Nebraska braces for test from Buffalo

Field Level Media

September 07, 2021 at 6:39 pm.

Nebraska hosts Buffalo in an intriguing nonconference matchup of teams coming off of wins over FCS opponents.

Buffalo opened the 2021 season with a 69-7 home romp over Wagner, making Maurice Linguist a winner in his head-coaching debut. Nebraska crushed Fordham 52-7 in its home opener, bouncing back from a 30-22 loss at Illinois during Week 0.

Linguist, who spent last season coaching defensive backs with the Dallas Cowboys and was set to be Michigan’s co-defensive coordinator this fall, took over the Bulls program in May after Lance Leipold left for Kansas. Despite coming in late, the one-time Buffalo assistant appears to have his team up to speed already.

“He is consistent in how he leads this team, and he brings energy and the juice, everyday,” Buffalo quarterback Kyle Vantrease said of Linguist. “I’m really excited to be playing for this coaching staff and this team.”

Nebraska’s victory was part of an offensive display — 633 total yards, 329 on the ground — and welcome result after the Cornhuskers lost their conference opener for the third time in four seasons under Scott Frost.

“We needed it,” Frost said. “We had such a good camp and going into that first game, we had high hopes, and I think that the kids really believe how much progress they made and how much better of a team they are. Then game one didn’t go the way we wanted it to, but that doesn’t change the progress that we’ve made.”

Adrian Martinez was 17 of 23 for 254 yards with a touchdown and also ran for two scores as the fourth-year junior became the third Nebraska quarterback in school history to reach 6,000 passing yards.

Buffalo rushed for 312 yards against Wagner, but is 3-14 all-time against current Big Ten members, winning at Rutgers in 2018. This is the Bulls’ first meeting with Nebraska, which is 6-1 against Mid-American Conference schools. The lone loss came in Lincoln at the hands of Northern Illinois in 2017.

“We’ve watched them on tape already,” Frost said of Buffalo. “It’s a really good team. They were in the MAC Championship last year. They’ve lost some pieces and added some really good pieces.”