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1900 Buffalo Football

Posted on: | by Scott Hollander | 2 Comments

The 1900 Buffalo football season was merely average when compared to previous years.  In the 7 games played, three were won, two lost, and two tied.  The writers of the Iris Yearbook described the season as follows…

Everything taken into consideration in three games —Columbia, Western Reserve University, and Pennsylvania State College— Buffalo did very creditable work.

It was a foregone conclusion that Columbia would win, and the only speculation that remained was the size of the score. Everyone was looking for a large score to be rolled up against us and were agreeably surprised when the visitors could count only seventeen points to their credit.

The Western Reserve game was a surprise to all as we had beaten her in previous years on her own grounds, we fully expected to do as well this year at home. But Reserve had developed a wonderful strength, her team work being of a high order, and it was only the best of luck and the fiercest kind of playing on our part that kept her from scoring.

Penn State came with the reputation of having done some wonderful work during the season, but against our brawny athletes was unable to compete successfully. In the first half she more than held her own, the ball being in Buffalo’s territory most of the time, yet in the second half her line, it became evident, was far too light to withstand the onslaughts of solid formations. Battered and bruised in the mud of Athletic Field, their skill gave way to superior strength, allowing Buffalo to twice cross their goal line, and finish the season with a score of ten to nothing.

—Iris Yearbook, University of Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, 1901

Clearly the highlight of the season was the Thanksgiving Day 10-0 victory over Penn State on Thursday, November 29th.  Being late in the season, the conditions of the Buffalo Athletic Field were a muddy mess.  The New York Times described the gridiron as more fit for water polo than football.  None the less, the sports editors of the Buffalo Express newspaper called the UB win a “glorious” end to the season with Buffalo never playing better in its life.

After the Buffalo victory, Penn State coach, William “Pop” Golden said:

“I think that Penn State would defeat Buffalo on a dry field. It was a good game, however, and I do not want to take away any of Buffalo’s glory. It was a hard fight from start to finish. I hope we will be invited to Buffalo next year, when I think we can reverse the result.”

“Our treatment has been cordial and we have but one grievance to carry away with us and that is we were placed in a cold room between the halves and our men were nearly frozen to death with their wet and muddy clothes. It was probably more of an oversight than an intention, but it worked harm to Penn State for the players were stiff when they lined up a second time.”

“A team to be popular must be an annual attraction. People will look up its standing if they get to know it and will compare chances the home team has of winning. For that reason more than any other it would be well for Buffalo to make arrangements for the annual appearance of a half dozen good elevens and count Penn State in as one.”

—Buffalo Express, Buffalo, NY, 30 November 1900

Penn State did not return to Buffalo to play UB in football in 1901.  In fact, the two teams would not play each other again for another 107 years.  In 2007, Penn State finally avenged their loss to UB whipping Buffalo 45-24 at Beaver Stadium. For more information on football at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.

1900 Buffalo Football Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
Sat, 10/6/19001 Tonawanda Y.M.C.A 0 - 6 (W) Buffalo 1-0-0 North Tonawanda, NY
Sat, 10/13/19002 Buffalo 12 – 0 (W) Syracuse A.A. 2-0-0 Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/27/19003 Case Institute of Technology 0 – 0 (T) Buffalo 2-0-1 Cleveland, OH
Fri, 11/2/19004 Kanaweola C.C. (Elmira, NY) 15 – 0 (L) Buffalo 2-1-1 Elmira, NY
Sat, 11/10/19005 Buffalo 0 – 17 (L) Columbia University 2-2-1 Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/17/19006 Buffalo 0 – 0 (T) Western Reserve 2-2-2 Buffalo, NY
Thurs, 11/29/19007 Buffalo 10 – 0 (W) Penn State 3-2-2 Buffalo, NY


Home: Buffalo Athletic Field, Main St and Jefferson Ave
Total Points
: Visiting Clubs: 32
Total Points:
University of Buffalo: 26

  • 1 – “University of Buffalo Won Hard Game Here SaturdayThe Evening News, North Tonawanda, NY, 8 October 1900.
  • 2 – “Syracuse A.A. Beaten Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Rochester, NY, 14 October 1900.
  • 3 – “Scores of Other GamesNew York Times, New York, NY, 28 October 1900.
  • 4 – “Wheelmen Beat College Team New York Times, New York, NY, 3 November 1900.
  • 5 – “Columbia Won EasilyNew York Times, New York, NY, 11 November 1900.
  • 6 – “Neither Side Scored at BuffaloNew York Times, New York, NY, 18 November 1900.
  • 7 – “Penn. State Was Shut OutNew York Times, New York, NY, 30 November 1900.


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2 Responses

  1. Tim (Bull Run) says:

    Are you sure about that schedule? The Elmira NY Star Gazette 10/31/1900 lists the score of the case western game and makes mention of the injury the previous week against Western Reserve.

    • Scott Hollander says:

      There’s always a chance of a mistake but we’re pretty confident. We have a September 25, 1900 Buffalo Express article with the 1900 UB Football schedule and a November 30, 1900 Buffalo Express article with the end-of-year results that match.