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After Slow Start, Oliver Back to Normal

To begin conference play, Oliver ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Is the senior captain back to his sophomore form?

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't the best of starts for Branden Oliver to begin the 2013 season.

As the face of the Buffalo Bulls offense, Oliver struggled with injury issues and his production dwindled as a result through the Bulls first four games.

After rushing for 73 yards against Ohio State in Buffalo's opener, Oliver played in less than a half against Baylor before being sidelined due to injury.

Against Stony Brook, the senior leader was held out as a precaution.

Luckily for Buffalo, the team had a bye following their five-overtime victory against the Seawolves, giving Oliver an extra week of rest to regain his health.

The break has paid dividends for the Miami, Florida native.

Oliver has run for 240 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulls two games since, being named Week Six MAC East Offensive Player of the Week in the process.

"Bo Oliver, our running back and our offensive line had a solid day running the ball." Buffalo coach Jeff Quinn said Monday about his senior captain's play on Saturday.

Oliver is now up to 345 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the year. Far below what was expected at this point of the season but a total to add on to as the Bulls open MAC play.

Quickly approaching 3,000 career-rushing yards, Oliver will surpass the magic milestone in the next two weeks as he sits at 2,859 career rushing yards.

In the process, he’s closing in on James Starks all-time Buffalo rushing record.

Oliver has had a magical career at Buffalo. The one shame is that injuries have gotten in the way at times.

The good news for Bulls fans is that he appears 100% healthy now and should go on a tear the rest of the year.

One thing that was nice to see from Oliver this past Saturday was a 60-yard touchdown burst in the first quarter to put Buffalo up 7-0 over Eastern Michigan.

On the run, he made a great cut and showed a burst of speed to reach the end zone. The play was one of many that caught Quinn’s attention.

"Offensively, the thing that jumped out to me more than anything was the 15 explosive plays." Quinn said.

Oliver will continue to be a factor the rest of the year as Buffalo will need him to return to his old form if they want to compete for a MAC East division title.

The good news for Bulls fans is that appears to be back to his old self.

The rest of the MAC should go on notice because Branden Oliver is back and that’s not going to be good for the rest of the conference.