Just a little over a week after becoming bowl eligible for just the 3rd time in school history, the UB football team was left out of the Bowl Game schedule.
The Bulls finished the regular season 6-6 and was one of seven MAC teams to become bowl eligible.
While the Bulls had their struggles, it was hard to overlook what they accomplished throughout the year.
A two-win team the season before grabbed an early season win over eventual conference championship team Florida Atlantic University. In that game, the Bulls lost starting quarterback Tyree Jackson who was sidelined for several games with a knee injury.
Backup QB Drew Anderson got the start for the Bulls over the next few games that included a 7-OT loss to Western Michigan. Anderson went down in the Northern Illinois game forcing the Bulls to play freshman Kyle Vantrease.
The Bulls had a stretch of close losses but wound up wrapping the regular season with three straight wins. Their four conference losses came by a combined 15 points.
On Sunday, UB Athletic Director Allen Greene wrote a letter to UB fans, players, coaches and members of the community.
It said, "Today we learned that we were not selected to play in a bowl game. While this was difficult news to take, it in no way tarnishes the fine season our football team had. We finished the year with six wins, the third-most as a FBS program. It was a tremendous accomplishment for our team.
There was a lot to be excited about in 2017. Battling injury and adversity, we won the final three games of the regular season for the first time as a FBS program to earn bowl eligibility. We threw for a school-record 3,490 yards and rolled up over 5,000 yards of total offense for just the second time as an FBS program.
We featured a number of talented players like wide receiver Anthony Johnson who ranked third in the nation in receiving yards and touchdown catches and linebacker Khalil Hodge who ranked second in the country in tackles.
Who could forget the thrilling seven-overtime game against Western Michigan at UB Stadium which went down as the highest-scoring game in college football history? It was one of the close losses that we will learn from to make us better.
We are so proud of all the alumni and fans in the Western New York Community and across the country that stepped up and voiced their support for the Bulls over the past week in an effort to earn a bowl invite. Your voices did not go unheard by our players, coaches and staff.
Looking ahead, the 2018 season should be an exciting one with a number of key players returning, including four of our five All-MAC players. We will build on our successful 2017 campaign and expect to compete for a MAC Championship in 2018.
To that end, your support in the stands is more important than ever before. Please consider purchasing season tickets to show the bowl committees that UB fans have a true passion for football in WNY.
Thank you again for your support, Bulls fans, and we look forward to seeing you at UB Stadium in 2018!"
The Bulls are tentatively scheduled to open the 2018 season against Delaware State on September 1st.