It really hasn't been a very pretty start to the football season for the Buffalo State Bengals.
After a dramatic last-minute win in their opener against Robert Morris, the Bengals have stumbled through a series of miscues, the latest a 36-7 loss to Cortland on Saturday.
The loss drops Buffalo State to 1-3 -- its worst start since opening the 1989 season 0-5 -- and puts the team one step closer to ending its 10-year run of postseason appearances.
Against Cortland (1-2), the Bengals fell behind quickly, 14-0, as the Red Dragons had drive starts at the Bengals' 15 and 28-yard line.
Buffalo State had its only score at 12:33 of the second quarter when Ryan Henry completed a 9-yard pass to Billy Edwards.
That TD came after Edwards' 22-yard punt return put the ball on the Cortland 33.
After that, though, the Red Dragons' running game took over. Cortland responded with TD runs of 29 and 25 yards, both by freshman Steven Davis, playing in his first collegiate game. Davis added another TD run early in the fourth quarter and finished with 106 yards on nine carries, an 11.8 average.
A 32-yard field goal by George Oostmeyer rounded out the scoring.
Buffalo State managed just 179 total yards, 86 coming on the passing of Henry, who struggled to get the offense moving. He completed just 7 of 27 with three interceptions and six sacks.
Sterling Anderson had 80 of the Bengals' 93 rushing yards while T.J. Cottrell caught four passes for 69 yards.
Despite rather bleak statistics, the Bengals had other opportunities to score, particularly in the third quarter. They drove to the Cortland 18 before a holding and delay-of-game penalty pushed them back to the 33, and Henry's deep fourth-down pass was intercepted.
Then there was a fumble recovery by Josh Hostuttler, which put Buffalo State at the Red Dragons' 27 yard line. Three plays later, Henry again threw an interception.
Cortland had a solid day against the Bengals' defense, racking up 324 total yards. Quarterback J.J. Tutwiler (Grand Island) completed 11 of 15 for 110 yards.
The Bengals return to Coyer Field Saturday for the homecoming game against Brockport at 1 p.m.