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Buffalo State football game notes vs. Morrisville State - Oct. 27

BUFFALO STATE ATHLETICS

Bonagura
The Matchup…Buffalo State enters the contest 1-6 overall and 1-3 in Empire 8 play, looking to bounce back after three-consecutive losses that saw the team produce just a single touchdown in each contest.  Morrisville is 4-3 overall and 2-2 in league play after back-to-back wins over Utica and last week at St. John Fisher.  Buffalo State leads the all-time series, 8-1, with Morrisville's lone win coming in 2015.  Buffalo State won a shootout in Morrisville last year, 53-48.

The Bengals' Last Game…Nationally No. 3-ranked Brockport scored 30 points in the second quarter and piled up 608 yards of total offense in a 65-7 victory over visiting Buffalo State last week to retain the I-90 Bowl trophy.

Buffalo State finished with just 163 yards of total offense with 211 through the air and minus-48 on the ground, due largely to eight Brockport sacks.  Jamar Rutledge was the lone bright spot for the Bengals on offense with eight catches for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Kevin Torrillo finished 16 of 37 for 198 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.  Gino Bonagura made a team-best 11 tackles.

Brockport turned the ball over three times during the game, losing a pair of fumbles and threw one interception to Paul Brinkel.  The Golden Eagles' other nine drives ended with a touchdown.

In the receiving ranks...Buffalo State has two wide receivers ranked in the top-8 in the Empire 8, led by Jordand Evert in third and Jamar Rutledge in seventh.  Evert, a junior, 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.  Through seven games he has 37 catches for 532 yards with six touchdowns.  Rutledge, a senior is eighth in the league with 472 yards on 50 catches, including four 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 355 yards on just 77 carries (4.6 yards-per-carry) in six 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 teamm 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.

Holding the ball...Buffalo State ranks third in the Empire 8, averaging 31:08 per game in time of possession.

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).