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Four fumbles cost Buffalo in Dollar General Bowl as Troy celebrates third-straight bowl victory

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Buffalo (10-4) had a case of fumblitis in the Dollar General Bowl Saturday night, and it cost them. The Bulls were defeated by Troy (10-3), 42-32, as the Bulls fumbled the football six times, losing four.

In the third quarter, Troy managed to pull off the kind of feat you are probably more likely to see from a triple-option offense like Army. The Trojans managed to keep the Buffalo offense off the field for the entire third quarter. The Trojans opened the half with the football and scored. They then pulled off a brilliantly executed onside kick to keep possession of the football and drove the ball down to the six-yard line. But a fumble by B.J. Smith was picked up by Buffalo’s Tyrone Hill, who raced down the field 93 yards for a defensive touchdown to give Buffalo the lead, 24-21.

Troy’s offense went right back to work on the ensuing possession though, traveling 69 yards over 12 plays to retake the lead, 28-24, on a Damion Willis touchdown reception from the two-yard line. After sitting on the sideline or in the locker room for a little more than an hour, Buffalo’s offense finally got back on the field early in the fourth quarter, only to go three-and-out. Troy would add to their lead on the next drive with a quick three-play drive for a touchdown. Sawyer Smith completed a 45-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Davis to extend the lead to 35-24.

Buffalo was down but not out. The Bulls charged forward with a 10-play drive ending in the end zone with a Tyree Jackson touchdown pass to K.J. Osborn, and a successful two-point conversion brought Buffalo within three. The Buffalo defense then forced Troy to punt as the time was continuing to become a factor. Starting with the football at their 21-yard line and about three and a half minutes to play, Buffalo’s hopes of another score were quickly tossed aside when Jackson fumbled the ball away. It took Troy just one play to run right up the middle for a dagger of a touchdown with Sidney Davis reaching the end zone on a 20-yard run on the first play from scrimmage.

Although this was the most successful season in Buffalo history, the Bulls see their season left unfulfilled. Buffalo lost the MAC Championship Game against Northern Illinois that came into the game with five losses and then end the year with a loss in a bowl game. Buffalo’s search for their first bowl victory in program history continues. Things may have ended on a sour note for Buffalo this season, but that should not take away from the continued success head coach Lance Leipold is having with the program. In his fourth season on the job, Leipold has coached Buffalo to a school-record for wins in a single season and the bar has been raised moving forward.

Neal Brown continues to be doing a solid job at Troy as well. The win over Buffalo clinched a third-consecutive 10-win season for the Trojans, each finishing with a victory in a bowl game. Troy has gone a combined 31-8 in the past three seasons after going 4-8 in Brown’s first season as head coach of the program in 2015.

The loss by Buffalo dropped the MAC to a woeful bowl record of 1-5 as the conference wrapped up its bowl schedule. Ohio scored the only bowl victory for the conference this season while the rest of the MAC’s bowl teams lost by a combined 70 points, including losses by both division winners in the conference this season. The Sun Belt Conference has one more team in action this bowl season (Arkansas State), and currently holds a bowl record of 3-1. The win by Troy clinched a winning bowl season for the conference for the third straight season (11-4 in bowl games since 2017).

Ross Bowers one of seven transferring from Cal

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Even on the same day they added to it, Cal’s roster took a sizable hit depth-wise.

As reported by the San Francisco Chronicle, one-time quarterback Ross Bowers is one of seven players who have decided to transfer from the Golden Bears football program.  Another of the seven, redshirt freshman running back Biaggio Ali Walsh, had announced on Twitter earlier this month that he would be leaving the Bears after appearing in 10 games this season.

The other five apparently leaving the Pac-12 school includes true freshman running back Johnny Adams Jr., redshirt sophomore receiver Greyson Bankhead, fifth-year senior linebacker Derron Brown, redshirt sophomore running back Derrick Clark and redshirt junior wide receiver Brandon Singleton.

The biggest name of the group, though — and notwithstanding Walsh’s grandfather, Muhammad Ali — is Bowers.

After playing sparingly his first two seasons in Berkeley, Bowers started all 12 games during the 2017 season as he threw for 3,039 yards, 18 touchdowns and a dozen interceptions.  While he started this season’s opener, the redshirt junior played sparingly the remainder of the year due to a combination of injury and evolving offensive scheme.

Bowers would be a graduate transfer if the move comes to fruition, so you can likely add his name to the list of ever-expanding quarterbacks who’ll be available on college football’s version of the free-agent market.

Clark and Singleton are the only others who played in any games this season, the former seeing action in two games and the latter in three.  Brown played in a combined 24 games the previous three seasons, while Bankhead missed each of the last three seasons, including 2018, because of various injuries.

True freshman Rondale Moore of Purdue wins Hornung Award

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In his very first game at the collegiate level, Rondale Moore broke Purdue’s single-game record for all-purpose yards.  So, it’s none too surprising — outside of his young age, of course — that the wide receiver has claimed an honor that goes to the nation’s most versatile player.

Tuesday, the Louisville Sports Commission announced that Moore has been named as the 2018 recipient of the Paul Hornung Award.  Moore, who played his high school football in the city of Louisville, is the first-ever true freshman to receive the award.

Moore is also the first Boilermaker football player to be on the receiving end of a major national honor since punter Travis Dorsch won the 2001 Ray Guy Award.

Moore beat out the other four finalists for the award: Marcus Green (Louisiana-Monroe), KJ Hamler (Penn State), N'Keal Harry (Arizona State) and Connor Heyward (Michigan State).

After the 313 all-purpose yards he put up in his collegiate debut, Moore also added 252 against Big Ten champion Ohio State.  He currently leads the Big Ten in receiving yards (1,164), receiving touchdowns (12) and kickoff return yards (599).

App State, Arkansas State sweep Sun Belt individual honors

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At least when it comes to postseason honors, the Sun Belt Conference looks very much like a two-team league.

The SBC Thursday announced its individual awards, with the five honors being split between Appalachian State and Arkansas State — four for the latter, two for the former.  The award winners, voted on by the conference’s coaches as well as select coaches, appear below:

Player of the Year
Justice Hansen, Arkansas State (R-Sr., QB, Edmond, Okla.)

Offensive Player of the Year
Zac Thomas, Appalachian State (So., QB, Trussville, Ala.)

Defensive Player of the Year
Ronheen Bingham, Arkansas State (Sr., DL, Bennettsville, S.C.)

Freshman of the Year
Marcel Murray, Arkansas State (Fr., RB, Hiram, Ga.)

Newcomer of the Year
Kirk Merritt, Arkansas State (Jr., WR, Destrehan, La.)

Coach of the Year
Scott Satterfield, Appalachian State

App State will host Louisiana in this weekend’s Sun Belt Conference championship game, with the Mountaineers looking to win its third straight league title.  The Ragin’ Cajuns will try to take home their first conference crown since the 2013 season.

Arkansas State finished tied with Louisiana in the West division, but lost out on the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Mountain West suspends official for inappropriate conduct

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Every bellowing fan’s dreams has come true. An official has been suspended.

Though not for missing calls.

The Mountain West on Monday announced that official Jim Adams has been suspended for his next two CFO West assignments for what the conference deemed “inappropriate conduct toward game management personnel” during the Nevada-Air Force game on Saturday.

The Mountain West said Adams’s conduct was in violation of Rule 4 of the MW handbook. Per the handbook, this is what constitutions a violation of Rule 4:

According to Chris Murray of Nevada Sports Net, Murray pushed a ball person.

Adams will be back in action for the weekend of Oct. 20.