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Buffalo State Football Game Notes at No. 3 Brockport - Oct. 20

BUFFALO STATE ATHLETICS

Pitts
The Matchup: Buffalo State enters this week 1-5 overall and 1-2 in Empire 8 play.  The Bengals rank seventh in the Empire 8 in both scoring (20.8 points-per-game) and points allowed (38.2).  Brockport is ranked third in the nation at 6-0 overall and 3-0 in league play and boasts the top scoring offense (48.3) and defense (6.7) in the conference.  Brockport has won the last two meetings, including a 33-0 win in Buffalo last season, after the Bengals had won three-straight.

The I-90 Bowl: Buffalo State and Brockport compete annually for the I-90 Bowl Trophy which was designed by former Buffalo State football player Aaron Woloszyn.  The winning school retains the trophy on its campus until next year's meeting.

The Bengals' Last Game: Buffalo State drove the ball into Cortland territory seven times, but was only able to produce seven points and host Cortland pulled away for a 41-7 victory last Saturday.

Kevin Torrillo finished 22 of 39 for 190 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Jordan Evert (Amherst/Sweet Home) was the leading receiver with eight catches for 68 yards including a touchdown. Martin Bailey carried the ball 29 times for 80 yards. Elloheim Tucker led the Bengals defense with eight tackles, including one for loss.

Cortland finished with 514 total yards, including 355 through the air, while the Bengals had 307 total yards despite running 25 more offensive plays than the Red Dragons.

The Red Dragons took a 34-0 lead before Buffalo State finally scored on a 7-yard Evert reception in the fourth quarter.  Cortland added a late touchdown to complete the scoring.

Breaking Out: Junior receiver Jordan Evert entered the season with 16 catches for 213 yards.  In his first game of the season at Bridgewater, he finished with five catches for 153 yards and a touchdown.  He went over 100 yards again against Hartwick with eight catches for 114.  Through five games, he has 35 catches for 512 yards and six touchdowns.

Long time in the making: Buffalo State running back Martin Bailey ran for 117 yards on 21 carries, including touchdown runs of 2 and 40 yards in a 41-7 victory over Hartwick on Buffalo State's homecoming.  Bailey also caught one pass for 21 yards.  It was Bailey's first start since high school way back in 2011. He backed that up with 112 yards on 14 carries, including a 91-yard score against Alfred. He leads the Bengals and is fifth in the E8 with 349 yards on 75 carries (4.7 yards-per-carry) in five games.

Oh captain, my captains: Buffalo State will rely on the leadership of four captains this season.  On the offensive side, the Bengals will be led by junior lineman Dave Lauer and senior quarterback Kevin Torrillo, and the defense will be led by senior end Cliff Brown and junior linebacker Gino Bonagura.

With honors: Senior wide receiver Jamar Rutledge is the lone returning all-conference performer from a season ago.  Rutledge was named first team All-Empire 8 as a return specialist. He led the league averaging 23.5 yards-per-kick return on 25 attempts, which included a 96-yard touchdown return at Morrisville State.  He was also second in the league, averaging 10.3 yards-per-punt return.
 
The signal caller: Senior Kevin Torrillo enters the season as the starting quarterback this season after sitting behind four-year starter Kyle Hoppy.  Torrillo took his first varsity snaps when he started in place of an injured Hoppy vs. Cortland on Oct. 7, 2017.  Torrillo finished 21 of 44 for 304 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in that game.  He finished 2017 with four appearances and was 30 of 60 for 366 yards with two TDs and three interceptions.

Go for it: Buffalo State has converted 16 of 31 attempts on fourth down for a 51.6 percent conversion rate.

Rookie Under Center: Freshman quarterback Tony Maple saw his first action in the loss at RPI, going 8 of 9 for 71 yards and a touchdown.  He also had six rushes for 20 yards.  He added a 22-yard touchdown scramble in the win over Hartwick.

On the Move: Buffalo State has officially announced it will leave the Empire 8 following the 2018 season to join the Liberty League in 2019.  The move will stabilize both leagues, creating a pair of seven-team conferences that will collaborate for both non-conference scheduling and a postseason bowl game.  Buffalo State will compete with Hobart, Ithaca, RPI, Rochester, St. Lawrence and Union in the Liberty League.


Return to the "Glory Days": Buffalo State has posted a .500 record or better in each of the past seven seasons. The Bengals made seven NCAA playoff appearances and won three other ECAC Bowl Championships, all from 1991-2000. The Bengals advanced to the NCAA playoffs in 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998 and 1999, and won ECAC Bowl games in 1991, 1997 and 2000. During that 10-year span, the Bengals went a combined 78-28 (.736).