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99 for 99 - #84: Zach Maynard Shows Potential, Youth...

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99 for 99 takes a look at the 99 biggest moments in UB Football history in anticipation of the 99th Season of UB Football which begins on September 1st, 2012. These moments are not in any order, however the top 10 moments have been saved for last.

September 12, 2009 - Zack Maynard throws for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns vs Pitt, UB falls 54-27.

In 2008, Buffalo opened up a home and home series with the Pittsburgh Panthers. The Bulls played well but fell 27-16 to the Panthers at Heinz Field. In 2009, Pitt looked to build on a 9 win season, while UB looked to build on their 2008 MAC Championship.

In the first home game since winning the championship, the 1-0 Bulls had the support of the crowd, 21,870 fans showed up, which at the time was the 7th largest home crowd in UB history, now 8th. The success or failure of the team would rest on the shoulders of the new starting Quarterback, Zach Maynard.

Pitt marched down the field for a touchdown on their first possession. One play after Buffalo fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Pitt scored to go up 14-0. Maynard's would not have the luxury of easing into his first home start. Maynard did however have the luxury of multiple offensive weapons. Maynard hit Brett Hamlin twice, (Hamlin finished with 12 catches and 149 yards) Roosevelt once, and got a big run from Brandon Thermilus before delivering a 24 yard strike to Jesse Rack for a touchdown.

The PItt offense showed no signs of slowing down; It would take 20 game minutes before UB's defense finally stopped the Pittsburgh offense, and even then they needed 20 yards of Pitt penalties to force the punt. Down 20 - 7 Maynard would have a chance to get UB into the game, but on the first play, Mario Henry fumbled on the 13. 3 plays later, UB was down 27 - 7.

Down 20, UB started to air it out. Maynard threw his 2nd and 3rd TD passes of the night in the 2nd quarter, both to Roosevelt, one 54 yards and one 67 yards. Roosevelt finished the game with 6 catches, 157 yards receiving and 2 touchdowns.

UB started the second half with the ball down only 14. Turner Gill looked to Maynard's athletic ability to create a spark, but a botched option pitch was returned 50 yards for a Pitt TD and a 40 - 20 lead.

In the 4th, Maynard threw his 4th TD pass to Brandon Thermilus, and UB found itself still in the game, down 13, the defense had held Pitt scoreless in the 2nd half. With 5 minutes left, Pitt was backed up 1st and 15 on their own 15...and Dion Lewis broke free for an 85 yard touchdown run. The nail on the coffin came a minute later as Maynard threw an interception that was returned to the 2. Pitt punched in the TD to finish off the 54 - 27 victory.

The Bulls would go on to lose their next 3 games, and went 2-5 in games decided by a touchdown or less. The team in 2008 that won by dominating the turnover margin, now found themselves losing the ball three an four times a game. However, starting with his 400 yard performance against what would be a 10 win Pitt team, UB nation was sure Maynard had the skill to get UB back to the promised land.