The University at Buffalo Bulls football program has found historic success on the field this year, and the accolades are starting to roll in.
Not only are the UB Bulls undefeated in what’s been a wild ride for college football, but they’ve just been ranked number 24 in the AP Top 25 Poll, a first in program history which dates back to 1894. It’s a major accomplishment for a team that has had its ups and downs the past decade, fifth year head coach Lance Leipold said he’s proud of what they’ve built.
“The standard for us is to keep pushing to get better,” Leipold said in a press conference Sunday. “In how we conduct ourselves, how we practice, how we go about our business off the field, and then rankings are a byproduct of some of those things.”
Through just four conference games, junior running back Jaret Patterson has managed to rack up over 900 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns, with half those coming against Kent State. UB Spectrum Senior Sports Editor Anthony DeCicco said Patterson’s record breaking performances lift the profile of the whole team.
“It’s not only big for him individually, but big for the program,” said DeCicco. “Because when he’s doing stuff like this on a national level everyone watches. And the two games, the back-to-back with Bowling Green and Kent State… you can never think of this happening to a school like Buffalo”
DeCicco believes by the numbers Patterson is putting up, he might be in contention for the prestigious Heisman Trophy.
“He’s the only running back to have 300 rushing yards in back to back games since Ricky Williams, he’s on some historic pace. In terms of the running back conversation for the Heisman, I don’t even think it’s close, he’s clearly ahead of every other running back there,” he said. “Of course Najee Harris, Breece Hall, [Travis] Ettienne, those guys are great running backs, but they’re not doing what he [Patterson] is doing.”
The Bulls are still awaiting to hear word if they’ve clinched the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) East title, which would then give them a spot in the MAC Championship at Detroit’s Ford Field on Dec. 18.