School football’s 2019-20 bowl season authoritatively gets in progress on Friday, as Buffalo and Charlotte meet in the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl. The 49ers have gained huge ground under first-year mentor Will Healy, with the outing to the Bahamas denoting the main bowl game in program history. The Bulls are additionally making their very own history with this bowl trip, as it’s the first run through Buffalo has shown up.
The 2019 season denotes the fifth year Charlotte has taken an interest at the FBS level. The 49ers went 12-36 from 2015-18, however new mentor Will Healy has helped this program tap into its latent capacity. Charlotte went 7-5 in the standard season – gaining the program’s first winning imprint at the FBS level and bowl trip – and completed 5-3 in Conference USA activity. The 49ers began 2-5 however won their last five games, including a 24-13 matchup against Marshall and a 39-38 spine chiller over North Texas. Healy recently pivoted a battling Austin Peay program from 2016-18, so it’s nothing unexpected Charlotte is as of now drifting up after only one season with the 34-year-old mentor in charge.
Bison has posted just five non-losing seasons since 1999. In any case, three of those have gone under mentor Lance Leipold. After a fruitful run at Wisconsin-Whitewater (109-6 with six Division III titles), Leipold was enlisted as Buffalo’s lead trainer before the 2015 crusade. After a 7-17 beginning, the Bulls are 23-15 in the course of the most recent three years. Wild ox won the MAC East with a 10-4 imprint the previous fall however is as yet searching for the principal bowl triumph in program history. Like Charlotte, the Bulls finished the ordinary season playing their best bundle of the year. Wild ox won five out of its last six, including a 43-20 triumph over MAC West champ Central Michigan.
This is the principal meeting among Buffalo and Charlotte on the field.
- Bahamas Bowl: Buffalo vs Charlotte
- The opening shot: Friday, Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. ET
- Television: ESPN
- Spread: Buffalo – 6.5
At the point when Buffalo Has the Ball
Its an obvious fact what Buffalo’s hostile course of action will resemble on Friday evening. The Bulls support the run by a 70-30 percent split on hostile snaps this season. Moreover, Buffalo endeavored under 30 goes in 10 of its 12 matchups, with the offense falling underneath that level in every one of the eight MAC challenges this year. In the Bulls’ seven triumphs, the offense is averaging simply 18.7 pass endeavors. In the five misfortunes, that number ascents to 26.
Bison’s offense enters the bowl season second in the MAC in hurrying, averaging 236 yards a challenge. The ground game is tied down by a champion hostile line, which had Evin Ksiezarczyk, Kayode Awosika and Paul Nosworthy each acquire a spot on the All-MAC group. This unit has permitted only eight sacks through 12 games and has made room for rushers to average a solid 4.6 yards for every convey. Running behind the champion hostile line for the Bulls is the one-two punch of Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks. This team has consolidated for 2,634 yards and 25 hurrying scores this season. Patterson finished off the standard season on a high note by slicing Bowling Green for 298 yards (11.5 ypc) and six hurrying scores in a 49-7 victory by Buffalo.
As referenced above, Buffalo doesn’t place the ball noticeable all around time and again. Entering the Bahamas Bowl, the Bulls have the least complete passing yards (1,587) of any group in the MAC. Rookie Matt Myers began the season as the No. 1 quarterback yet endured a season-finishing damage in late September. Kyle Vantrease ventured up into the No. 1 job with Myers sidelined and has been compelling (1,116 yards and 7 TDs to 1 INT). When Vantrease tosses, Antonio Nunn (44 gets) and Daniel Lee (22) are the top focuses outwardly.
Charlotte’s protection permitted six of its initial seven adversaries to score in any event 30 focuses, however this unit improved in the second 50% of the period. The 49ers held every one of their last five adversaries under that imprint and constrained Marshall and Old Dominion under five yards a play in consecutive games to finish off the standard season. Notwithstanding, Charlotte still has some work to do on this side of the ball. This unit completed eleventh in Conference USA in scoring safeguard (32.5 ppg), tenth versus the run (190.8 ypg) and thirteenth in pass effectiveness barrier. Getting to the quarterback was a quality for this unit. Closures Alex Highsmith (14) and Markees Watts (9.5) drove a pass surge that amassed 36 sacks. With Buffalo’s capacity to produce yardage on the ground, Charlotte’s capacity to stop the run is going to assume an immense job in which group dominates the competition.
At the point when Charlotte Has the Ball
Charlotte’s offense was one of the most-improved gatherings in Conference USA this season. The 49ers found the middle value of just 21.7 focuses a game in 2018 yet expanded that aggregate to 31.6 in ’19. Moreover, in the wake of averaging just 4.96 yards per play the previous fall, Charlotte drove C-USA with a 6.4 imprint this season.
The advancement of quarterback Chris Reynolds is an integral motivation behind why Charlotte’s offense enhanced the detail sheet this season. He was restricted to only six games in 2018 because of damage yet began 11 games for the 49ers this fall. Reynolds associated on 62.2 percent of his tosses for 2,366 yards and 21 touchdowns to only 10 picks in 12 generally speaking appearances. He additionally contributed 757 yards and six scores on the ground and posted two 100-yard games this season. Victor Tucker (49 gets for 848 yards) is having a stupendous sophomore battle as Reynolds’ go-to focus, with Cameron Dollar (37) and Tyler Ringwood (20) framing a solid trio for Charlotte’s passing game.
Running back Benny LeMay has driven Charlotte’s offense for three successive years in hurrying yardage and has presented back-on back 1,000-yard battles. LeMay was managing Achilles damage that constrained him to miss two games, yet the senior ended on a good note with consecutive 100-yard endeavors to finish off the normal season. LeMay is additionally a factor out of the backfield (19 gatherings), with Aaron McAllister (377) or Ishod Finger (299) prepared to spell LeMay if necessary in a sticky situation on Friday.
Wild ox’s guard will show an intense test for Charlotte’s powerful offense. The Bulls lead the MAC in scoring protection (23.7 ppg), limit contradicting offenses to only five yards a play and rank third in the gathering in pass effectiveness guard. Wild ox exceeds expectations at getting to the quarterback (38 sacks), is holding groups to simply 2.9 yards per convey and surrendering just 94.4 hurrying yards a challenge. Leipold’s gathering highlights three first-group All-MAC choices in linemen Taylor Riggins and Malcolm Koonce and cautious back Joey Banks. Four extra Bulls were granted spots on the second and third-group All-MAC squad that was discharged at the finish of the ordinary season.
A x-factor to watch: Special groups. Charlotte has a preferred position in this office, and with a tight game expected, that could be a noteworthy lift for Healy’s squad.
The Buffalo-Charlotte matchup is the 6th blending of the Bahamas Bowl. Of the past five challenges, three were chosen by four or less. Anticipate another nearby one on Friday evening. The fight in advance is urgent to this game, as the Bulls need to run the ball behind a champion hostile line and two 1,000-yard backs. Could the 49ers power Buffalo into long-yardage circumstances and evident passing downs? What’s more, when Charlotte has the ball, the Bulls need to figure out how to keep Reynolds in the pocket and make two or three takeaways. Wild ox is in addition to seven in turnover edge, while the 49ers are less three. The supposition here is Reynolds and LeMay have a couple of seconds, however Leipold’s gathering can set up the run in the subsequent half to secure the principal bowl triumph in Buffalo’s program history.