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.
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.
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