The MAC and C-USA will meet up in the 2019 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl on December 20. Both teams are 7-5 and will be looking to cap their seasons off with a bowl win. Here is the 2019 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl preview.
Buffalo Bulls (7-5)
Buffalo started the season 2-4, but won five of their last six games to make it to seven wins on the season. They beat four bowl-eligible teams this season: Temple, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan and Toledo. The Bulls didn’t lose to one team below .500 this season.
Lance Leipold’s squad scores 31.5 points per game, ranking 37th in the country. They rush for 254.3 yards (ranked 11th) and pass for 143.2 yards per game (ranked 121st).
Redshirt sophomore Kyle Vantrease has been taking most of the snaps at quarterback for the Bulls starting in their sixth game of the season. He hasn’t been the most productive, but he has been efficient. Vantrease has 1,116 passing yards, seven touchdowns and one interception on 60 percent completion. Four receivers have at least 200 yards this season, but their leader is Antonio Nunn. Nunn has 634 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
The Bulls have two 1,000 yard rushers this season. Jaret Patterson is the leader with 1,626 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. Kevin Marks gives Buffalo a change of pace with 1,008 rushing yards and eight touchdowns.
Buffalo allows 22.3 points per game, which is tied for 33rd in the FBS. The Bulls are specifically good against the run, as they give up just 95.3 yards per game on the ground. Their pass defense ranks 24th in the country at 197.8 yards allowed per game. Taylor Riggins has been a productive pass rusher for the Bulls with 8.5 sacks this season.
UNC Charlotte 49ers (7-5)
Charlotte has had a great season, as they prepare to play in their first bowl game in program history. They only defeated one bowl-eligible team this season in Marshall. On the other hand, the 49ers didn’t lose to a team below .500.
The 49ers score 31.6 points per game, which ranks 46th in the country. They have a very balanced offense that averages 212.6 passing yards per game (ranked 82nd) and 210.4 rushing yards per game (ranked 27th).
Chris Reynolds is the quarterback for the 49ers and has thrown for 2,366 yards, 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions on 62.2 percent completion. Five players have more than 200 receiving yards this season. Victor Tucker is the leading receiver with 848 yards and six touchdowns.
Benny LeMay is leading the team in rushing at 1,027 yards and nine touchdowns. Reynolds also chips in for the running game and has 757 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
The defense has had some problems this season, allowing 32.5 points per game. They rank 97th in rushing defense, allowing 190.8 yards per game. Charlotte gives up 198.3 rushing yards per game, which ranks 27th in the country. Alex Highsmith is an x-factor for the defense with 12 sacks this season.
Buffalo’s defense and running game will be the difference in this game. They will limit Charlotte and control the clock with Paterson and Marks’ running ability. Charlotte will be amped for their first bowl game and will keep it close, but the Bulls will come out on top.
Buffalo Bulls 26 Charlotte 49ers 17
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