Buffalo beat Charlotte on a huge day from RB Jaret Patterson. Here are the 5 things that matter in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl.
Buffalo 31, Charlotte 9: 5 Things That Matter
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Final Score: Buffalo 31, Charlotte 9
CFN Prediction: Buffalo 30, Charlotte 20
Line: Buffalo -7, o/u: 51.5
5. Charlotte is fun
Head coach Will Healy is going to turn 35 in January.
He’s a young, energetic head coach who likes to have fun, his team seems to be having fun, and most of all, everyone bought in.
The 49ers kept battling, kept fighting, and had the energy throughout the game, but they couldn’t get past being pounded on by the brutish Buffalo line.
It might have been a disappointing finish – with just 278 yards of total offense and just nine points – but it was just the sixth season of Charlotte football, it was the first bowl appearance, it was a winning season, and Healy is a hot head coach who’s still with the program.
4. Buffalo won a bowl game
The best program in the MAC over the last two years didn’t have anything to show for it. It didn’t have a conference title, and until now, it didn’t have a bowl win.
UB lost the 2008 International Bowl to UConn 38-20 when Turner Gill’s team couldn’t quite get the job done.
The program lost to San Diego State 49-24 in the 2013 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl under Jeff Quinn.
After gagging away the MAC Championship last season, the Bulls dropped the 2018 Dollar General Bowl to Troy.
And now, under Lance Leipold, the Buffalo football program has won its first ever bowl game. It might be corny, but this was one of those Bowl Games Matter moments. It was a historic day for Buffalo football.
3. Benny LeMay was stuffed
And so was the Charlotte offense.
The Buffalo D held LeMay – who ran for 100 yards or more in seven of the ten games he played in – to just 45 yards on 13 carries, and only got roasted for the one big weaving 51-yard touchdown play from Victor Tucker.
The UB offense managed to dominate so well on the ground that Charlotte never established a rhythm, a few misfires early led to a 17-0 halftime 49er deficit, and LeMay was never able to get going.
Buffalo was able to play its offense more than Charlotte was able to establish its style, because …
2. The Buffalo offensive line dominated when it had to
There was a moment in the second half when Buffalo threw on second down, missed, threw it on third down, missed, punted, and Charlotte took the momentum and scored.
The UB coaching staff fixed that glitch in a hurry.
The running game was blasting away, it was a constant pounding, and the Bull offensive front was able to do its job by taking the will away from the Charlotte defensive front with grinding drive after grinding drive.
The whole UB blocking scheme worked, and the offense became simple: hand it off, hand it off, hand it off, and hand it off again, because …
1. Jaret Patterson is a mensch
Buffalo’s sophomore superstar back closed out the regular season only behind Chuba Hubbard, Jonathan Taylor, JK Dobbins and AJ Dillon among the top rushing running backs.
With his 32-carry, 173-yard, two touchdown day he finished his season with 1,799 yards. That’s all after running for 192 against Toledo and 298 against Bowling Green as a part of a run of four 30+-carry games in the last five.
Charlotte was trying to change things up and come back late, but it just couldn’t get the ball back. And why? The Buffalo running back took over to close, and Patterson was the reason with 13 carries and a touchdown to put an end to the bowl.
Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl History
Dec. 20, 2019 Buffalo 31, Charlotte 9
Dec. 21, 2018 FIU 35, Toledo 32
Dec. 22, 2017 Ohio 41, UAB 6
Dec. 23, 2016 Old Dominion 24, Eastern Michigan 20
Dec. 24, 2015 Western Michigan 45, Middle Tennessee 31
Dec. 24, 2014 Western Kentucky 49, Central Michigan 48