Skip to Content

1946 Buffalo Bulls Football

by Scott Hollander
University at Buffalo Libraries

Head Coach Jim PeelleUniversity of Buffalo “Post-War” Football Begins

During the fall of 1946, the University of Buffalo fielded its first “post-war” football team and flourished with a 7 win and 2 loss season. Head Coach Jim Peelle had a 75 player squad, of whom 71 were war veterans. All of Buffalo’s home games were played in the Buffalo Civic Stadium.

Below are the 1946 season highlights pulled from the Buffalonian Yearbooks digital collection for the 1946-47 academic year.

Football had become little more than a myth on the University of Buffalo campus during its four-year absence. The end of the war produced the long-awaited impetus for football reincarnation. The inimitable football mentor, James E. Peelle, who for four years had been marking off the calendar, put forth an appeal for all football worthies to report for Spring Practice. Patience was rewarded and, perhaps for the first time, Jim was speechless when his beckon was answered by more than a hundred stalwarts, all eager to pit brawn and brain against the wiles of the slippery oval.

Ably assisted by cohorts, the fabulous Fritz Febel and assistants Vito Grieco and Vince Bonerb, a Buffalo eleven was fashioned of which the University could well be proud.

The return of the gridiron clashes showed the Bulls emerging with 7 wins and 2 losses for a 75% average while competition leaned toward “bigger-time” schools. They broke the 1942 scoring record, compiling the total of 224 points against the opposition 91. Credit must be given to Coaches Peelle and Febel for a trojan job well done. Students, too, are to be commended for both direct participation or zealous support accounting for such a victorious season, the like of which has rarely graced University of Buffalo athletic endeavor. A new era has begun. Already glances towards next fall’s grid exploits are characterized by optimism that the Buffalo teams will continue farther on the road toward athletic prominence.

Moravian College vs. University of BuffaloMoravian College vs. University of Buffalo

September 28, 1946, at Buffalo, NY

Opening the season against the Greyhounds of Moravian College from Bethlehem, PA on September 28, the Bulls displayed the talent which they had spent four long months perfecting and romped to a victory over the Bethlehem eleven.

This game was a banner occasion in another respect, too, for it was highlighted by the first post·war appearance of sensational Lou Carriere, who, living up to expectation, turned in an afternoon’s endeavor which many times brought the crowd roaring to its feet. Thus the Bulls were off to a fine start and, for the first time in many a moon, received the complete backing of the student body.

FINAL SCORE: Buffalo 40 – Moravian 7

University of Buffalo vs. Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteUniversity of Buffalo vs. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

October 5, 1946, at Troy, NY

The next week saw the Blue and White eleven travel to Albany to engage the Trojans of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (R.P.I.) . Early in the first quarter, the Buffaloes racked up a tally and conversion to lead, 7-0. It was short-lived advantage, however, as the Engineers countered, evened the score, and then added another to go out in front. Half-time score read, R.P.I. 13, Buffalo 7.

For almost three agonizing periods this condition prevailed and a Buffalo defeat seemed certain. Then the Bulls snapped out of the doldrums and, with almost lightning precision, bounced back three times in eight minutes to return home with a 28-13 conquest, a few less hairs on Jim Peelle’s barren pate, and a few dozen potential heart victims, but the score remained the same.

FINAL SCORE: Buffalo 28 – R.P.I. 13

University of Buffalo vs. Hobart CollegeUniversity of Buffalo vs. Hobart College

October 12, 1946, at Geneva, NY

The UB crew moved out of town again the following week to meet Hobart College’s Statesmen, traditional rivals, on the rain-drenched sod of Boswell Field in Geneva. Though it was the worst weather encountered all season the downpour didn’t dampen the spirit of the Blue and Whites as Eddie Middlestadt carried the “mail” twice on long runs to reach pay dirt and Vic Cleri carried over for the third marker. At halftime the Bulls had assumed a 20-0 lead.

After the respite, the sea of mud was unfathomable for the Bulls and the Statesmen’s lone tally came late in the third period.

FINAL SCORE: Buffalo 20 – Hobart 7

Bucknell vs. University of BuffaloBucknell vs. University of Buffalo

October 19, 1946, at Buffalo, NY

Homecoming Day brought with it the Bisons of Bucknell on October 19 in the first season appearance in Civic Stadium. Before a crowd of 15,000 enthusiasts, the Buffalonians tried desperately to stem the Bucknell tide, holding the foe to one tally just before half-time.

The second half proved the Bulls undoing as their defense weakened and the strong Bucknell warriors struck twice into the Buffalo end zone. Fighting valiantly all the while, the Blue and White succumbed to the day’s superior grid adversary.

FINAL SCORE: Bucknell 20 – Buffalo 0

Wayne State vs. University of BuffaloWayne State vs. University of Buffalo

October 26, 1946, at Buffalo, NY

Once again Civic Stadium was the site with Wayne‘s Tartars the opponent. The contest proved a nip-and-tuck battle throughout with the Bulls going down to their second and last defeat by the narrowest of margins. This loss, too, was indirectly attributed to Bucknell, which had crippled up so many of the first string players that Buffalo was at half strength when it faced Wayne.

A thriller all the way, the Wayne speedsters tallied once too often while two last-minute touchdowns by the Bulls had the outcome in doubt until the closing gun.

FINAL SCORE: Wayne State 25 – Buffalo 20

University of Buffalo vs. Bethany CollegeUniversity of Buffalo vs. Bethany College

November 2, 1946, at Bethany, WV

Seven days later the Bulls met the Bisons of Bethany College at the West Virginians’ mountain hideaway. Baffled at first by the series of roads which had to be traversed to reach that school, the Buffalo aggregation felt right at home when they finally reached their objective and thundered onto the gridiron.

The Buffalonians scored a touchdown in each of the first two quarters and three more in the second half to overwhelm the Bisons decisively. The Bethanyites lone score came midway in the third frame.

FINAL SCORE: Buffalo 32 – Bethany 6

Alfred University vs. University of BuffaloAlfred University vs. University of Buffalo

November 9, 1946, at Buffalo, NY

The U.B. aggregation did themselves proud this day, toppling the unbeaten, untied Alfred Saxons in a traditional clash in Civic Stadium on November 9. The hardest-fought battle of the year ensued with the Saxon gridders out to keep the slate clean, the Bulls out to smirch it.

Keeping ahead of the Alfred crew, at times by the slightest margin, the Buffaloes rocked the Saxons harder than they had hit all season. Then the smoke of ferocious play had cleared away, the Bulls stood triumphant on the long end of a final score.

FINAL SCORE: Buffalo 20 – Alfred 12

University of Buffalo vs. Carnegie TechUniversity of Buffalo vs. Carnegie Tech

November 16, 1946, at Pittsburgh, PA

Going away for their last out-of-town fray, the Bulls ventured to Pittsburgh to meet the Skiboes of Carnegie Tech. Engaging the so called “scoreless wonders” at Forbes Field, Buffalo managed to keep the Clansmen’s thus far unblemished record clean by defeating them handily.

Handily may not be the word , since the Bulls were ahead by only a 7-0 counter racked up early in the initial period. However, the last-quarter vehemence that characterized the U.B. eleven all year, again came to the rescue and, when the final gun echoed, the Buffaloes had done it again.

FINAL SCORE: Buffalo 28 – Carnegie Tech 0

Johns Hopkins vs. University of BuffaloJohns Hopkins vs. University of Buffalo

November 23, 1946, Buffalo, NY

The nine-game season was at an end with only the Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins University yet to play. Ending the campaign in a blaze of glory, the Peelle contingent subdued the Baltimore gridders, when the bench was nearly emptied, as nearly all get into the tussle. Highlights of the contest were those sensational runs of “Looping Lou” Carriere. Lou, hemmed in by almost the entire Blue Jay squad on his own 20 yard stripe, manages to elude all his would be tacklers and raced 80 yards, uninterrupted, for one of his inimitable touchdown dashes.

A dejected Johns Hopkins went away squelched by the Bulls season finale perfection and the big scoreboard tolled the keynote of gridiron doom.

FINAL SCORE: Buffalo 36 – Johns Hopkins 0

1946 Buffalo Bulls Football Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
9/28/1946 Buffalo 40 – 7 Moravian 1-0 Buffalo, NY
10/5/1946 Rensselaer Polytechnic 13 – 28 Buffalo 2-0 Troy, NY
10/12/1946 Hobart 7 – 20 Buffalo 3-0 Geneva, NY
10/19/1946 Buffalo 0 – 20 Bucknell 3-1 Buffalo, NY
10/26/1946 Buffalo 20 – 25 Wayne State 3-2 Buffalo, NY
11/2/1946 Bethany 6 – 32 Buffalo 4-2 Bethany, WV
11/9/1946 Buffalo 20 – 12 Alfred 5-2 Buffalo, NY
11/16/1946 Carnegie Tech 0 – 28 Buffalo 6-2 Pittsburgh, PA
11/23/1946 Buffalo 36 – 0 Johns Hopkins 7-2 Buffalo, NY

Home: Civic Stadium, Buffalo, NY
Coach: Jim Peelle