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99 for 99 - #65: The Election Game

November 4, 2008 - Buffalo 37, Miami 17 - UB Nationally Broadcast for First Time in 38 Years on Election Day.


The MAC East was anybody's game as long as each team stayed under .500 (Temple Joke)

On a day dedicated to Obama vs. McCain, UB fans were equally interested in Buffalo vs Miami. Buffalo 4-4 (2-2) were playing well and riding a 2 game win streak. If they could take out the 2-6 Redhawks, Buffalo would edge closer to a MAC East title and bowl eligibility.

Adding to the electricity, a NCAA wavier allowed both teams to wear their home jerseys. Buffalo wore their home Blue and Miami wore their road Red, representing the colors of the Democratic and Republican parties respectively. In addition the game was nationally televised, (the first national broadcast of a UB game in 38 years) and the only football game of the night. Buffalo had also never beaten the Redhawks, 0-10 all time.

Buffalo came out throwing, with eight Drew Willy pass attempts on the first drive. The final yard came via the ground as Willy scored on a run to cap a 72-yard drive. After a Miami field goal, UB was forced into a 3-and-out. Fardon came on to punt but instead passed to Mike Newton for a 15-yard conversion. With the drive extended, Willy marched UB down the field and hit Naaman Roosevelt for a 34 yard TD pass.

Miami opened the second quarter with a 7-yard touchdown run by Miami QB Clay Belton, cutting the lead to 14-10. Buffalo responded again this time with a 25 yard TD pass from Willy to Hamlin, complete with Hamlin's signature unsportsmanlike celebration penalty. Buffalo went up 21-10, but the penalty allowed Miami to return the ensuing kickoff to midfield. Miami was unable to make Buffalo pay, missing a 40 yard field goal to end the half.

In the third quarter Miami took the second half kickoff down to the Buffalo 36 and quickly scored 7 plays later to bring the game back to a 4 point defecit, 21-17. Buffalo responded yet again with an 8 play 72-yard drive. Starks ran 5 times and scored the touchdown, but he only ran for 16 yards on the drive. Reserve Quarterback Zach Maynard supplied the big play with a 41 yard run. At that point Starks only had 54 total rushing yards for the game. A.J. Principe missed the extra point, but nonetheless UB had a comfortable 27-17 lead going into the fourth quarter.

In the fouth, the UB defense took over, forcing a fumble and stoping the Redhawks twice on fourth down. Principe added a 34 yard field goal to extend the lead to 30-17. With the ball and 4 minutes left in the game, UB looked to Starks to finish off the clock.

Starks was having an average day gaining 89 yards on 21 attempts. Starting at their own 12 yard line, Starks ran for 1 yard, then for 7. On 3rd and 2, Starks busted his longest run of the game, 14 yards, putting him over 100 yards on his twenty-fourth carry. On the next play starks ran for 4 yards and on his final carry of the night, Starks scampered 62 yards for a UB touchdown. Starks' second score turned a pedestrian effort into 177 yards, and gave the Bulls a 37-17 win.