BUFFALO, NY (UBAthletics) - For his efforts in leading the team to a critical division win over Ohio Saturday afternoon, sophomore running back Branden Oliver was named the Mid-American Conference's East Division Player of the Week for the first time in his career.
The Miami, FL native ran for a career-high 179 yards on 34 carries and scored three touchdowns, including the game-winner with 5:45 remaining on fourth and one, to help lift Buffalo to a 38-37 win over Ohio. Oliver scored from 12, 1 and 1 yards out and also added a career-long 58-yard burst to set up another Buffalo score. In addition, the sophomore had a career-high five receptions for 43 yards to bring his all-purpose total to 222 yards for the game. Oliver now has four 100-yard games on the season.
Oliver had over 100 yards before halftime, and his 179 yards on the ground were the most by a UB rusher since James Starks ran for 181 against UTEP in 2008. He is quietly putting together one of the best seasons ever by a Bulls running back in Division I-A, with 679 yards (113.2 per game) and eight touchdowns through the first six games. In MAC games alone, Oliver is averaging 148.5 yards per game. He has also featured more in the passing game, with 16 catches (third most on the team) for 98 yards.
Next up for Oliver and the Bulls is a trip to the City of Brotherly Love for a matchup against the Temple Owls on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1 pm.