Buffalo Wins 2022 Camellia Bowl

Buffalo 2022 Camellia Bowl

The Buffalo Bulls held on late to win the 2022 Camellia Bowl 23-21 over the Georgia Southern Eagles. The Bulls were led by wide receiver Justin Marshall with 11 catches for 127 yards and one touchdown, and he was awarded the Bart Starr MVP trophy. Buffalo quarterback Cole Snyder had a big day as well passing for 265 yards on 21 for 38 passing. Snyder outdueled former Bulls quarterback Kyle Vantrease. The Eagles quarterback threw for 352 yards and two touchdowns but had a costly interception early in the fourth quarter. The win gives Buffalo a winning season at 7-6, and the Eagles close with a 6-7 record. It was also the fourth straight bowl loss for the Sun Belt after starting the postseason 3-0.

Buffalo wins the 2022 Camellia Bowl

Slow start

The first quarter was more a feeling out process for both teams as neither would score in the opening period. Both Buffalo and Georgia Southern possessed the ball a combined six times in the first, and all those drives ended in punts. The Eagles got the offense rolling in the second quarter on a nine-play 65-yard drive that resulted in a Alex Raynor 23-yard field goal to go up 3-0 with 11:50 in the quarter. Georgia Southern did the same on their following possession. They would drive the ball 71 yards just to come up short inside the five for another Raynor field goal. Six points is all the Eagles offense could produce in the opening half.

The Bulls would score twice but were able to find the endzone. After the first Raynor field goal, Buffalo went on an 11-play 81-yard drive that ended with a 32-yard touchdown catch by Marshall from Snyder. Early in the drive Marshall would catch a 16-yard pass on a third and ten that got the Bulls into Eagles territory. After Georgia Southern made the game 7-6 with 5:42 until halftime, the Bulls offense moved quickly. On a first down play at the Bulls 47, Snyder connected with Quian Williams for 36 yards to get to the Eagles 17. The drive would end with a five-yard touchdown run by Tajay Ahmed with 45 second remaining to go up 14-6. Ahmed had a good day rushing for 98 yards with starting running back Mike Washington hurt in the game. Snyder was good in the second going 9 for 13 and 131 yards.

Georgia Southern ties it

In the second half it was the Bulls who struggled to get in the endzone and had to settle for field goals. The half started off with Quian Williams fumbling after gaining 35 yards on a pass play from Snyder. Georgia Southern defensive back Anthony Wilson recovered the ball at the Eagles 21 to give them some momentum. Wilson had a solid game totaling nine tackles. On the very next play, Vantrease connected with Joshua Thompson for a 79-yard touchdown to get Georgia Southern within two. They would be successful on a two-point attempt when Jjay Mcafee caught a pass to make 14-14 with 14:34 left in the third. The 79-yard touchdown by Thompson is the longest play in Camellia Bowl history. That was the only catch for Thompson in the game.

That was the last time either team would reach the endzone with it becoming the Alex McNulty show when it pertains to scoring. He connected with a 33-yard field goal on the following drive to put the Bulls up 17-14 with 9:48 left in the quarter. Eagles receiver Khaleb Hood fumbled on the next play from scrimmage, and it resulted in a 24-yard field goal from McNulty. The two teams then exchanged punts on the next two possessions.

Buffalo closes out 2022 Camellia Bowl

The Eagles got the ball on their own two-yard line towards the end of the third, and were moving the ball as the fourth quarter began. On a third and ten at their own 42, Vantrease was intercepted by Dylan Powell. That was the big mistake at the exact wrong time for the Eagles quarterback. Buffalo went on a 10-play, 38-yard drive that chewed up 5:59 off the clock. The drive end with another field goal by McNulty with this one being of the 20-yard variety.

That score put the Bulls up 23-14 with 8:38 remaining. The Eagles did make it back down the field for another touchdown off the arm of Vantrease to make it 23-21 with 3:38 left. He connected with Mcafee for a 13-yard score. The big play on the drive was when he connected with Beau Johnson for 42 yards on a fourth and seven play. Johnson led the way for the Eagles with 118 yards off of five catches. He only had four catches entering the game.

The Bulls would not let Georgia Southern get the ball back by running the clock out. Running back Tajay Ahmed carried the ball seven times for 18 yards to close it out, but the clutch play came from Snyder. The Bulls quarterback completed a big third and seven pass to Marshall for nine yards to move the chains. That play denied the Eagles from getting the ball back. Defensively the Bulls were led by linebacker Shaun Dolac with 13 tackles and one tackle for loss.

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