Sawyer Smith threw four touchdown passes as Troy snapped out of a late-season scoring slump to defeat Buffalo 42-32 in the Dollar General Bowl on Saturday night in Mobile, Ala.
The Trojans (10-3), who had scored just 22 points in their last two games, won a bowl game for the third consecutive season and completed their third consecutive 10-win season.
Smith completed 31 of 44 passes for 320 yards and threw scoring passes of 60 yards to Tray Eafford, 7 yards and 2 yards to Damion Willis and 45 yards to Sidney Davis.
Willis finished with 13 catches for 101 yards, and B.J. Smith balanced Sawyer Smith’s passing production with 93 yards and a score rushing.
The Bulls (10-4) finished the winningest season in school history without adding the school’s first bowl victory to their accomplishments. Buffalo was playing in its third bowl as it met Troy for the first time.
Buffalo led 17-14 at halftime, but B.J. Smith ran 2 yards for a touchdown on the first possession of the third quarter to give Troy its first lead.
The Trojans recovered an onside kick and drove inside the 10 before B.J. Smith fumbled and Tyrone Hill picked up the ball and ran 93 yards for a touchdown, giving the Bulls a 24-21 lead. Buffalo didn’t run an offensive play in the period.
Smith threw his 2-yard touchdown pass to Willis on the second play of the fourth quarter to give Troy a 28-24 lead, and he added his touchdown to Davis on the next possession.
Tyree Jackson threw a 3-yard touchdown to K.J. Osborn and a two-point conversion pass to Antonio Nunn to get Buffalo within 35-32 with more than seven minutes remaining.
The Bulls forced a punt and got the ball back at their 21 with 3:14 left, but Jackson fumbled while being sacked and Hunter Reese recovered for Troy. On the next play, Davis ran 20 yards for a touchdown.
Jackson, who surpassed 3,000 passing yards for the season, finished 20 of 35 for 274 yards.
Freshman Jaret Patterson, who ran 11 yards for a Bulls touchdown on the game’s first possession, surpassed 1,000 rushing yards for his freshman season.
—Field Level Media