The Camellia Bowl is set for Christmas Day this year and features an interesting match between Buffalo and Marshall. The two teams finished second in their conferences, as Marshall lost to UAB in the USA Championship match, and Buffalo fell to Paul State in the MAC Championship game. It wouldn’t be the first time these teams met, as they were once colleagues at the conference.
Buffalo joined the MAC in 1999 and has been in existence ever since. Marshall had two spells with Al Mutawa and Al Qadi, having recently joined the convention in 1997 and spent eight seasons there before leaving for the USA convention. It was during those eight years when these teams met six times. Marshall won all six matches an average of 33 points per match. As a newcomer to FBS at the time, Buffalo wasn’t quite as good as it was recently.
So who gets to win this showdown on Christmas Day in Montgomery, Alabama? Let’s take a closer look at the matches and stories to follow before making some of the experts’ picks head-to-head and against a spread.
Marshall: The flock of thunder wasn’t flowing down the stretch. Marshall enters this game in a two-game losing streak and, like many shows, has seen the start of the season and frequent interruptions. Marshall opened the season in early September, but after a 2–0 start, the program had to wait nearly a month between matches. This didn’t stop him from taking off 7-0, but after another long hiatus in mid-November, the Herd lost 20-0 to Rice in early December. Newcomer Grant Wells, who was having a great season, threw five interceptions at the loss. He would face the herd attack again against UAB in the conference title game, where he scored only 268 yards and 13 points. If you’re looking for a silver lining Marshall won the South American Championship, there isn’t a bowl to play. UAB went to the Gasparilla Bowl, which was canceled after South Carolina was forced to withdraw from the game due to COVID issues.
Buffalo: The Bulls joined the party later than most because MAC didn’t start its season until November. To put that into perspective, Marshall was already 5-0 up and three matches were postponed before the Bulls began their season. While they were late, they wasted no time going to work, wasting their first five opponents of the season. The Bulls easily won their division and entered the MAC Championship with a score of 5–0, winning an average of 30.8 points per game. This was primarily due to sprinting backwards by Jarrett Patterson, who sprinted 1,072 yards and 19 touchdowns in just six matches. Patterson suffered an injury during Buffalo’s 38-28 loss to Paul State in the MAC Championship, but the team hopes to be able to take on Marshall.
Game: Camellia pot
History: Friday, December 25 | time2:30 PM ET
Your site: Cramton Powell-Montgomery, Alabama
Television: ESPN | Live broadcast: fuboTV (Try for free)
Potted camellia prediction, picks
Buffalo Bulls -5.5
I think there is value to be found in Marshall because of the losing streak in two games. The Bulls opened as a favorite 3.5 points, but the streak quickly moved to 4.5. Given the MAC’s tendency to struggle during bowl season, and Buffalo’s easy-going schedule this season, it makes the herd look more appealing. Additionally, there is the matter of whether or not Jarrett Patterson will be able to play. If not, I love the flock. If he can go, I’m not enthusiastic about the play, but I can still do it. Picking: Marshall +4.5 | Marshall 27, Buffalo 24
So who will win Buffalo against Marshall? And which side of the spread gets to 60% of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the spread is back, All from a proven 55-35 run on top-ranked college football picks this season.