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Takeaways are missing from Bulls' menu so far

The University at Buffalo feasted off turnovers in 2008, but the Bulls have yet to record a takeaway two games into this season.
The Bulls were one of the nation's best last season. They forced 33 turnovers and were a plus-19 in turnover margin. But so far this season they are a minus-4 with all four coming in last week's loss against Pittsburgh.

"We do need to get more turnovers, no question about it," said UB coach Turner Gill as the Bulls (1-1) prepare this week for Central Florida (1-1).

"Hopefully that comes into play this week and as we continue the rest of the football season," Gill said.
Ironically, UB and UCF are tied with a host of others nationally for 62nd place in turnovers lost with four. Buffalo is one of five teams -- Florida International, Maryland, Nevada and Stanford are the others -- who have yet to record a takeaway. UCF has one this season.
"You have to create turnovers, you have to create takeaways," Gill said. "I'm not overly concerned but it is a topic of conversation. Our guys will be able to respond and we will get our takeaways."

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Sophomore quarterback Zach Maynard leads the Mid-American Conference and is ninth in the country in passing efficiency (180.47). Maynard has completed 36 of 54 for 559 yards, five touchdowns and one interception. Arkansas' Ryan Mallett is the national leader (210.2).
"I'm looking forward to more of the games we're going to play," senior wideout Brett Hamlin said. "He's really comfortable in our offense right now and he's still in the learning process."

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There are no significant changes on the Bulls' two deep this week. Redshirt freshman Gokhan Ozkan is listed as the backup to senior right tackle Andrew West along with junior Brian Kelly. At defensive tackle, senior Dane Robinson is listed as the backup to senior Kevin Johnson ahead of redshirt freshman Terry Peden.
Gill said that Robinson, who was suspended for the first two games of the season, may not move into the starting lineup but will definitely play against UCF. Robinson started five games in 2008 and recorded 14 tackles, including 1 1/2 for a loss.
"He's a guy who has played quite a bit of football for us over the last three or four years," Gill said. "He can help us with his leadership and his experience."

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Hamlin is returning to his native Florida and expects several friends and family members at Saturday's game. Hamlin grew up 2 1/2 hours away from Orlando in Jupiter, Fla.
"It's definitely going to be fun," he said. "A lot of people that I know go to UCF and it's like a homecoming game for me."

e-mail: rmckissic@buffnews.com

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