Buffalo Bulls (10-3) at Troy Trojans (9-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 22, 2018, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Troy Trojans +4 -- Over/Under: 53.5
The Buffalo Bulls and Troy Trojans will face off in the Dollar General Bowl on December 22nd at Ladd-Peebles Stadium.
Buffalo comes into their bowl game coming off one of the most successful seasons in the program history as they finished the regular season with an impressive 10-3 record. Buffalo finished MAC play with a 7-1 record however, had a disappointing outcome in the MAC Championship after allowing the Northern Illinois Huskies to score the final 20-points of the game to win by a 30-29 margin. Buffalo is still looking for it’s first Bowl Game victory and haven’t been in a Bowl game since 2013 when they lost to the San Diego State Aztecs, 49-24, in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
On the season, Buffalo is averaging 34.8 ppg on 417.5 total yards per game (221.6 passing yds/g; 195.8 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Buffalo has been led by QB Tyree Jackson who has completed 55.1% of his passes for 27 TD & 11 INT while averaging 219.8 passing yds/g. The top receivers for the Bulls and Jackson have been Anthony Johnson (4.3 rec/g; 78.7 yds/g; 11 TD), K.J. Osborn (3.8 rec/g; 64.2 yds/g; 6 TD), and Charlie Jones (1.4 rec/g; 30.4 yds/g; 3 TD). Leading the way for the Buffalo backfield has been the duo of Jaret Patterson (12.9 att/g; 72.8 yds/g; 13 TD) and Kevin Marks (13.1 att/g; 61.9 yds/g; 12 TD).
Defensively, Buffalo is allowing their opponents to average 24.7 ppg on 349.8 total yards per game (184.5 passing yds/g; 165.3 rushing yds/g). The Bulls forced 23 turnovers on the season and finished their regular season with a +7 turnover margin.
The Troy Trojans had another successful season and although they didn’t advance to the Sun Belt Championship after being defeated by the Appalachian State Mountaineers in the final regular season game of the season, the Trojans did finished the year with a solid 9-3 overall record. This will be the 3rd straight season in which head coach Neal Brown has taken the Trojans to a Bowl game and he hopes to continue his success in the post season as Troy defeated Ohio in the Dollar General Bowl in 2016 & defeated North Texas in the New Orleans Bowl last year.
On the season, Troy is averaging 29.8 ppg on 385.8 total yards per game (206.6 passing yds/g; 179.2 rushing yds/g). Offensively, Troy has been led by RB B.J. Smith who had 12 TD’s on the season while averaging 91.1 rushing yds/g on 16.6 att/g. QB Sawyer Smith has completed 61.1% of his passes for 10 TD & 6 INT while averaging 112.4 passing yds/g. The top receivers for the Trojans have Damion Willis (4.3 rec/g; 77.5 yds/g; 8 TD), Deondre Douglas (4.4 rec/g; 43.7 yds/g; 7 TD), Sidney Davis (3.3 rec/g; 28.1 yds/g; 2 TD).
Defensively, Troy is allowing their opponents to average 21.2 ppg on 345.6 total yards per game (214.7 passing yds/g; 130.9 rushing yds/g). The Trojans have forced their opponents into committing 27 turnovers and have a turnover margin of +7.
The Bulls are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games following an ATS loss and 19-7 ATS in their last 26 games overall. The Trojans are 8-1-1 ATS in their last 10 games following an ATS win and 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall.
Buffalo has had a season to remember, however, I’m concerned that their offense is going to have trouble against a very good Trojans defense. Troy has an outstanding RB in B.J. Smith who I think will have some success agianst the Bulls defense and as I like how the Trojans have bowl experience after back to back Bowl victories in the last two seasons, I’m taking Troy to at worse cover with the points.