sunny.png
Monday April 6th, 2020 10:28AM

Smith leads Troy past Buffalo 42-32 in Dollar General Bowl

By The Associated Press

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — Troy's offense limped through November with a handful of injuries, and a subpar game against Appalachian State in the regular-season finale cost the Trojans a shot at winning the Sun Belt Conference title.

After a few weeks of rest, the Trojans were healthy for the Dollar General Bowl. It made all the difference.

Sawyer Smith threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns, B.J. Smith and Sidney Davis ran for touchdowns and Troy beat Buffalo 42-32 on Saturday night. Troy coach Neal Brown said the victory was gratifying, even if the win was slightly bittersweet.

"Being at full strength, I think it kind of gave you a glimpse at what we might have been," Brown said.

Troy (10-3) secured the hard-fought win on Davis' 20-yard touchdown run with 3:09 remaining, a play after Buffalo's Tyree Jackson fumbled to give the Trojans possession. It was the Bulls' third lost fumble.

The entertaining game had several big swings in momentum, especially during a strange third quarter that featured Buffalo scoring seven points despite not running an offensive play.

Troy took a 21-17 lead on Smith's 2-yard touchdown run with 9:47 left in the third and then immediately recovered an onside kick. The Trojans were driving for another score before a B.J. Smith fumble bounced into the hands of Buffalo's Tyrone Hill, who ran 93 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulls a 24-21 lead.

Troy jumped ahead 35-24 after two quick touchdowns in the fourth quarter and held off Buffalo's final rally. Sawyer Smith's favorite target was Damion Willis, who caught 13 passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns. The quarterback said even though the Trojans made a few mistakes in the second half, he could feel momentum building.

"I knew how the offense was playing and how good we could be in the second half," Smith said. "I really had no doubt."

Buffalo's Jackson threw for 274 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The quarterback said the Bulls made some uncharacteristic mistakes that caused a sour end to the season.

"As an offense, we pride ourselves on playing good football," Jackson said. "We've played good football all year, no penalties and winning the turnover battle. Today we struggled with that and put our defense in a tough situation."

Buffalo (10-4) took the early 7-0 lead on Jaret Patterson's 11-yard touchdown run less than two minutes into the game. The drive was helped by a spectacular 51-yard pass completion that bounced off K.J. Osborn's hands and pinballed between a few defenders before being caught by Antonio Nunn.

Troy bounced back quickly with its own huge gain through the air — a 60-yard touchdown from Sawyer Smith to Tray Eafford.

The game stayed tight throughout the first half and Buffalo took a 17-14 lead late in the second quarter on Adam Mitcheson's 41-yard field goal. The Bulls had the halftime lead despite three turnovers, including two fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

Buffalo: It's a disappointing loss for the Bulls, who are still looking for their first bowl win in program history. Buffalo dominated at times, but the four turnovers proved to be tough to overcome.

Troy: The Trojans secured their third straight 10-win season, which is the longest such streak in program history. Sawyer Smith was excellent and Troy finally got its run game going in the second half. The Trojans were also able to capitalize on Buffalo's turnovers.

UP NEXT

The Bulls should return most of their offense next season, but must replace eight defensive starters. Buffalo opens at home against Robert Morris next season.

Troy has a few holes to fill, but should return another very good team next season. Troy opens at home against Campbell next season.

"We've got a chance to put another run together," Brown said. "We really do."

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/collegefootball and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, College Sports, AP Sports - College Football
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
No. 18 Arizona State knocks off top-ranked Kansas 80-76
Rob Edwards scored 15 points and hit two free throws with 6.1 seconds left, setting off a wild celebration in the desert as No. 18 Arizona State knocked off No. 1 Kansas 80-76
12:21AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Beal triple-double leads Wiz to 149-146 3OT win vs Suns
Bradley Beal had 40 points and his first career triple-double to lift the Washington Wizards over the Phoenix Suns 149-146 in triple-overtime
12:13AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Harden scores 39, leads Rockets past Spurs 108-101
James Harden had 39 points and 10 assists to lead the Houston Rockets past the San Antonio Spurs 108-101 on Saturday night
12:12AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
George has 43 and 14 as Thunder hold off Jazz, 107-106
Paul George had 43 points and 14 rebounds to help the Oklahoma City Thunder hold off the Utah Jazz for a 107-106 victory
11:55PM ( 35 minutes ago )
Longtime Sabres announcer taken from press box on stretcher
Sabres broadcaster Rick Jeanneret was taken out of the press box on a stretcher during the third period of Buffalo's game against the Anaheim Ducks
11:39PM ( 50 minutes ago )
Jackson leads Ravens to 22-10 victory over Chargers
Lamar Jackson threw for 204 yards, including the longest touchdown pass of his brief career, and the Baltimore Ravens strengthened their chances of clinching a playoff spot with a 22-10 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers on Saturday night
11:30PM ( 59 minutes ago )
AP Sports
Hopkins has 5 TDs, No. 22 Army routs Houston 70-14
Army QB Hopkins ran for 170 yards and an Armed Forces Bowl-record five TDs and the No. 22 Black Knights overwhelmed Houston 70-14
8:54PM ( 3 hours ago )
Big NFL Week 16 of interconference matchups
For interconference matchups in season's next-to-last week, the NFL couldn't have done much better
7:31PM ( 4 hours ago )
Perfect Wilson helps BYU beat W. Michigan in Potato Bowl
Zach Wilson set a BYU record and tied the NCAA bowl mark with 18-for-18 passing, throwing for 317 yards and four touchdowns in the Cougars' 49-18 victory over Western Michigan in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
8:49PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Football
Jackson leads No. 15 Ohio State past UCLA 80-66
C.J. Jackson scores 22 points as No. 15 Ohio State tops UCLA 80-66
6:34PM ( 5 hours ago )
No. 11 FSU shoots 55 percent to beat Saint Louis 81-59
David Nichols scores season-high 19 points off bench, No. 11 Florida State shoots season-best 55 percent to beat Saint Louis 81-59
5:57PM ( 6 hours ago )
Samuelson leads way as No. 1 UConn women hold off No. 14 Cal
Katie Lou Samuelson had 20 points and 11 rebounds and No. 1 UConn held off a late rally from 14th-ranked and previously unbeaten California in a 76-66 win
5:39PM ( 6 hours ago )
College Sports
Ohio wins Frisco Bowl for Solich, oldest head coach in FBS
Ohio rolls to 27-0 win over San Diego State in Frisco Bowl for Frank Solich, now the oldest head coach in FBS
12:43AM ( 2 days ago )
Ohio State gets first big W for new coach on signing day
Alabama wraps up another recruiting race title, Ohio St gets a big win
9:40PM ( 3 days ago )
Syracuse recruit has feel-good announcement
Syracuse signs defensive lineman Cooper Dawson of South Carolina; announcement goes viral on social media when friend Kingsley Feinman, who has cerebral palsy, does the honors
5:39PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - College Football
No. 18 Arizona State knocks off top-ranked Kansas 80-76
Rob Edwards scored 15 points and hit two free throws with 6.1 seconds left, setting off a wild celebration in the desert as No. 18 Arizona State knocked off No. 1 Kansas 80-76
12:21AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Beal triple-double leads Wiz to 149-146 3OT win vs Suns
Bradley Beal had 40 points and his first career triple-double to lift the Washington Wizards over the Phoenix Suns 149-146 in triple-overtime
12:13AM ( 16 minutes ago )
Harden scores 39, leads Rockets past Spurs 108-101
James Harden had 39 points and 10 assists to lead the Houston Rockets past the San Antonio Spurs 108-101 on Saturday night
12:12AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Government unlikely to get fully back to business for days
It looks like Christmas will be over and done with before the federal government will have a chance to get fully back to business
12:10AM ( 20 minutes ago )
Trump loses US envoy to anti-IS coalition over Syria plan
Trump is losing his envoy to the anti-IS coalition because of his plan to pull troops out of Syria
12:10AM ( 20 minutes ago )