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99 for 99: Instant Classic - Week 9 - Defense?

The 99th season of UB Football began September 1st in Athens, Georgia and ended Friday in Columbus, Ohio. 99 for 99 will run until the MAC Championship game on November 30th. During the Season, the 99 for 99 Instant Classic will immortalize the best moment from the previous game, and let you, the reader decide the best moment of the season.

November 10, 2012 - Buffalo 29, Western Michigan 24 - Buffalo forces 5 turnovers to lead the Bulls to their second straight victory.

Entering the WMU game, the 2-7 Bulls were not exactly stout on defense. They averaged 31 points allowed per game, allowed 379 yards each game per game and forced only 6 turnovers all season. Up 7-0, the defense bent all the way to the 9 yard line. Alex Carder looked to tie the game, but instead found Cortney Lester, who intercepted the pass and preserved the UB lead.

Buffalo took a 17-0 lead, but it was erased by a late first half surge by the Broncos. WMU was up 21-20 when Lester intercepted Carder for a second time. This led to a Patrick Clarke field goal and a 23-21 UB lead. WMU followed with a field goal of their own, and Licata hit Neutz for a 30 yard touchdown pass to set the score at 29-24 with 11 minutes to go in the game.

WMU drove into Buffalo territory and looked to take the lead again, but Carder threw his 3rd interception, this time to Willie Moseley. Buffalo could neither run time off the clock nor extend the lead, so Carder had 9 minutes to go 80 yards to put WMU in front again. The Broncos drove deep into UB territory, at the 24-yard line, when Steven Means sacked Carder who lost the ball, and Colby Way fell on it, the fourth turnover forced on the day.

Again, Buffalo could neither extend the lead nor take the clock all the way down to 0. This time, Carder had 90 seconds to go 90 yards with no timeouts. In the end he would only get 1 play. Carder threw 20 yards down field, and hit his favorite target, Cortney Lester. Lester's third interception of the day and UB's 5th forced turnover sealed the victory for the Bulls.

Lester's 3 interceptions were 1 short of Pete Rao's single game UB record. It was the first multi-interception game for a Bull since John Syty nabbed two against UTEP in 2008.