By Marissa Packard
Photo courtesy of UB Spectrum
What a year of Football in WNY. In a time where we were looking for an escape from reality, the UB Bulls and the Buffalo Bills have been a bright spots. While the Bills have outperformed all our expectations, the UB Football program along with Jaret Patterson haven't been talked about enough for their accomplishments.
The UB Bulls have stellar talent on both sides of the ball. Their season has been filled with lots of highs and lows that you would expect with any program. They’ve won a second bowl game on Christmas Day and made their third trip to the MAC Championship this season where they ultimately came up short for a second time. They’ve earned an AP Top 25 Ranking for the first time in program history for their dominating season in the MAC, which is well deserved recognition for a Football program that was nothing a couple years ago. Head Coach Lance Leipold was named 2020 MAC coach of the Year and their star studded, record breaking, running back, Jaret Patterson, was named 2020 MAC Offensive Player of the Year.
Jaret Patterson, who is a Junior at the University at Buffalo, has been the shining light in the 2020 UB football season. He has had 3,884 rushing yards and a program best 52 rushing touchdowns in three seasons. Patterson announced on his twitter on Dec. 29 that he is declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft. The question is now, what will the future of the UB program will look like with Patterson foregoing his senior season.
Patterson broke records and was thought to be in Heisman talk in the middle of the season. He put together a season where he was ultimately the best running back in college football. Of course, since Patterson was in the MAC with only 7 games being played in the conference it was hard for him to be part of any Heisman talk. The game against Kent state this season was a historic campaign for Jaret Patterson. He ran for 409 yards and had 8 touchdowns. YES, 8 touchdowns in a SINGLE GAME. His legs are the reason for the success of the 2020 Bulls. Pattersons performance against Kent State tied Illinois running back Howard Griffith for the single game FBS rushing touchdowns. He also finished with the second most rushing touchdowns in a single game by an FBS player. Patterson surpassed, former Wisconsin running back and current Denver Bronco, Melvin Gordon for second place on the single game rushing yardage list and fell only 18 yards short of matching the record of 427 yards set by, now current Cincinnati Bengal, Samaje Perine. He is in good company on that list and there is no doubt that he will make it onto an NFL roster by the time the 2021- 2022 NFL season rolls around.
During the Kent State game UB rushed for FIVE HUNDRED and FIFTEEN yard that day and Jaret Patterson was the sole reason for FOUR HUNDRED and NINE of those yards. You could say that their identity is very much at the running back position. The success of the 2020 Bulls campaign certainly couldn’t have been done without the performance of Jarett Patterson. UB Football has a bright future even with a hole in the offense with their Heisman-esque running back setting his sights for the pros. Who knows maybe this offseason we will be talking about how he can make an impact on Buffalos very own NFL team.