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1964 Buffalo Bulls Football

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1964 Buffalo Bulls Football

Buffalo Bulls Football coaching staff, 1964 season

Buffalo Bulls Coaching Staff

The 1964 football season marked Dick Offenhamer’s 10th year as the University at Buffalo’s head coach.

A coaching shake up was rumored during the summer of ’64.  Speculation persisted that Dick Offenhamer would pass the head coaching duties over to Buddy Ryan, who turned down an assistant coaching post with the Buffalo Bills.  But the rumors turned out to be false.

1964 NCAA College Football Regional Game - U.B. vs. Boston UniversityBuffalo rocketed into the 1964 football season bullying Boston University, 35-0, in an impressive display of power and personnel. Offenhamer’s forces converted two pass interceptions and a blocked punt into scores and otherwise manhandled the Terriers.

The Buffalo-Boston University football game represented a “first” for the University at Buffalo as the September 19, 1964 game was televised from Boston by Buffalo’s NBC affiliate.

Buffalo Quarterback Don Gilbert - 1964

Quarterback Don Gilbert

Earlier in March, Buffalo asked the NCAA for permission to televise six of its home football games during the 1964 season—via WNED-TV, Buffalo’s educational channel. But the request was denied.

In mid-October, an estimated 21,000 spectators watched in War Memorial Stadium as the Bulls struck for two 4th quarter scores to edge the Virginia Military Institute Keydets. Jim Duprey’s pass interception keyed Buffalo’s comeback as Buffalo defeated V.M.I., 14-10.

Shortly after the victory, the Bulls’ head coach Dick Offenhamer expressed confidence in the programs direction. (see “Bulls are Close To ‘Big Time’” Buffalo Courier-Express, 19 October 1964)

In November, senior quarterback Don Gilbert lead Buffalo to victory over the University of Richmond, 28-13. Don Gilbert blossomed his senior year for the Bulls. He set a school record for total yardage (rushing and passing) in 1964, and was 19th in the nation in total offensive yards. These accomplishments earned him the 1964 Dom Grassi Award as UB’s Athlete of the Year.

After graduation, Gilbert played in the Canadian Football League, as a defensive back for the Ottawa Roughriders from 1965-67 and later was a highly successful coach at the University of Ottawa.  Gilbert is a member of the Bennett High School Hall of Fame, University at Buffalo Hall of Fame and the University of Ottawa Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 2003.

The 1964 football season came to an abrupt and snowy conclusion two hours before the scheduled finale with Villanova when it was decided that snow-covered Rotary Field was unplayable.  An early season lake-effect snowstorm dumped heavy, wet snow throughout Western New York.  It was the second time in 11 years that a Bulls’ final football game has been snowed-out.

For more information on football at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.

1964 Buffalo Bulls Football Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
Sat, 9/19/19641 Boston University 0 – 35 Buffalo W Boston, MA
Sat, 9/26/19642 Cornell University 9 – 9 Buffalo T Ithaca, NY
Sat, 10/3/19643 Buffalo 22 – 24 University of Massachusetts L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/10/19644 Marshall University 14 – 12 Buffalo L Huntington, WV
Sat, 10/17/19645 Buffalo 14 – 10 Virginia Military Institute W Buffalo, NY*
Sat, 10/24/19646 Buffalo 14 – 20 Holy Cross L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/31/19647 Buffalo 27 – 0 University of Delaware W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/7/19648 Buffalo 28 – 13 University of Richmond W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/14/19649 Buffalo 6 – 7 Colgate University L Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/21/196410 Buffalo canceled Villanova University Buffalo, NY


Home: Rotary Field, Bailey and Winspear Avenues. *Game played at War Memorial Stadium, Jefferson Avenue and Best Street.
Coach: Dick Offenhamer

  • 1 – “UB Shows Power, Routs Boston, 35-0Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 20 September 1964.
  • 2 – “Cornell Rally Ties UB, 9-9Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 27 September 1964.
  • 3 – “Redmen Beat UB, 24-22; Buffalo Miscues Are CostlyBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 4 October 1964.
  • 4 – “Marshall Jolts UB, 14-12 Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 11 October 1964.
  • 5 – “Bulls Beat VMI, 14-10, Before 21,000Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 18 October 1964.
  • 6 – “Lenti, Cunnion Pace Crusaders Over Bulls, 20-14Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 25 October1964.
  • 7 – “Buffalo Bulls Shock Delaware, Win 37-0Niagara Falls Gazette Niagara Falls, NY, 1 November 1964.
  • 8 – “Don Gilbert Paces UB’s 28-13 VictoryBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 8 November 1964.
  • 9 – “Alert Colgate Defense Downs UB, 7-6Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 15 November 1964.
  • 10 – “UB Ends Season Idle; Snow Blocks Villanova ContestBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 22 November 1964.

Bulls Are Close to Big TimeCommon Foes Compared

Bulls are Close To ‘Big Time’

By Bob Powell

How far from that mystic strata of “big time” football is the University of Buffalo? The Bulls’ coach Dick Offenhamer is convinced that it isn’t too far, basing his thesis on the results of recent games.

The Buffalo eleven downed the Virginia Military Institute, 14-10, Saturday in War Memorial Stadium and John McKenna, coach of the Keydets, rated the Bulls on a par with another one of his team’s conquerors, the University of Virginia.

McKenna was speaking with the vivid authority of having just lost to Buffalo and having suffered a 20-19 setback the previous Saturday to the Cavaliers.

At the time UB was staging a rallying triumph before 21,000 spectators. Virginia was unpatriotically sabotaging the U.S. Military Academy football team, 35-14.

McKenna, whose team hasn’t outscored an opponent yet, also is an expert on the powers of Villanova. Predicting a Villanova victory in its meeting (Nov. 21 at Rotary Field) with UB. McKenna observed that the Wildcats probably have the best starting eleven in the east.

Competition Is Tough

“It just goes to show, that you don’t have to play Penn State or Syracuse to be in tough competition,” Offenhamer said Sunday as he prepared to review the UB-VMI game on film.

But, the question then presents itself: How long will it, be before the Bulls get into play against the likes of the East’s Big Five-Army, Navy,Syracuse, Penn State and Pittsburgh?

It certainly would be a foolishly ambitious move to do it on a basis of comparative scores, but history (cia football brochures) shows that Syracuse, for instances, played Villanova, Holy Cross, Colgate, Cornell, Boston University and other equally rated teams only a few years.

Future Buffalo football schedules, far from fully filled with teams, already includes the likes of Boston College and Iowa State. What’s to prevent a few additional name schools like Vanderbilt, Tulane, Rice and West Virginia from showing up?

On the Bulls’ victory Saturday, Offenhamer still expressed satisfaction with his team’s showing. If there was one disappointing feature, according to the coach, it was in the passing game.

Passing Was Off

“I’m not unhappy with the passing, but our receiving was below par. There were four passes that should have been caught. Don(Gilbert) hit on only four of 15 of his throws, but it wasn’t his fault at least four times.”

Buffalo Courier-Express, October 19, 1964

Baylor Bears vs Buffalo Bulls – 2007

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Baylor Bears vs Buffalo Bulls - 2007Check out the great photos of the Baylor/Buffalo football game from September 22, 2007 taken by U.B. photographer Douglas Levere from the Office Of University Communications.

Plagued by turnovers, the University at Buffalo Bulls football team fell to Baylor, 34-21, in front of a paid attendance of 22,676 at UB Stadium.

The Bulls were led by James Starks (now with the Green Bay Packers) who scored all three of UB’s touchdowns.

The images are part of the UB Photo Database Archives (1980-2008) available from the University Archives.

For more information on football at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.


Buffalo Bulls vs Army Black Knights – 1960

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General William Westmoreland, Superintendent at West Point, with University of Buffalo Chancellor Clifford C. Furnas at the Army / Buffalo football game at West Point, N.Y. on September 17, 1960.

General William Westmoreland, Superintendent at West Point, with University of Buffalo Chancellor Clifford C. Furnas at the Army / Buffalo football game at West Point, N.Y. on September 17, 1960.

On September 17, 1960, the University at Buffalo started its 1960 season against Army in West Point’s Michie Stadium.

Buffalo’s entire football squad, 45 men and the coaching staff, departed by plane to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. the day before after a rousing sendoff by U.B. students. More than 5,000 Buffalo supporters made the trip to West Point.

At the time, the Army Black Knights were considered a “major” football team while Buffalo was not. Buffalo’s head coach Dick Offenhamer was quoted in the newspapers as saying:

Army is a major football team. We are not. Army is a completely experienced team. We are not. Army is used to topflight competition. We are not. But we definitely have the psychological edge. Army has nothing to gain and  everything to lose. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The boys realize they will be up against it but they’ll be bidding for a super upset – one that will be remembered in 1970.

The “upset of the decade” never materialized as Buffalo was outclassed 37-0. (see “Army Marches to 37-0 Victory Over UB” Buffalo Courier-Express, 18 September 1960)

For more information on football at the University at Buffalo, visit the UB Sports History Collection website.


Army Marches to 37-0 Victory Over UB

Bulls Fold After Dominating Play In First Period

Buffalo halfback Skip Maue (#46) is tackled for a loss.

Buffalo halfback Skip Maue (#46) is tackled for a loss.

WEST POINT, Sept. 17 – If the University of Buffalo football team follows the advice contained in that old saw – “if you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em” – tonight 45 broad-shouldered UB Bulls will be sworn into the United States Army.

This afternoon, before 15,250 fans in Michie Stadium, the Black Knights of Army opened their grid season with a 37-0 victory over UB. The defeat was the most decisive suffered by the Bulls since 1954, when they absorbed a 45-0 beating by Hobart. The loss also fractured a win streak for the Buffalonians, who wound up 1959 with a string of six victories.

The Bulls packed almost their entire offense into the first 13 minutes, actually outplaying the Cadets over that span. Then the expected happened. Dick Eckert, a sophomore from Carlisle, Pa., gathered in a UB punt on the Army 26 and, behind superlative blocking, went all the way – 74 yards. The rout was on.

For the balance of the first half – 16 minutes and 34 seconds – it was all Army. While the Cadets busied themselves producing three touchdowns and a field goal, UB managed to sneak in only 10 plays over this stretch.

Plays Backfire

And most of those 19 UB plays backfired. They included three intercepted passes, one fumble and four losing rushes. Army punched out two more touchdowns in the third quarter, building its lead to 37-0. The Bulls blanked the Cadets in the final quarter and came up with two plucky goal line stands in the last five minutes.

UB stopped Army on the 3. Then, after immediately losing possession on a fumble, again slammed the door on the Cadets. Roy Sommer, UB’s junior halfback from North Tonawanda, choked the final Army threat with crushing tackles on the last two plays.

The UB line turned in a fine performance. The trenchmen yielded only two touchdowns by rushes. Both were scored on short plunges. The key figures in the UB line were Joe Shifflet and center Lu Lodestro. Phil Bamford, UB tackle, suffered a mild concussion as he made the tackle on the second half kickoff. He sat out the rest of the game.

Army rolled up a total offense of 397 yards – 263 on the ground and 134 through the air. The Bulls were limited to 21 yards rushing and 57 passing. The UB passers, Gordon Bukaty and Joe Oliverio, completed 8 of 21 pitches. UB never penetrated Army territory. Midway through the first quarter the Bulls were in possession exactly on the midfield stripe, a short Bukaty to Bill Selent pass put them there, but the Bulls were forced to punt on the next play.

George Kirschenbauer and Jim Connors were Army’s leading rushers. Kirschenbauer picked up 59 yards in 8 carries and Connors made 50 in 8. Sommer led UB with 10 yards in one rush. Coach Dick Offenhamer’s athletes had more than 5,000 Buffalo enthusiasts in a gay mood for those first 13 1/2 minutes. Then Eckert turned the tide with his brilliant 74-yard punt return

Eckert twisted out of arms of the first two UB defenders, picked up a host of  blockers, cut sharply to his left and, after almost losing his footing on the UB 45, raced for the touchdown. Frank Blanda’s conversion attempt was blocked.

Six minutes later Army scored again. Army center George Joulan set the stage with a fumble recovery on the UB 15. The Cadets scored in three plays. Al Rushatz slamming across the 4. Blanda passed to Glen Adams for a two-point conversion.

Cadets Click Again

With five minutes left in the first half, Army ran the score to 21-0. This time the Cadets marched 44 yards in seven plays. The key maneuver was an Eckert-Paul Stanley pass, good for 23 yards. Connors got the final two yards on a right sweep. Blanda converted.

Army won a race with the clock and notched three more point before intermission. Blanda accounted for these with a 15-yard field goal. The halftime gun sounded with Blanda’s three-point boot in the air.

Another long punt return—this one a 71-yarder by Adams – gave Army its fourth touchdown early in the third period. Adams made it look easy, breaking into the clear almost immediately and outracing the UB defenders.

The Cadets made it 37-0 with another touchdown on their next series. They moved 44 yards in seven plays. The touchdown came on a 16-yard pass play, Blanda to Kirschenbauer. That Army touchdown was posted with 21 minutes left in the game. Cadet partisans now were predicting a 50 to 60- point victory. But the Bulls dug in and kept Army off the scoreboard the rest of the afternoon.

Buffalo Courier-Express, September 18, 1960

Texas Tech vs. Duquesne in Buffalo, NY

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Texas Tech in Dramatic Win Over DuquesneOn Saturday, August 30, 2014, the U.B. Bulls take on the Duquesne Dukes football team at UB Stadium.  The Duquesne Dukes football program currently competes in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision. But from 1933 to 1942, Duquesne was among the elite college football teams in the United States.

In fact, on Friday, September 30, 1938, Texas Tech came to Buffalo to play Duquesne at the then recently opened Buffalo Civic Stadium.  The game was originally scheduled to be played in Pittsburgh, PA but was shifted to Buffalo, NY because it was thought that the city of Pittsburgh would be consumed with World Series fever in late September with the Pirates on the verge of winning the National League pennant.

Over 12,000 college football fans watched Texas Tech come back in the second half to nip Duquesne University 7 to 6.  Several interesting facts about the event include:

Aviation History - Texas Tech made the 2,000-mile journey from Lubbock, TX to Buffalo, NY by airplane. It was the first time a football team relied exclusively on air transportation.

First Night Game – It was the first college football game played under the newly installed lights at Civic Stadium.

Stadium Dedicated – The Buffalo Civic Stadium was formally dedicated before the game.


For more information on football in Buffalo, consult the Buffalo Evening News and visit the UB Sports History Collection website.

Bob Holmes of Texas Tech runs for 15 yards in Buffalo, NY. Regis Lhoest - guard for the Duquesne University. Geno Onder of Duquesne is tackled in Buffalo, NY.

Texas Tech vs. Duquesne University in Buffalo, NY at Civic Stadium on September 30, 1938