BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University of Maine football team returned from its bye week with gusto on Saturday, pounding the University of Buffalo 52-13 in front of 3,154 at UB Stadium.
Junior quarterback Mickey Fein, who was suspended from participating in Maine’s loss to New Hampshire because of his arrest on drunken driving charges, returned to continue his assault on the UMaine record books.
Fein completed 25 of 35 passing attempts for 328 yards and five touchdowns to pace the Black Bears. Only one Fein pass was intercepted.
His 23 touchdown passes tied the UMaine record for TD passes in a season that was set by Mike Buck in 1987. In addition, Fein’s five TD passes tied the record he shares with Rich Labonte and Buck. He joins Buck as the lone Black Bear to have two five-touchdown pass games in his career.
Fein completed two TD passes to John Tennett, two to Rameek Wright and one to Drew O’Connor.
The Black Bears improved to 5-4 while Buffalo fell to 2-8.
Fein started off hot, completing 19 of 23 passes for 216 yards in the first half.
The tone was set on Maine’s first drive, which began at the M-37 after Mike Harvey’s interception.
Fein marched the Bears down the field on an 11-play drive that took 4:30. The drive consisted of nine passes, a run and a quarterback sack. Fein completed 7 of 9 passes – to five different receivers – for 71 yards, including an 13-yard scoring strike to wide receiver Tennett.
The Black Bears allowed the Bulls to run 80 plays from scrimmage to their own 67 and outgained them only 439-377. But while Maine scored the first three times it touched the ball and rushed out to a 24-7 halftime lead, the Bulls gave up the ball on downs at the M-40 and 37 in the first half and had two balls picked off before intermission.
Overall, the Black Bears got four interceptions from four different players (Harvey, Derek Carter, Shawn Taylor, Lateef O’Connor). Carter’s fourth-period pick increased his career-record tally to 19. It is his sixth interception this season.
Junior linebacker Lateef O’Connor sent the Black Bears into intermission with the momentum and a 24-7 cushion after he intecepted a Chad Salisbury pass and scampered 73 yards with for a touchdown with only 29 seconds left in the half.
Black Bears 52, Bulls 13 (Saturday Afternoon) Maine (5-4) 10 14 21 7-52 Buffalo (2-7) 0 7 6 0-13
M – Tennett 13 pass from Fein (Jagoutz kick)
M – FG Jagoutz 30
B – Gasparre 33 pass from Salisbury (Keller kick)
M – Wright 36 pass from Fein (Jagoutz kick)
M – L. O’Connor 73 interception return (Jagoutz kick)
M – Wright 45 pass from Fein (Jagoutz kick)
B – Swan 1 run (pass failed)
M – D. O’Connor 12 pass from Fein (Jagoutz kick)
M – Tennett 14 pass from Fein (Jagoutz kick)
M – Scott 3 run (Jagoutz kick)
Mne Buff First downs 22 20 Rushes-yards 31-111 42-50 Passing Comp-Att 25-36 20-38 Yards 328 327 Intercepted by 4 1 Punts-Avg. 3-28.3 1-48 Fumbles-Lost 0-0 4-0 Penalties-Yards 9-80 8-59
RUSHING – Maine: Rich 11-89, Gribbin 2-11, Sisay 5-9, Christopher 1-7, Fellows 4-6, Scott 2-4, M. Smith 1-(-1), Fein 5-(-14); Buffalo: Swan 32-51, Feldmaier 5-4, Watkins 1-2, Roth 3-2, Salisbury 1-(-9)
PASSING – Maine: Fein 25-35-318-0, Scott 0-1-0-1; Buffalo: Salisbury 10-23-180-2, Feldmaier 7-13-147-1, Rusin 0-2-0-1
RECEIVING – Maine: Wright 9-180, Tennett 8-87, D. O’Connor 6-35, Gangi 1-10, M. Smith 1-6; Buffalo: Haddad 7-134, Gasparre 6-115, Watkins 6-71, Swan 1-7