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Injuries cause line shuffles

There will be some adjustments on the University at Buffalo's offensive line now that senior center Matt Bacoulis is out for the next 6-8 weeks with a broken leg and redshirt freshman guard Jose Cortes is out for the season following shoulder surgery.

Sophomore Josh Violanti is the starter at center and will be backed up by redshirt freshman Graham Whinery. Senior Andrew West, the starting right tackle, will back up left guard Peter Bittner and junior Brian Kelly will back up senior Robert Colpoys at right guard.

In other moves on the depth chart, senior Dane Robinson, who was suspended for the first two games, is listed as the starter at defensive tackle ahead of senior Kevin Johnson. Sophomore John Syty (Clarence) is the backup to true freshman Darius Willis at outside linebacker ahead of sophomore Fred Branch. Sophomore Josh Copeland also has moved up the chart and will back up junior Justin Winters at outside linebacker.

Senior wideout Naaman Roosevelt is listed as a kick returner along with cornerback Domonic Cook. Roosevelt has just one return for 22 yards this season but as a true freshman in 2006 he was a special teams sensation returning punts and kicks.

"Naaman has the ability to make people miss," UB coach Turner Gill said. "But we have to improve up front, no matter who we put back there."

Senior cornerback Kendric Hawkins (concussion) is probable for Saturday's game against Central Michigan at UB Stadium. Sophomore wide receiver Ed Young (shoulder) and true freshman safety Bunduka Kargbo (shoulder) are questionable.

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Quarterback Zach Maynard has had problems turning the ball over in the last two games, but his numbers are actually better after four games than Drew Willy's after his first four games as a starter during his true freshman season in 2005.

In his first four games, Willy completed 59.3 percent of his passes (70 for 118) for 713 yards, three touchdowns and four interceptions. He was also sacked 18 times. Maynard's completion rate is 64.6 percent (84 for 130) for 1,024 yards, seven touchdowns, six interceptions and eight sacks.

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Sophomore Peter Fardon is the team's punter, but Gill said he will open up a competition between Fardon and junior John Rachuna, the transfer from Erie Community College.

Fardon has been erratic this season. He's averaging just 34.6 yards per punt and only two have traveled inside the 20-yard line. Fardon averaged 39.1 yards last season.

e-mail: rmckissic@buffnews.com