Missing their All-American running back and their leader on the defensive line Buffalo was able to upend a very solid Marshall team to capture a win the the Camellia Bowl.
As an individual Marks made the biggest impact but the game was won by a staunch defense that was able to hold the Herd to just one touchdown. The team got to the quarterback twice in the last minute, after Marshall had driven down to the 20 yardline.
Buffalo’s offense spent most of the first half running up the yards on Marshall. With drives of 56, 30, 80, and 36. All of them getting UB into scoring rage but the Usually dependable Buffalo red zone offense had to settle for 10 points.
During that span the Bulls defense completely shut down Marshall. But late in the second half Marshall put together a long drive to tie the game, the Herd defense locked down Buffalo, and after opening up the third quarter with a long drive for three points everything was tied up.
Marshall missed a field goal on their next possession of the half, keeping the game locked up at 10 but they were playing with all the momentum.
After the missed field goal both defenses locked down the other team.
Half way through the fourth Buffalo put together a six minute plus, 88 yard drive, to take the lead for good. On the drive Buffalo quarterback Kyle Vantrease converted two third downs with throws to Jovany Ruiz and Antonio Nunn. Once the Bulls got in close Kevin Marks pounded the ball in, on a two yard plunge.
Marshall had one last gasp try to score. They drove from their own 35 to the UB 20 in just 39 seconds, setting up a second down (after a spike to stop the clock) in the redzone with 30 seconds left in the game.
Kadofi Wright blitzed in unblocked and sacked Grant Wells on second down. After a quick pass to get back to the 21, Eric Black got to Wells to seal the game for Buffalo.
This is Buffalo’s second consecutive year winning a bowl game, Bringing the teams all time postseason record to 2-3.
What’s next for Buffalo is figuring out who will be back next year. The NCAA said that this season would not count against any athlete. There is also the question of Jaret Patterson, who is only a Junior but has been mentioned as a possible NFL draftee.
Though as Kevin Marks showed today, Buffalo’s ground game is in very good hands no matter what happens.