Jaret Patterson, who broke the Buffalo Bulls record, is about big numbers

Buffalo runner Jaret Patterson may have been a player that many fans knew nothing about how to enter the 2020 college football season. But as we reach the end, his name must be quoted to tell the full story of the year.

Patterson, a junior, drew the sport’s attention on November 28 against Kent State when he tied the FBS record for touchdowns in a game with eight and had the second highest total of runs in a single game with 409 yards in a victory of 70-41.

He has come a long way from a visit to eastern Michigan when he was a sophomore in high school, when his twin brother James found him in a campus bathroom crying after being the only one on his recruiting visit not to receive one. offer. Now Jaret Patterson is one of the best players in Buffalo’s history, alongside guys like Branden Oliver and Khalil Mack.

While Patterson and Buffalo (5-1) clash on Christmas Day with Marshall (7-2) at the Camellia Bowl (2:30 pm ET, ESPN and the ESPN App), let’s take a deeper look at the escape of the Star Bulls .

Big games are Patterson’s specialty

As a senior at St. Vincent Pallotti High School in Laurel, Maryland, he did a little bit of everything in a 2016 game against Riverside Baptist, counting 558 multifunctional yards, an interception and two forced fumbles.

“You can ask anyone in the Maryland area,” said Patterson. “They know this game.”

His talent translated perfectly into Buffalo. In 15 of the 28 games in which he carried the ball 11 times or more, he ran over 100 yards. And in more than half of them, he ran for at least 160 yards.

In 2019 – a season in which he ran 1,799 yards and 19 touchdowns, in addition to compiling 209 yards receiving with another score – he set off for an explosion of goals playing Toledo and Bowling Green. Against the Rockets, Patterson had 227 yards of scrimmage and five touchdowns; facing the Falcons, he had 298 run yards and six touchdowns.

“In those two games alone, there are 11 touchdowns. It’s an entire season for some,” he said. “This is no accident.”

There is to be a good football player and, on the other hand, to be extraordinarily good. Patterson is usually the last.

In the 2019 Bahamas Bowl, he led the Bulls to the program’s first bowl victory, with 173 yards and two touchdowns against Charlotte.

“The fourth period came and they were tired and we imposed our will,” said Patterson.

He remembered Charlotte coach Will Healy, approaching him after the game, impressed, and saying, “You get stronger as the game progresses.”

Post-game and even mid-game praise has become the norm for Patterson. Between plays or climbing to the scrimmage line, guys from Bowling Green and Kent State shouted at him to stop running or even suggested that the Bulls pass.

“They know it’s coming, but they need to stop at the end of the day,” said Patterson. “Sometimes they can’t.”

Patterson entered the game against the Golden Flashes in search of revenge. When the two teams played in 2019, the Bulls were 27-6 in the fourth period, just to allow 24 points unanswered, including a field goal that won the game as the time expired to lose 30-27. Patterson ran for 141 yards in that game.

At the start of the 2020 clash, Patterson knew he would make a good game, but he didn’t know how Good.

“The first two touchdowns I haven’t been touched,” he said. “I’m talking about the holes were so big that you could drive a truck over there.”

At the break, Patterson said he had a moment when he stopped and realized he was doing something big.

“I didn’t know the amount, but I knew I was playing very well and I scored a lot of goals,” he said.

Many college football fans were upset when Bulls coach Lance Leipold pulled Patterson before he could break the touchdown record. After the game, Leipold said, “I didn’t even know he had eight touchdowns. I wish I knew a little bit.”

Patterson became aware of what he had done only after he was removed from the game and said he had no resentment for not getting the record. Patterson and Leipold have even played with it ever since.

Patterson even labeled this game “easy”, crediting his offensive line.

“Without these guys up front, I don’t run 1,000 yards in five games,” said Patterson. “This is unheard of. Even the perimeter receivers, everyone has a role in that. The long runs, you see, guys struggling to finish the defenders, everyone has a part in it.”

He added: “I don’t see a better phrase than those guys and what they did. I feel like their resume speaks for itself.”

Awards or not, Patterson knows he is one of the best RBs in the country

The Doak Walker Award finalists were announced on Tuesday, and he was not one of them. He was also not among the finalists for the Heisman Trophy. But Patterson knows that he belongs.

In a season when rules were made and thrown out the window, one thing that hasn’t changed is Patterson’s ability to present statistics at an overwhelming rate for defenses. And he has accumulated 1,072 running yards and 19 touchdowns in just five games, something he continues to point out when he argues why he should be in these award talks.

“The way I did it was different from the others,” said Patterson. “Not taking off – those guys definitely put numbers themselves – but the way I did it consecutively. The guys aren’t scoring eight touchdowns and running 300 yards in a row. But I think the two biggest things are just the short games and how late we started. I think that’s why I should be a candidate, for sure. “

Since all of Heisman’s votes will have been cast by the time Patterson has a chance to play on Christmas Day, his Camellia Bowl statistics will not contribute to his case. But he will still be playing with that chip on his shoulder for the rest of his career.

“If I return in the fall, or go to the NFL, I will still have that chip, I will still be the same player,” said Patterson, who turned 21 this week. “Nothing is going to change. This is something I maintain, my morale and, regardless of whether it is in Buffalo or the next level, I will still have this motivation to prove that people are wrong and that I am sure I can be a great race back. to college and the next level. “