Charlotte, Buffalo meet in Nassau, both seeking 1st bowl win
Bahamas Bowl: Buffalo (7-5) vs. Charlotte (7-5), at Nassau, Bahamas, Dec. 20, 2 p.m. EST.
Line: Buffalo by 6.5.
Series record: First meeting.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Someone is getting the first bowl win in school history. This is Charlotte’s first trip to a postseason game, coming in the school’s seventh season of football and fifth at the FBS level. Buffalo has been in three previous bowl games, losing them all by 10 points or more including a 42-32 defeat by Troy in last season’s Dollar General Bowl.
Charlotte’s defensive line vs. Buffalo’s offensive line. This is the classic something-has-to-give matchup. The Bulls have given up eight sacks all season — second fewest in the country behind Air Force’s four — while Charlotte has put an opposing quarterback on the ground 36 times this season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Buffalo: RB Jaret Patterson has rewritten Buffalo’s record book this year, with school records for rushing yards in a game (298) and a season (1,626), touchdowns in a season (17) and touchdowns in a game (six, tying a mark set in 1942).
Charlotte: RB Benny LeMay has 14 career 100-yard games, has piled up 1,037 rushing yards this season and is up to 3,827 all-purpose yards for his career.
FACTS & FIGURES
Buffalo is fourth in the country in time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 34:12 per game. Only Wisconsin (35:26), Utah (34:33) and Kansas State (34:16) have kept the ball more. ... The Bulls also are among the nation’s best-ranked teams in first downs allowed (second behind only Clemson), rushing defense (fourth), rushing offense (ninth) and total defense (seventh). ... Charlotte was 2-5 on the season and trailed North Texas 35-21 in the fourth quarter of their game on Oct. 26, rallied to win 39-38 on a touchdown pass by Chris Reynolds (who narrowly avoided a sack) with 18 seconds left and haven’t lost since. ... Charlotte offensive lineman Cam Clark will play in his final college game — his school-record 49th for the 49ers. ... Buffalo’s five bowl games have come in three different countries. The Bulls have played three in the U.S., one in Canada and now one in the Bahamas. ... This is the sixth Bahamas Bowl, and the winning team has scored at least 35 points in four of the first five editions of the game.