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99 for 99 - #23 - The Curious Ends of Cirbus and Hofher

99 for 99 takes a look at the 99 biggest moments in UB Football history during this season, the 99th season of UB Football. These moments are not in any order, however the top 10 moments have been saved for last.

2000 & 2005 - Craig Cirbus and his successor Jim Hofher face similar demises.

The Tipping Point:

Cirbus: October 28, 2000 - Buffalo 10, Northern Illinois 73

Craig Cirbus was 17-27 before Buffalo moved to the MAC. In the Year and a half since the move, Cirbus compiled a 1-17 record. Cirbus needed to win quickly to save his job. Instead, his defense gave up the second highest amount ever, and UB fell to NIU by 63. Two days later, Athletic Director Bob Arkeilpane announced that Cirbus would not return as UB coach.

Hofher November 5, 2005 - Buffalo 13, Miami 54

Jim Hofher was 7-47 and had lost 9 straight as the Bulls traveled to Oxford, Ohio. His 7-39 record was good enough to earn a two-year contract extension at the beginning of the year. By November however, there was a new Athletic Director and no sign of improvement from the 0-8 football team. To save his job, Hofher would have to finish strong. Instead, Buffalo lost 54-13, which was closer than you would expect when you turn the ball over eight times. Freshman Quarterback Drew Willy lost 2 fumbles and threw 3 interceptions while 5 other Bulls fumbled, 3 of which were lost. Three days later, Athletic Director Warde Manuel announced that Hofher would not return as UB coach.

The Parting Shot:

Cirbus: November 3, 2000 - Buffalo 20, Kent State 17 (OT)

Cirbus captured career win number nineteen and snapped a four game losing streak with an overtime victory over Kent State.

Hofher November 12, 2005 - Buffalo 10, Kent State 6

Hofher captured career win number eight and snapped a ten-game losing streak. Buffalo took a 10-0 lead and their defense held on to the 10-6 victory, UB's first MAC road win.

The Sour Ending :

Cirbus: November 11, 2000 - Buffalo 14, Akron 49

Was the win a sign of improvement? Would UB regret making up their minds early? No, the following week, Buffalo kept the game close, at 7-7. Akron would go on a 42-7 run during which they racked up 550 yards of offense.

Hofher November 12, 2005 - Buffalo 14, Eastern Michigan 38

Was the win a sign of improvement? Would UB regret making up their minds early? No, the following week, Buffalo kept the game close, down 24-14 at the half, but UB never showed up for the second half. EMU outscored the Bulls 14-0 in the 3rd and won the game 38-14. UB actually outgained EMU by 125 yards, but Drew Willy threw 4 interceptions and Tony Paoli added 1. EMU's rode the +5 turnover margin to an easy victory, the last score of the Hofher era was an EMU 43 yard interception return for a touchdown.

The New Guy is Hired :

Cirbus: November 30, 2000 - Jim Hofher is hired.

After the final whistle, UB was without direction, but for only 12 days. Jim Hofher was hired and UB touted his local connection, his playing days at Cornell, and his big time experience at Syracuse and North Carolina.

Hofher December 16, 2005 - Buffalo 14, Eastern Michigan 38

34 days after the final whistle on the Hofher era, Turner Gill was hired. UB touted his championship experience at Nebraska.