#16 Coastal Carolina (2-0) at Buffalo (1-1)
September 18th, 2021, 12:00 PM ET
UB Stadium, Buffalo, New York
Weather – Cloudy, 72 degrees
#16 Coastal Carolina 28 – Buffalo 25
This was a fairly anticipated game between two non-Power 5 teams. Coastal Carolina was coming off an amazing 2020 campaign and still playing will into 2021. Buffalo was a team that was definitely weaker thanks to a coaching change and a lot of transfers during the off season, but still expected to be decent in the MAC in 2021. Although Buffalo lost big to Nebraska the week before, this ended up being a very fun and competitive game.
Coastal Carolina easily marched down the field on their first possession, making you think this game could get out of hand early on. The Bulls responded though by scoring on their next two trips and taking a 14-7 lead into the second quarter. Coastal would score on the first possession of the second quarter to tie things up. Both teams would miss field goals leading to a halftime score of 14-14.
In the second half the Chanticleers would start to pull away. After they scored on the first play of the fourth quarter, they would take a 28-17 lead. They drove the ball down the field and was about to go in for another touchdown, they through an interception into the endzone and Buffalo had another chance.
Buffalo drove it all the way down and scored a touchdown and two-point conversion to bring it back to 28-25. Unfortunately, the drive took over 7 minutes off the clock and Buffalo would not get the ball back with a chance to tie the game and Coastal Carolina escaped with a hard-fought victory.
Final score: Coastal Carolina 28-Buffalo 25.
UB Stadium first opened in 1993 and in at least parts of the stadium it looks like is hasn’t been updated sense. The first thing you notice is the track that surrounds the field you don’t find in very many stadiums these days. There were grandstands that were along the two sidelines and another grandstand behind the south end zone.
On the north end zone there was a video scoreboard and a newer field house which seemed like the only additions to the stadium area. On the two sidelines, there were only two tiny, old scoreboards that just showed the score and the time of the game.
There was also not much in the way of concessions. Just a few normal concessions stands throughout the concourse, but only the normal food like hot dogs and nachos. They did have a couple areas where people could buy beer as well in their own concessions area. There was one small Little Blue food truck in one of the open areas, but that was the only other food I saw in the stadium.
Although this was a pretty high stakes match up, the crowds were not very large for the game. The sidelines were about 70% filled, but the south grandstand was virtually empty. The one thing that impressed me, just like at Syracuse the prior week, was how many students came out for the game. The student section was packed and they were loud during the entire game. The fact the game was close throughout led to a much more exciting atmosphere. I sat just a couple of rows behind the student section so enjoying the atmosphere they brought to the game.
Hot dog – $4.00
Regular drink – $3.00
20 Ounce Beer – $9.00
Other Sporting Event
Women’s Tennis – Niagara vs. Buffalo
One of the neat things about adding a non-football sporting event to each of my visits is a chance to watch sports that I normally would never watch in person. I watched my first field hockey game at Central Michigan and now I was able to watch my first tennis match.
If you don’t know anything about college tennis, this is how it is set up. It starts with five doubles matches. The team that wins the majority of those doubles matches gets one point. After that, six singles matches are played worth one point each. The first team that gets to four points is the winner, though usually they will still finish out the remaining matches.
Niagara was outmatched from the start. This was to be expected as Buffalo is in a better conference and is usually more competitive. In fact, Niagara did not win a single set in either the double or single matches.
Buffalo 7 – Niagara 0
Buffalo is spread out across a couple campuses, but their main campus is the North campus. The campus was one of the least impressive campuses I have visited. All of the building were very basic and it seemed like there was very little open space for students to congregate. The number of parking lots around the buildings made it seem like the school was aimed more towards commuter students.
There were still a couple of cool areas around the campus though. The main one was Lake La Salle on the Northeast part of the campus. There was a place where students could rent canoes and kayaks to go on the lake, though it was closed when I visited.
There was also an area with a lot of shops and a small fountain that almost seemed like you had stepped off of campus. There were a couple small restaurants as well as some other student focused shops in the small area.
Niagara Falls State Park
Niagara Falls is one of those places that you have to visit at least once in your lifetime. The best area of the park, at least on the US side, is Goat Island, which allows you to get a view of the Niagara River as well as a view of Horseshoe Falls. I was a little surprised at the lack of crowds when we visited. There were definitely a good deal of people visiting, but the parking lot was only about half full when we showed up.
Probably my favorite views were when I walked over from my hotel early in the morning though. First, there were only a couple people that were out on the trails meaning I got to take in the entire falls to myself for a little while. On top of there, there were heavy storms that came in overnight which means the river was raging a lot more on the second visit.
There are also a lot of other things to do in the area than just visiting the falls. The Maid of the Mist is a boat ride that takes you down close to the bottom of the Horseshow Falls. The Cave of the Winds (Discussed more below) allows you to walk down along the American Falls. There is also a trolley that goes throughout the park to take you to other areas to keep you from having to drive to multiple parking lots.
Overall, it was definitely an experience worth taking in. I think it would also be fun to check out the Canadian side of the falls at some point once borders are a little easier to cross in the future.
Cave of the Winds
The Cave of the Winds is located inside Niagara Falls State Park and it provides the opportunity to get closer to the falls by going down an elevator and walk along a large deck right underneath part of the American Falls.
The attraction starts with a video that shows the history of the falls and how it became the first state park in the entire United States. It also showed how Nikola Tesla used the falls to help transmit power from Niagara Falls to the city of Buffalo.
Once the video ends, they provide sandals for you to use to keep your shows from getting soaked and then you are led to the elevator that takes you down close to falls. As you exit the elevator you are also provided a poncho to help keep you dry.
The views from the deck were pretty amazing. First the deck pushes out enough that you can look back and get a good view of Horseshoe Falls. It is a much different view from below than the one you get from walking along the trails higher up. But, of course, the highlight was being able to get right underneath the American Falls.
Aquarium of Niagara
The Aquarium of Niagara is located on the north part of the Niagara State Park area. If you take the trams, you can get there from anywhere within the park. The first thing you’ll notice is this aquarium is on the smaller side. There is only one central area on two different floors. It will not take you very long to go through the entire building.
The two major displays in the aquarium are the penguin and sea lion exhibits. They had eight to ten penguins in the first exhibit, some were swimming right up to the window glass so you were able to get a good look at them in action. They also had a sea lion show while we were there so we got to see some of their talents on the land and in the water.
There were some other interesting smaller exhibits on the second floor. They had a room with a lot of various jellyfish. They had various lighting within those exhibits so you could see them lit up in purple or green.
Buffalo History Museum
The Buffalo History Museum provides a look into several parts of what makes Buffalo unique. The lower level of the museum dug into the history of the city going all the way back to its founding. There were many various artifacts and displays showing how families made a living in the area when the city first started out.
The highlights of the museum were on the second floor. The first area was the sports displays. There was memorabilia from all of the teams sports including lesser known sports like their original basketball team and their professional lacrosse team. The other big exhibit was the office of Tim Russert, who was known most for being the host of Meet The Press.
Buffalo Transportation Pierce Arrow Museum
The Pierce Arrow Museum highlighted the Pierce Company that operated out of Buffalo. They started off in regular household goods before moving on to upscale bicycles, then motorized bikes and scooters, before eventually moving on to automobiles.
I was unaware of this company before visiting, so it was interesting to learn about its history, especially as a producer of some of the bicycles that were used by Olympic champions. They had a wide variety of bicycles on display throughout their entire company run.
Of course, the majority of the museum was devoted to automobiles. They did have many Pierce automobiles, but they also had many old vehicles from many other companies as well. Talking to one of the volunteers of the museum, they try to bring in one or two vintage cars each year.
Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens
The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens is located in South Park a few minutes south of downtown. The first thing that pops out is the architecture of the indoor gardens. The glass dome on the main building is beautiful and sticks out, in a good way, out of the main area of the park.
Inside the gardens, the building was broken up into different sections each highlighting a different part of the world. When you first walk in there is a large palm dome. There are other sections devoted to the Asian rain forest, various cacti, the Panama forests, and the Florida Everglades. There was also a small coy pond in the Asian rain forest area and a couple of nice fountains throughout as well.
Parkway Prime Steakhouse – Niagara Falls
The Parkway Prime Steakhouse is located at the Doubletree hotel in Niagara Falls. I usually choose not to eat at hotel restaurants because I prefer going out and experiencing specific restaurants in the city I’m visiting. For this part of the trip, I made an exception due to the difficulties in finding and cost of parking around Niagara Falls as well as vouchers we had for the restaurant from staying there. It was a more upscale experience than I usually check out as well.
There were a couple good choices on the menu, but I went with the bacon jam burger. It was made with gouda cheese, garlic aioli, arugula, and a bacon jam. The burger was large and had great flavor as the ingredients all worked very well together. The French fries were some of the better fries I’ve had in some time. At the end of the day, it was a good decision to eat in for this part of the trip.
Chef’s On The Go
Chef’s On The Go is an offshoot of another restaurant, simply called Chef’s, that is based in downtown Buffalo. Chef’s is a famous Italian restaurant that has had a lot of famous guests through the years and is famous for their spaghetti parmesan.
Not wanting to travel to downtown Buffalo during rush hour, we chose Chef’s On The go which was much closer to where we were staying in Buffalo. This location is set up to be more of a take out location with a drive thru window, but they also had some tables for dining in as well.
I chose the spaghetti parmesan that they are known for. The spaghetti came baked with a very thick serving of cheese on top. The pasta was a little dry, but it was served with a large cup of sauce on the side. The sauce was very tasty and putting it on the top of the pasta made it a lot better. I would be curious to compare this to the actual Chef’s just to see how different the two experiences and the taste of the food are.
Many people have asked why they are called Buffalo wings since buffaloes do not have wings. The reason is because they were made famous in Buffalo, New York. There are two different restaurants famously known for their wings in the area, Anchor Bar and Duff’s.
Since the original Duff’s was just a couple miles from the hotel that is what I decided to check out. The restaurant was in a very unassuming white brick building with no frills on the outside nor on the inside. It was what you would expect from your normal dive bar.
The menu was very basic, with only the typical buffalo sauce available, just with varying degrees of heat. On their menu, they say medium is hot, medium hot is very hot, and hot is very, very hot. To be safe I went with the medium. It definitely had some kick, but I probably could have gone with medium hot and been okay.
The wings were good, though maybe a little too dry. The onion rings were delicious though, very fresh and lots of flavor. I would almost go back just for the rings.
The second food that Buffalo is known for is the beef on weck, which is a sandwich with roast beef on a kummelweck roll. One of the best places to try this sandwich was at Schwabl’s, a small German restaurant that was established back in 1837. As soon as you walked in it was like you were transported back in time. It had a very old-fashioned feel, even down to the uniforms the staff was wearing.
The beef on weck was amazing and easily the best food I had on the entire trip. The roast beef was flavored perfectly with just enough juice to add flavor to it. The roll also had a lot of flavor with the kosher salt on top. Adding horseradish to the sandwich gave it even more kick on top of the other flavors already there.
I also ordered a side of the German potato salad. This was a delicious dish as well with the warm potatoes and grilled onions mixed in. If I lived in the Buffalo area this is a place that I would go to over and over again.