The 2019 college football bowl season will officially kick-off when Buffalo and Charlotte meet in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl at Thomas Robinson Stadium. The Bulls finished second in the MAC East, while the 49ers were fourth in the Conference USA East. Buffalo enters the Bahamas Bowl having won five of its last six, while Charlotte finished the season on a five-game winning streak.
Buffalo seeking school's first bowl winBuffalo is looking for its first-ever bowl win. The Bulls are 0-3 in its three previous postseason games, but this will be the second straight year that they have appeared in a bowl game. Buffalo got off to a rough start this season, losing four of its first six games. However, they won five of their last seven games to finish 7-5 (5-3 MAC). The Bulls led the MAC in rushing offense, tallying 254.2 yards per game. They also led the league in total defense, only giving up 293.1 yards per contest. The Bahamas Bowl will mark Buffalo’s first-ever meeting against Charlotte on the football field. A school-record 12 Bulls’ players were named to the All-Mid-American Conference on Wednesday, which eclipses the 10 selections from last year.
The Bulls are led by All-MAC First Team running back Jaret Patterson, who carried the ball 280 times for a school-record 1,626 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. Patterson set the school-record with 298 rushing yards against Bowling Green in the final game of the regular season, and he also set the MAC record with six touchdowns in that game. Sophomore running back Kevin Marks added 215 carries for 1,008 yards and eight scores. The Bulls could be without redshirt-freshman running back Dylan McDuffie in the Bahamas Bowl, as he has been suspended indefinitely due to an arrest over a domestic violence charge. He played in 10 games this year, rushing for 151 yards on 6.5 yards per carry. Junior wide receiver Antonio Nunn leads Buffalo with 44 catches for 634 yards and five touchdowns.
Charlotte hoping for bowl win in inaugural appearanceCharlotte also had a rough start to the season, losing five of its first seven games to open the year. However, the 49ers responded with a school-record five-game winning streak to finish the regular season. This will be the school’s first-ever appearance in a bowl game, as the program is only in its seventh year. Charlotte set school records for wins, conference wins and home wins. The 49ers also had a school-record three players named to the All-Conference USA First Team. First-year head coach Will Healy has attracted national attention for turning the program around in his first season, bringing the 49ers their first winning season in their short existence. Charlotte athletic director Mike Hill told the Charlotte Observer that they would “take care of Will Healy.”
The 49ers are led by sophomore quarterback Chris Reynolds, who threw for 2,366 yards and 21 touchdowns this season. He was also the team’s second-leading rusher with 139 attempts for 757 yards and six touchdowns. All-Conference USA First Team running back Benny LeMay carried the ball 180 times for 1,027 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Junior running back Aaron McAllister rushed the ball 80 times for 377 yards and five scores, while freshman Ishod Finger tallied 299 yards on 60 attempts. Sophomore wide receiver Victor Tucker caught 49 passes for 848 yards and six touchdowns. Cameron Dollar added 37 receptions for 551 yards and two scores.
- 6-1 ATS in its last seven games overall
- 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games after allowing less than 170 yards passing in its previous game
- 5-2 ATS in its last seven vs. C-USA
- 2-5 ATS vs. a team with a winning record this season
- 5-13 ATS in its last 18 non-conference games
- 1-5 ATS in its last six games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game