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Buffalo Bulls on the Maxwell and Bednarik Award watchlist

Branden Oliver has been named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, which recognizes the nation’s top college football player. Khalil Mack has been named to the watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive player.

Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

UB's biggest stars have each found themselves on watch lists for two of the most prestigious awards in college football.

Brenden Oliver, became the first player in school history to be named to the Maxwell Award watch list last season has landed in the spotlight second straight year. Oliver fought through injury last season to put up 821 yards in just seven games, including a season opener against Georgia that garnered him numerous accolades. The senior running back averaged 117.3 rushing yards per game in 2012 to rank fourth in the Mid-American Conference.


Oliver joins six other MAC running backs on the 75-man list. He joins Dri Archer (Kent State), Beau Blankenship (Ohio), David Fluellen (Toledo), Jordan Lynch (Northern Illinois), Zurlon Tipton (Central Michigan) and Keith Wenning (Ball State).


Khalil Mack is taking aim at two national records this season both forced fumbles and tackles for loss are attainable goals this year. he is just 19 tackles for loss shy of the all-time national mark and just three forced fumbles away from the career leaders as well.

Last season, the senior linebacker earned first-team All-Conference honors for the second year in a row, and also was tabbed by Sports Illustrated as an honorable mention All-American. The Fort Pierce, FL native had 94 tackles, including 21 tackles for loss, again putting him among the nation's best in the category. Mack added four forced fumbles and eight quarterback sacks in 2012.

Mack is one of only two Mid-American Conference players on the list, joining Roosevelt Nix of Kent State.

It's rare to have this much star power on the team, and especially on each side of the Ball. This is begining to look like it could be a break out season for the Bulls.