Buffalo Bulls’ Jaret Patterson rushes into College Football Records book

By Gary Adornato
Sep 7, 2019; University Park, PA, USA; Buffalo Bulls running back Jaret Patterson (26) runs with the ball during the second quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O’Haren-USA TODAY Sports

Jaret Patterson was a touchdown machine at St. Vincent Pallotti High School, in Laurel, MD. While everyone expected him to do the same thing with the Buffalo Bulls, no one ever saw his historic performance on Saturday coming.

Patterson rushed for eight touchdowns in the Bulls’ 70-41 win over Kent State, tying the NCAA single-game record set in 1990 by the University of Illinois’ Howard Griffith, who rushed for eight scores in a victory over Southern Illinois.

Jaret Patterson going after college football records

Patterson didn’t just convert eight touchdown runs. He ran all over Kent State, amassing 409 yards on 36 carries. He finished 18 yards shy of matching the all-time NCAA single-game rushing record (427 yards), set by Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine, who rushed for 427 yards against Kansas in 2014.

For those watching the Bulls on Saturday, it was evident Patterson could have done even more. However, Buffalo head coach Lance Leipold pulled his star running back from the game with under two minutes remaining. With Patterson resting on the sideline, backup Kevin Marks rushed for 21 yards on the two plays and capped it off with a touchdown run.

This wasn’t just one big game, either. Patterson has made monster performances a theme of his collegiate career. In his previous game, Patterson rushed for 302 yards and four touchdowns on 31 carries. He is now the second FBS player in college football history with consecutive 300-yard games.

Jaret Patterson’s high school state and dominance at St. Vincent Pallotti

Running through defenses is nothing new for Patterson, he’s been doing this since a football was put in his hands. While he was just a two-star recruit in the 2017 class, he played like an All-American talent.

Patterson rushed 2,045 yards and 23 touchdowns in his senior season at Pallotti in 2016, becoming an Honorable Mention All-State selection. He put the team on his back in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) B Conference Championship Game, rushing for 188 yards and three touchdowns in a 53-10 win.

He received scholarship offers from programs like Air Force, Eastern Michigan, Kent State and Navy. Ultimately, Patterson found a home with the Bulls and they have loved the gem they discovered in the 2017 recruiting class.

Instant success for the Buffalo Bull

As a freshman, Patterson led the Bulls with 1,013 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was named the Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freshman of the Year and earned Second-Team All-Conference honors.

After making an incredible impression in his first season, Patterson took his game to another level as a sophomore. He set Buffalo’s school records with 1,799 rushing yards and 19 rushing touchdowns. As the conference’s leader in every rushing category, Patterson ran away with first-team All-MAC honors.

Jaret Patterson might shatter his own records this season. The junior has an eye-popping 920 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns in four games this year. He’s having plenty of fun, especially with his twin brother James, who also played at Pallotti, starting on Buffalo’s defensive side.

Despite not playing in a Power 5 conference, Saturday’s performance vaulted him onto the Heisman Trophy watch list. Getting Heisman consideration is incredible, but this is even bigger for Patterson’s future. Already on the NFL’s radar, performances like this are doing wonders for his stock in a loaded 2021 NFL Draft class.

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