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NCAA Game Summary - Buffalo at Texas-El Paso

(Saturday, September 5th)

Final Score: Buffalo 23, Texas-El Paso 17

El Paso, TX (Sports Network) - Zach Maynard threw for 159 yards and a touchdown as the Buffalo Bulls held on to defeat the Miners of Texas-El Paso, 23-17, in non-conference action at Sun Bowl Stadium.

Maynard, just a sophomore, converted 12-of-19 passing for the Bulls (1-0) as they opened the 2009 campaign following an improbable 2008 season in which they were MAC Champions.

The Miners (0-1) were paced by Trevor Vittatoe who completed 27-of-45 passing for 233 yards and nearly had the home team come from behind in dramatic fashion before bowing in the six-point decision.

UTEP scored the only points of the first quarter as Jason Williams made his way into the end zone on a one-yard run, capping an eight-play, 63-yard drive.

The second period belonged to the Bulls as Brandon Thermilus tied the game on a two-yard TD run just four seconds into the period. That was followed by a safety for Buffalo and a six-yard TD run by Mario Henry, making the score 16-7 at the break.

In the third quarter the Bulls extended the lead to 23-7 on a 42-yard TD pass play between Maynard and Naam Roosevelt.

Midway through the period the Miners responded with a James Thomas 17-yard TD run, cutting the deficit to 23-14.

A 31-yard field goal by UTEP's Logan Barrett drew the home team to within six points, setting up an exciting ending.

With 14 seconds to play in the contest James Thomas II appeared to draw the Miners even when he reeled in a touchdown pass in the end zone. However, a holding penalty and an unsportsmanlike foul negated the play and pushed UTEP back to the 42-yard line and desperation attempts from there failed to convert as time expired.

The Miners ran 14 more offensive plays than the Bulls and generated 372 yards of offense, compared to 309 yards for the visitors on the night. Buffalo played without fifth-year senior tailback James Starks who was lost for the season with an injury. Starks is the school's all-time leader in rushing yards (3,140 yards), touchdowns (34) and points (222).

Last season these teams also faced off against each other, with the Bulls posting a 42-17 win.

09/06 01:28:16 ET

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