No. 16 Coastal Carolina holds on to beat Buffalo 28-25

Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images
0 Comments

AMHERST, N.Y. — Grayson McCall threw for three touchdowns, Shermari Jones ran for 149 yards and another score, and No. 16 Coastal Carolina held on to beat Buffalo 28-25 on Saturday for its first road win of the season.

McCall, who entered the day leading the nation in passing efficiency and completion rate, was 13-of-19 passing for 232 yards with his first interception of the season.

Jaivon Heiligh caught four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown for the Chanticleers (3-0), becoming the fourth receiver in school history to surpass 2,000 career yards.

Buffalo (1-2) got within a field goal with 2:41 remaining. Kevin Marks‘ 7-yard touchdown run capped a 92-yard drive that started when Logic Hudgens intercepted McCall in the end zone.

The Bulls rushed for 260 yards, led by career-high efforts from Dylan McDuffie (92 yards, one touchdown) and Ron Cook (83 yards). Marks, Buffalo’s lead back, finished with 64 yards. Kyle Vantrease was 13-of-20 passing for 146 yards.

Jones plunged for a 1-yard touchdown at the start of the fourth quarter to extend Coastal Carolina’s lead to 28-17. Jones’ career-long 50-yard gain on the opening snap of the third quarter led to Isaiah Likely‘s 6-yard touchdown catch, the first of the season for the Chanticleers’ all-conference tight end.

Aaron Bedgood scored on a 16-yard sweep on Coastal Carolina’s opening possession and Heiligh caught a 17-yard tying touchdown early in the second quarter.

Buffalo scored on consecutive 84-yard drives in the first quarter to take a 14-7 lead. McDuffie’s 2-yard run and backup quarterback Matt Myers‘ 13-yard keeper put Coastal Carolina in its largest deficit of the season.

Chanticleers freshman kicker Liam Gray hit the right upright from 22 yards out on in the second quarter on his first career field goal attempt. Senior kicker Massimo Biscardi (lower-body injury) did not make the trip.

Alex McNulty kicked a 36-yarder for Buffalo in the third quarter after missing from 51 yards earlier.

THE TAKEAWAY

Coastal Carolina: Less efficient than they were in scoring 101 points in two home victories, the Chanticleers overcame early miscues and held on late to win their eighth straight regular-season game against a non-conference opponent. It was also CCU’s first win against a team from the Mid-American Conference (now 1-3).

Buffalo: Hosting a ranked opponent for the first time since 2014, the Bulls fall to 1-14 all-time against Top 25 teams. Having broken into the rankings last season and coming off a loss at Nebraska last week, UB is still seeking its first win over an FBS opponent under new coach Maurice Linguist.

UP NEXT

Coastal Carolina: Hosts UMass on Saturday in its final non-conference game before beginning its Sun Belt Conference title defense.

Buffalo: Visits Old Dominion on Saturday.

Buffalo tabs Michigan’s Maurice Linguist to take over team

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
8 Comments

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Maurice Linguist was hired as the University at Buffalo’s head coach months after he became Michigan’s co-defensive coordinator.

Linguist joined Jim Harbaugh‘s Michigan staff in January as part of an offseason overhaul following a losing season, and was to share the defensive duties with Mike McDonald.

Instead, the 37-year-old Linguist landed his first career head-coaching job in a return to Buffalo, where he spent 2012 and ’13 as an assistant under Jeff Quinn.

Linguist replaces Lance Leipold, who spent six seasons transforming the Bulls into a Mid-American Conference power before being hired by Kansas on April 30.

Linguist will be formally introduced during a news conference Monday.

Linguist is from Texas, and spent last season as a cornerbacks coach with the Dallas Cowboys. He spent the previous two years as an assistant at Texas A&M. and has 13 years of coaching experience with all but one at the college level.

Buffalo is coming off a 6-1 season, which ended with a 17-10 win over Marshall in the Camellia Bowl, and finished with the team ranked 25th. The Bulls made their first poll appearance in school history in early December when they were ranked 24th.

Leipold’s departure came shortly after Buffalo completed its spring practices, and provides Linguist little time to recruit and fill potential player losses. As many as six players, including quarterback Matt Myers, have since entered the NCAA’s transfer portal.

Myers lost the starting job last year to Kyle Vantrease, who is returning for his senior season.

The Bulls previously lost star running back Jaret Patterson, who left after his junior season to turn pro. Patterson went undrafted before signing with the Washington Football Team earlier this month.

Linguist inherits a Buffalo program that is in much better shape — competitively and structurally — than when Leipold arrived in 2015.

Under Leipold, the Bulls went a combined 29-25, including a 10-4 finish in 2018 in which the team set a single-season program record for victories.

Buffalo is coming off three consecutive seasons with winning records, after doing so just twice in its first 16 seasons since joining the MAC in 1999. The Bulls have also made three consecutive bowl appearances, including two straight wins. In 2019, the Bulls earned their first bowl victory by defeating Charlotte, 31-9, in the Bahamas Bowl.

Kansas hires Buffalo’s Lance Leipold as head coach

Jake Crandall/ Advertiser
0 Comments

LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas hired Buffalo’s Lance Leipold, turning over one of college football’s worst programs to a longtime Division III coach with strong Midwestern roots.

Leipold signed a six-year contract and takes over for Les Miles, who won a national championship at LSU. Miles parted with Kansas after two losing seasons and amid sexual harassment allegations dating to his time with the Tigers.

“It is an exciting and humbling opportunity and this is a day I will never forget,” Leipold said in a statement. “We are going to build this program through developing players, discipline and determination. The philosophies engrained in our programs along the way will be key as we turn this around. This is a program that has a lot of young talent on the roster and has the infrastructure in place to succeed. The best days for this program are ahead.”

Leipold has been with the Bulls the past six years, building a downtrodden program into a perennial bowl contender. He is 37-33 with Buffalo, leading the school to its best seasons since joining the Mid-American Conference in 1999.

Before jumping to the Division I level, the 56-year-old Leipold won six national championships in eight seasons while going 109-6 as the head coach of his alma mater, Wisconson-Whitewater. At one point, the Warhawks won three straight titles to cap perfect seasons, then after a seven-win “down year,” put together two more undefeated seasons.

Now, new Kansas athletic director Travis Goff – who was hired away from Northwestern in April – hopes a coach with all those D-III championships on his resume can do what a coach who won a D-I title could not.

“His track record of sustained excellence is exactly what we were looking for in our next leader,” Goff said in a statement Friday, “and is what the University of Kansas and our fans deserve.”

Miles was hired nearly three years ago by then-AD Jeff Long to turn around one of the worst Power Five programs in college football history. Instead, the Jayhawks went winless in nine games during the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season, the 12th straight in which they failed to hit the .500 mark or win more than one Big 12 game.

Miles was then let go in March after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced. A law firm’s review of LSU’s handling of sexual misconduct complaints campuswide described how Miles “tried to sexualize the staff of student workers in the football program” before he was fired four games into the 2016 season.

Leipold played quarterback for Wisconsin-Whitewater in the 1980s before beginning a long grind through college football’s lower ranks. He spent time at Doane, an NAIA school in Nebraska, and several seasons coaching at Nebraska-Omaha, whose football team was later disbanded to save money.

His only Division I experience before Buffalo hired him in 2015 was a stint as a graduate assistant under Barry Alvarez at Wisconsin in the early 1990s and some time with Frank Solich at Nebraska in the early 2000s.

Leipold took over a Bulls team that had regressed under Jeff Quinn and had played in only two bowl games before his arrival. Leipold endured two losing seasons before winning at least six games each of the past four years, twice playing for a MAC title and going 6-1 during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season.

That put him on the radar for several high-profile openings earlier in the coaching carousel.

The Jayhawks certainly have higher hopes for Leipold than the last coach they hired from Buffalo. Turner Gill was just 5-19 over two seasons in Lawrence before he was fired, beginning a whirlwind of hirings and firings: Charlie Weis lasted parts of three seasons, David Beaty survived four and Miles was let go after two.

Along with the Jayhawks’ history of losing, Leipold will have to overcome a substantial talent gap in the Big 12, fan apathy that has only grown over the past decade and facilities – despite a new indoor practice field – that are woefully outdated.

“I can’t thank Lance enough for everything he has done for our football program,” Buffalo athletic director Mark Alnutt said. “His vision and leadership helped elevate the UB football brand. We are grateful for what Lance has done here and we wish him and his family all the best as they embark on this new journey.”