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Buffalo State Football Game Notes vs. Utica - Nov. 3

BUFFALO STATE ATHLETICS

Simoncelli
The Matchup…Buffalo State will close out its home schedule looking to snap a four-game losing skid and improve on its overall record of 1-7 and 1-4 mark in conference play.  Utica is 4-4 and 2-3 in league play.  The Pioneers have won four of the previous six meetings against the Bengals, including claiming a 34-12 win in Utica last year.

The Bengals' Last Game…Morrisville State intercepted three of Buffalo State's first five passes and returned two of them to the house to jump out to a 21-0 first-quarter lead, en route to a 38-14 victory.

Starting quarterback Kevin Torrillo finished the game 8 of 15 for 78 yards with two interceptions.  All of his completions came after he was re-inserted in the game in the fourth quarter. Tony Maple was 8 of 22 for 70 yards with an interception and a fumble.  He also had 40 rushing yards on 14 attempts. Martin Bailey led the Bengals on the ground with 20 carries for 59 yards and a touchdown.  Jamar Rutledge led the receiving corps with 55 yards on five catches. Gino Bonagura led the Bengals defense with 18 tackles, including 1.5 for loss.  Devin Delmont added nine tackles with one for loss.

Jordan Evert also scored on a blocked punt in the end zone.

Top Tackler...Buffalo State junior Gino Bonagura leads the Bengals and ranks second in the Empire 8 with 80 tackles in eight games this season.  He has 3.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, including one sack, and also has an interception. 

In the receiving ranks...Buffalo State has two wide receivers ranked in the top-5 in the Empire 8 in yards, led by Jordan Evert in third and Jamar Rutledge in fifth.  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 eight games he has 41 catches for 580 yards with six touchdowns.  Rutledge, a senior is fifth in the league with 527 yards on 55 catches, including four touchdowns.

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.

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 seventh in the E8 with 414 yards on 97 carries (4.3 yards-per-carry) in six games.

Senior Salute...Buffalo State is honoring 13 seniors prior to the game as they compete in the final home contest of their collegiate careers.  The Bengals salute: Paul BrinkelCliff BrownSpencer Cameron-PressleyJosh DouglasVinny GregoryDominic Hitchcock, Steven McIlwain, Justin QuinnJake RatiganJamar RutledgeJustin SimoncelliKevin Torrillo and Marcos Watkins.

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 31:16 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).