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1947 Buffalo Bulls Football

by Scott Hollander
University at Buffalo Libraries

Team photo

Photo from the 1948 Buffalonian Yearbook

Best Record in School History

Ad: U B vs Bethany WWOL 1120 radioComing of the 1946 season and its first “post-war” football team, much was expected of the 1947 squad. Coach Jim Peelle was returning for his thirteenth year. Sensational Lou Carriere was also returning from the 1946 team as well as 45 other veteran players. And there was so many capable men on the squad that for the first time in the school’s history a two-team system could be used with alternating offensive and defensive outfits wearing down the opposition.

The University of Buffalo football team’s season started against Niagara University at Civic Stadium. The two teams hadn’t played each other since 1934. The Buffalo newspapers and lovers of college football in all Western New York were elated at this opening game and hoped for the ultimate result of a Western New York conference which would include the University of Buffalo, Canisius, Niagara, St. Bonaventure, Hobart, Rochester, Scranton, Alleghany and others of the same classification and registration. A crowd of 14,919 fans watched in Buffalo’s Civic stadium as U.B. defeated Niagara 27-14.

U.B. would go on to have an outstanding season winning eight and losing only once to Wayne State in Detroit. Buffalo finished second to unbeaten Penn State in the final rankings of the Eastern Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The Bulls’ overwhelming power was demonstrated by their amassed total of 218 points during the season’s play, while limiting opponents to only 74. Bill Rudick and Al Massey, received All-upstate mention for their outstanding caliber of play throughout the campaign.

Sun Bowl “Feeler”

The fine showing won national attention for Buffalo as the Bulls were under consideration for a post-season Sun Bowl game in El Paso, Texas. The college football environment was a lot different in 1947 and it was expected that any offer would be refused. (see “Sun Bowl Group Eyes UB Gridders” Buffalo Courier-Express, 28 October 1947) Although they had an excellent season, Buffalo did not receive a bid to the Sun Bowl. The bids went to Miami of Ohio and Texas Tech. Miami won 13-12.

Action shot 1 Action shot 2 Shaking hands Sideline shot Action shot 4 Two players

1947 Buffalo Football Season

Date Home Team Score Visiting Team W-L-T Location
Fri, 9/19/19471 Buffalo 27 – 14 Niagara W Buffalo, NY
Fri, 9/26/19472 Moravian 0 – 7 Buffalo W Bethlehem, PA
Sat, 10/4/19473 Buffalo 14 – 7 Rensselaer Polytechnic W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/11/19474 Buffalo 54 – 0 Hobart W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 10/18/19475 Alfred 7 – 40 Buffalo W Alfred,NY
Sat, 10/25/19476 Wayne State 32 – 12 Buffalo L Detroit, MI
Sat, 11/1/19477 Buffalo 50 – 6 Bethany College W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/8/19478 Buffalo 40 – 7 St. Lawrence W Buffalo, NY
Sat, 11/15/19479 Bucknell 6 – 14 Buffalo W Lewisburg, PA

Home: Civic Stadium, Buffalo, NY
Coach: Jim Peelle
Total Points: Visiting Clubs: 74
Total Points: University of Buffalo: 218

  1. Buffalo Hands NU 27-14 Setback In Football OpenerNiagara Falls Gazette Niagara Falls, NY, 20 September 1947.
  2. Buffalo Beats MoravianNiagara Falls Gazette Niagara Falls, NY, 27 September 1947.
  3. RPI Beaten By Bulls 14-7Utica Observer-Dispatch Utica, NY, 5 October 1947.
  4. Buffalo Routs Hobart Geneva Daily Times Geneva, NY, 13 October 1947.
  5. Buffalo Clouts Alfred, 40-7Rochester Democrat & Chronicle Rochester, NY, 19 October 1947.
  6. Wayne Snaps UB Winning Streak, 33-12Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 26 October 1947.
  7. Bulls Romp To 6th Win By 50 to 6Buffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 2 November 1947.
  8. U.B. Routs Larries, 40-7, for 7th WinBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 9 November 1947.
  9. Buffalo Beats Bucknell, 14-6, For Eighth Victory of YearBuffalo Courier-Express Buffalo, NY, 16 November 1947.

Sun Bown group eyes U B GriddersSun Bowl Group Eyes UB Gridders

The University of Buffalo’s brilliant football record of five victories in six starts received merited tribute yesterday in the form of a “feeler” from officials of the Sun Bowl, El Paso, Texas. They asked Head Coach Jim Peelle if the university would be interested in a bid to the game, January 1st. Peelle referred the matter to the faculty committee on athletics. Unofficial opinion is that the request will not be considered, in view of the Bulls nine-game schedule.

Principal activity on the UB campus yesterday was a review of the movies of the Wayne game last Saturday, in which the Tartars snapped the Bulls’ winning streak at nine. The pictures revealed a few unorthodox incidents. They also showed that Bob Leipler, UB tackle, has developed into an excellent lineman. He packs 237 pounds on a 6-3 frame.

With Bethany the next opponent, Saturday in Civic Stadium, Peelle has ordered daily scrimmage, starting this afternoon. Poor tackling and seven fumbles hurt in the Wayne game, and Peelle will risk contact work, in an effort to correct these deficiencies. This will be the first scrimmage action since the week preceding the Niagara contest.

Lou Corriere, the Bulls’ versatile back, is likely to miss the Bethany tilt because of a leg injury. UB missed him against Wayne.

Buffalo Courier-Express, October 28, 1947