Both the Buffalo Bulls and the Duquesne Dukes share a tumultuous history including long blackouts which stunted the development of each football program. UB, through fortunate circumstances, ended up playing in the Football Bowl Subdivision while the ceiling for the Dukes seems to be the slightly lower-profile Football Championship Division.
Their first and only meeting came in 1991, when both schools were Division Three entities. The Bulls won the game 49-0 behind 266 rushing yards by Alan Bell. His single-game yardage record from that day still stands.
Both schools started football in the 1890's. The Dukes picked up the pigskin in 1893 and the Bulls a year later in 1894. They both had good programs which were cut before their time with the Bulls having to cut football from 1970-1977 and Duquesne going dark from 1950 to 1969.
UB and the Dukes first brought football back as a club sport and slowly worked their way back to the Division 1-AA level in 1993. A year later Duquesne joined the MAAC while UB stayed a football independent. I've read that UB's initial Division One plans were to stay at the I-AA level but that they were unable to get an invite to any particular conference, particularly the MAAC.
Several years after becoming a I-AA school the Mid-American Conference invited UB and the rest is history. On the flip side the MAAC fell apart as a football entity and that forced the Dukes into the lower profile NEC, where they reside today.
But before the two teams joined Division One they had one meeting as members of Division III. The 1991 edition of UB, coached by Sam Sanders, was not one of the better editions in school history. In the end they finished 3-10 but one of those wins was a 49-0 beating of the Dukes.
Alan Bell put up 266 yards and three touchdowns. The rest of the offense added 265 yards and four more rushing touchdowns. Bell's record stands to this day, as do the seven rushing touchdowns by the Bulls. The game also set two records for the Dukes.
Bell broke the record in impressive fashion, with a 47-yard touchdown run. He left the game in the fourth quarter, with 206-yards rushing. When the coaching staff was made aware how close Bell was to the previous single-game record, they put him back in the game, he quickly broke off the 47-yard TD run.
After about 100 years of football the game is still the worst shutout loss and has the fifth longest punt n Duquesne history. Brad Williamson's 65 yard boot was the highlight of the day.
There is little history to be made for the Bulls in this coming game, but for the Dukes it's already an event. This will be their first game ever against a member of the Football Bowl Subdivision and just the third ever from the NEC to play against the higher segment of Division One. The NEC competed as a non-scholarship member of the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision until 2006 when the conference adopted an athletics-based aid model.
You can bet Duquesne wants to make more history by becoming the first NEC team to win against an FBS member. The Bulls, who lost nearly half of their starters, are trying to get the most out of their season opener before taking on Army in Week 2.
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