Sawyer Smith, Troy Hang on vs. Buffalo to Win 2018 Dollar General Bowl

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorDecember 23, 2018

MOBILE, ALABAMA - DECEMBER 22: Sawyer Smith #3 of the Troy Trojans throws the ball for a touchdown during the first half of the Dollar General Bowl against the Buffalo Bulls on December 22, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

Sophomore quarterback Sawyer Smith threw for 320 yards and four touchdowns as Troy beat Buffalo 42-32 at the Dollar General Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, on Saturday.

Senior wideout Damion Willis caught 13 of Smith's passes for 101 yards and two touchdowns.

Freshman running back Jaret Patterson had 67 rushing yards and a touchdown for Buffalo.

A bizarre second half was the story in this game, as Buffalo did not run an offensive play until the first minute of the fourth quarter.

Trailing 17-14 at the break, Troy went on a 75-yard touchdown drive capped by a two-yard touchdown from B.J. Smith. However, the Trojans went into their back of tricks and recovered an onside kick to regain possession:

Troy marched down the field yet again, but Buffalo freshman linebacker James Patterson caused Smith to fumble the ball, which was then picked up by sophomore safety Tyrone Hill for a 93-yard touchdown:

Rachel Lenzi of the Buffalo News praised Buffalo's efforts on the play with some context:

Smith went back to work for the Trojans, however, as he immediately led Troy to two touchdown drives sandwiched around a Buffalo three-and-out. One of Smith's best passes of the night capped the second score, as he dropped a pass right in senior wideout Sidney Davis' bucket to give his team a 34-24 lead:

On the ensuing drive, the Bulls barely averted disaster after Bulls quarterback Tyree Jackson fumbled at the Troy 3-yard line. As Lenzi of the Buffalo News implied, Jackson's 6'7" height helped him recover his own fumble. 

A touchdown from junior wideout K.J. Osborn and a two-point conversion from sophomore wideout Antonio Nunn following Jackson's evasion skills against the Troy pass rush pulled UB within three:

Troy's next drive stalled, and Buffalo took over at its own 21-yard line. However, Troy recovered a Jackson fumble before Davis scored on a 20-yard reserve to help give the Trojans a 42-32 edge with 3:09 remaining:

Troy blocked a late Buffalo field-goal attempt and kneeled on the ball to seal the game. 

The Trojans finished 10-3 and have won 10 or more games in each of the past three seasons. Buffalo ended its season with a school-record 10 wins. Prior to this year, the Bulls had not enjoyed a winning campaign since 2013.

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