CFB Picks 12/20: Bahamas Bowl
College Football Bowl season is under way!
In the Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl, Buffalo will square off against Charlotte on ESPN at 2 p.m.
Buffalo, which plays its conference games in the MAC - East Conference, will enter this matchup with a 7-5 record with key victories over Temple and Central Michigan.
In the game against Temple, Bulls running back Jaret Patterson piled up 133 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in a 38-22 victory back on Sept. 21.
Against Central Michigan, quarterback Kyle Vantrease threw for 179 yards and two touchdowns and Patterson had 149 yards and one score on 28 carries in a 43-20 win on Oct. 26.
The best team Buffalo played this season was against Penn State on Sept. 8.
Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford piled up 279 passing yards and four touchdowns and had 11 carries for 51 more yards in a dominating 45-13 win over the Bulls.
Charlotte, which plays its conference games in the Conference-USA - East division, also enters this contest with a 7-5 record.
The 49ers began the season with a 2-5 record, but they managed to string together five straight wins over North Texas, Middle Tennessee, UTEP, Marshall and Old Dominion to end the regular season.
The hardest game on Charlotte’s schedule was defending national champion Clemson on Sept. 22.
Quarterback Trevor Lawrence had two first-half touchdowns to lead the Tigers to a 52-10 win.
Buffalo will be seeking its first bowl win in this matchup.
The Bulls started their season on the wrong foot, having lost four of their first six games. They did however, end the year strong as they won five of their last seven games to finish with their 7-5 record.
Buffalo led the MAC in rushing offense as it put up 254.2 yards per contest. The Bulls had the best total defense in the MAC, only allowing 293.1 yards per game.
In their two key victories this season, Patterson was effective on the ground and the running back was a member of the All-MAC first team.
He had 280 carries for a school-record 1,626 yards and 17 touchdowns this year.
Patterson also set the school record with 298 rushing yards against Bowling Green in the final game of the regular season and he set the MAC record with a six-touchdown performance.
After getting a taste of bowl experience last season, Buffalo is primed to finish the job against Charlotte.
Look for the Bulls to feed Patterson early and often in this one. If Buffalo wants to come away with a win, a successful running game will be very important.
The Bulls will win convincingly. Take Buffalo minus the 6.5 points in this one.
Pick: Buffalo (-6.5) @ -110
By Dan Canova