Buf­falo tops Char­lotte 31-9 in Ba­hamas Bowl

The Saratogian (Saratoga, NY) - - SPORTS -

NAS­SAU, BA­HAMAS (AP) » Jaret Pat­ter­son ran for 173 yards and two touch­downs, Kyle Vantrease passed for a touch­down and ran for another and Buf­falo got the first bowl win in school his­tory, beat­ing Char­lotte 31-9 on Fri­day in the Ba­hamas Bowl.

Pat­ter­son had 32 car­ries for the Bulls (8-5), who were win­less in three pre­vi­ous bowl ap­pear­ances. He fin­ished the year with a slew of school sin­gle-sea­son records, in­clud­ing 330 car­ries, 1,799 yards and 19 rush­ing touch­downs.

An­to­nio Nunn caught a 12-yard touch­down pass from Vantrease on the first Buf­falo drive to open the scor­ing, and Vantrease capped a marathon 15-play, 74yard, 8-1/2-minute drive by plung­ing in from the 1 with 3:33 left in the half to push the Bulls’ lead to 14-0.

Pat­ter­son scored on a 6-yard run mid­way through the third quar­ter to make it 24-0, then sealed the win with a 10-yard TD rush late to cap a 16-play scor­ing

drive.

Vic­tor Tucker caught a 51-yard catch-and-run touch­down pass from Chris Reynolds late in the third quar­ter for Char­lotte (76), which saw its five-game win­ning streak snapped. Char­lotte was in a bowl game for the first time.

Reynolds com­pleted 15 of 24 passes for 203 yards.

The bowl game was the first of 40 to be played this sea­son. THE TAKE­AWAY Buf­falo: The Bulls had lost all three of their pre­vi­ous bowl trips by dou­ble-dig­its, but never trailed in this game. Buf­falo ended the sea­son with six wins in seven games, the only mis­step in there be­ing a three-point loss at Kent State on Nov. 14.

Char­lotte: The bowl loss may sting for a bit, but it’s im­por­tant to note that the 49ers — in only their fifth sea­son at the FBS level — had been 2-10, 4-8, 1-11 and 5-7 be­fore this year. Char­lotte not only got to a bowl but did so in a year where it was picked to fin­ish last in Con­fer­ence USA’s East di­vi­sion.

BAL­ANCED TRIP Dur­ing their days in the Ba­hamas, the teams took part in a youth clinic, dance con­tests, a pin­ball tour­na­ment and some beach and pool time. Tem­per­a­tures Fri­day were in the mid-70s in the Ba­hamas, mid-50s in Char­lotte — and mid-20s in Buf­falo. “To be able to get down here in the sun is re­ally nice for us,” Bulls de­fen­sive end Tay­lor Rig­gins said.

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