid-American Conference title.
“We are extremely impressed with the progress of the football program and the character of the student athletes, particularly the senior class,” White said.
“We’re talking about talented athletes, great students, impressive young men and we feel very confident that they’re going to lead us back where we were in 2008, certainly back to a bowl game and contending for a MAC championship this year.”
White’s comments came one day after the athletic department announced that a select number of Bulls football and men’s basketball games will air live on Bloomberg Radio in New York City. Seven football games are scheduled to be nationally televised this season.
“We’re not selling who we are right now, we’re selling who we aspire to become,” White said. “This place has unprecedented potential because of our institutional profile.”
Only eight freshmen are on the two deep for Saturday’s game at Ohio State. The three true freshmen are wide receiver Boise Ross, outside linebacker Jarrett Franklin and long snapper Corbin Grassman.
Offensively, the redshirt freshmen are left guard Todd Therrien (Williamsville East), center Andrew Borruso, right tackle Albert McCoy and tight end Mason Schreck. The lone redshirt freshman on defense is end Max Perisse. None are slated to start, a testimony to UB’s experience, but more could play on special teams.
“There’s a handful of freshmen who are going to be utilized and are being evaluated and potentially utilized in a lot of key situations on special teams,” Quinn said. “We’re locked in with our personnel on the offensive side and defensive side, but we always count on true freshmen to come in and contribute.”
Quinn said five true freshmen could make the travel squad to Ohio State.
Count Urban Meyer among the growing list of admirers of UB linebacker Khalil Mack.
The Ohio State coach said during the Big Ten conference call on Tuesday that Mack could start for the nation’s No. 2 ranked team. Asked about jumping to a quick start in Saturday’s game against the Bulls, Meyer quickly turned his attention to Mack, the Butkus Award candidate, who already holds school records for tackles for loss (56) and forced fumbles (11).
“They have a linebacker who could certainly start for Ohio State,” Meyer said. “He will be a great NFL player. The more I watch him — I watched him during the summer but not with the same intensity as I’ve watched the last few days. Excellent player.”
The competition for the third quarterback spot is still in play although Quinn said sophomore Tony Daniel has a slight edge over redshirt freshman Collin Michael because of his experience.
“Just because he’s been in the program a little bit longer,” Quinn said. “But Collin has shown signs he can make some of those big-time throws and plays down field. He’s learning the system better so he’s more comfortable with it.”
As of now, UB is relatively healthy. Junior center Trevor Sales (knee) and junior right guard Dillon Guy (ankle) are practicing and are expected to start Saturday. Both missed much of practice last week.