The University of Buffalo Bulls have played in three other bowl games in school history but they fell short each time. The 2019 Makers Wanted Bahamas Bowl will be their fourth as they look to change their fortune when they play the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) 49ers at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium at 2 p.m. today.
In the Dollar General Bowl game last year, the Bulls lost to the University of Troy Trojans, 42-32. head coach of the Bulls Lance Leipold said his team has worked hard and is looking to pull off a victory.
“This team has worked extremely hard all season. There’s a lot of motivation from the beginning of the season to where this group has evolved now that has made it very fulfilling and rewarding to put us in a position that we won five of our last six games. Holistically, you can see the way that we have been able to play with these young men here with me,” Leipold said.
He was referring to linebacker Matt Otwinowski and running back Jaret Patterson who were present at the official bowl press conference yesterday.
Patterson has caught the eyes of the 49ers defense and rightfully so. He has rushed for a single season school record of 1626 yards and has 17 rushing touchdowns – also a school record. In the last two games of the season, he scored 10 touchdowns and rushed for 490 yards.
“To be the first team in school history to get the first bowl win is huge. As soon as we landed that was all I really thought about… I am just so ready to play the game,” Patterson said.
Otwinowski is a senior and this game means a lot to him as it does with the other seniors.
“That is something that we talked about a lot – going out and being the first senior class to get the first ever bowl win in school history,” Otwinowski said. “It is a credit to how everyone prepared the past couple weeks. People have been watching a lot of film putting in a lot of extra time. I think that we are really prepared as a team right now to win the game.”
This game has a lot of meaning to the 49ers also. This is their first bowl game in school history and they are also looking to make history by winning their first bowl game.
Leipold’s concern when it comes to the 49ers is their defense.
“I think holistically when you watch what Coach Will Healy has done, you can see a team that plays with a lot of energy, well coached and the effort level from top to bottom is something that just stands out. I am a firm believer in that as well. If you play hard, good things will happen and you can see that when they play,” Leipold said.
He is also aware about how special the 49ers’ defensive ends are.
Both Patterson and Otwinowski said that they have to focus on themselves and do the small things right.
This game has the potential to be a high-scoring game with the Bulls scoring an average of 31.5 points per game and the 49ers at 31.6 points per game.
This will be the first time that these two teams play each other.
Tickets for the game can be purchased at the stadium.
For the sixth time, the Bahamas Bowl game features two teams with winning records.