I am not doing this to rip, or lionize our departing quarterback but to put a finger on just what we are losing. Maynard never improved his touch or his accuracy this season. Sure he had moments where he looked like a great pocket passer but there was no trend of improvement.
Game 1, UTEP: I was very impressed with the composure of Maynard, gill did a great job preparing him for this game. His numbers were nothing stealer, 12 of 19 for 159 yards and one touchdown, but he only made on obvious mistake the whole game when in the fourth he ran us out of field goal range trying to evade pressure. For a true sophomore starting his first game you can't ask anything more than that.
He looked nice running the ball late what Gill has done in transforming the offense over the course of one off season. Now that first game jitters are out of the way I hope to see him do it more than five times a game. I also would have liked to see the Bulls try to stretch the field a little more. Maynard only went deep a couple of times, the kid has a gun and we should be seeing more of it in the weeks ahead.
Game 2, Pitt: Other than one botched option play in the 3rd Maynard looked good, and did it against a Pitt Defense which is the strongest he faces this season. he dropped more than 400 passing yards, and he did it by spreading the ball around. Seven Buffalo Bulls garnered a reception, two (Hamlin & Roosevelt) had more than 100 yards.
Most impressive is that even when the team was down by three touchdowns Maynard and the offense never looked panicked. The wheels finally came off in the last minute or two of the game but when it still mattered Maynard was calm and collected.
Game 3, UCF: Some of the turnovers over the past two weeks have been the kind you expect from a first year starter (too long in the pocket, trying a last minute option)
Game 4, Temple: (F) It was not just the bad decisions you expect out of a first year starter even on good decisions within a good play call he was off target. This is what I was expecting out of Maynard this year, a great athlete who just needs to take his lumps before taking over a team. If any mistake was made with Maynard it was not getting him more snaps last season.
Game 5, CMU: Quarterbacks (B-) : Maynard looked far better this week, he reminded of his performance against UTEP. He played like a sophomore with a ton of potential, not throwing for 400 yards but not throwing 4 pics. He had a bit of trouble pitching the ball, and missed one open receiver in the end zone by a good 15 feet but on the whole, this tells it all. A nice controlled game, managed well. If Maynard has a little more touch on the long ball his completion percentage is going to be higher and he probably is 2-1 (or better) in touchdown to interception ratio. UB also made far better use of his legs this week than they have, to date, this season.
Game 6, G Webb: Grade (A): Great effort by Maynard, that's two very nice performances back to back (its been three weeks since he pulled that off against UTEP-Pitt). As always he spread the ball around well using Rack and Hamlin to tear apart a secondary that was keyed on Roosevelt. About the only really bad pass I saw from him was when he slightly over threw Roosevelt on a screen in the first half, Naaman caught the ball but was in a bad position when he did. Homework: Work on those wide receiver screen passes, you have plenty of velocity on them but you are, sometimes, hanging your receivers out to dry.
Game 7, Akron: Once UB had something resembling a running game Maynard had a pretty nice day. He loses points for the interceptions, neither of which were caused by exceptional defense from the zips (He telegraphed the screen and threw the ball terribly deep down field). The best thing seen out of Maynard today were a few impressive runs, it's really what Buffalo fans have been hoping to see out of him all year. Homework: Film Study, you have to know where that safety is before you lob one 40 yards down field across your body on the run. Your arm is strong enough, we all know that, but its not going to matter going that deep into double coverage. Also you have to spread the ball around a bit more, Jessie Rack had *one* throw go his way.
Game 8, WMU: Quarterbacks (B-): No matter what you do in terms of yardage, completion percentage, or rallying the team (Maynard did a lot towards those ends) two terrible passes coast us *at least* ten points. He would get a C as a pocket passing QB but he did put down a couple of nice runs and evaded more than a couple of sacks.
Game 9, BG: (C-) Even with the second half fall off Maynard was still in B territory but that last drive was just too much stink to give him a respectable grade. His passes were all over the place, he had happy feet, and on the final UB play he lost track of where he had to go for the first down. I'm still big on him for the future but tonight he showed he is nowhere near taking a team which is winded on his shoulders and doing anything with it.
Game 10, Ohio: (B-) I was going to punitively bomb the QB's with an F because Maynard managed to get himself suspended for a quarter but in truth I think the dropped passes the QB's had to suffer was enough punishment. Jerry Davis looked better than I though he would. Its a lot to find out shortly before a game, an important and nationally televised game, that you're getting the start and the kid handled himself just fine.
Maynard also played aquatically, at times he looked great and at times he looked a little suspect but on the whole he played well enough to win and you can't ask too much more of him than that. He is not Drew Willy, he cant will this team to a win but he is getting closer every week.
He needs to spend the off season working on his touch and his reads. Right now his passing arm has just one speed, bullet, sometimes something a little softer (nerf bullet?) would be appropriate. Coach Gill also has to get him a seeing eye dog to find his tight ends, Jessie rack is slowly disappearing from this offense and he is a great target.
Maynard's running and his judgement on the dive options has improved greatly this is an aspect of his game that, I hope, will be used far more effectively next season.
Game 11, Miami: (A) Maynard's passing was so-so but his decision making was spectacular, better than I have seen all season. His field vision was great I don't think he wasted an option at any point and did he ever sell the play action (including on the naked bootleg).
Game 12, Kent... The way our offense performed against Kent was too depressing for me to even look into