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Is this Buffalo Bulls Running Back Duo The Best In Program History?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 26 Central Michigan at Buffalo Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

While updating my record books this weekend I noticed something kind of cool..

In rushing yards both Patterson (8) and Marks (9) are in the top ten all time for UB Running backs, and both will likely move up a bit more before the season is over

Rank Final Year Att Yards TD YPC
1 Branden Oliver 2013 866 4011 33 4.63
2 James Starks 2008 698 3140 34 4.50
3 Alan Bell 1992 682 3022 21 4.43
4 Anthone Taylor 2015 554 2651 18 4.79
5 Anthony Swan 1996 586 2448 20 4.18
6 Jordan Johnson 2016 446 2212 19 4.96
7 O.D. Underwood 1987 438 2,062 23 4.71
8 Jaret Patterson 2019 375 2008 21 5.35
9 Kevin Marks 2019 350 1575 18 4.50
  • Both are also top ten in rushing touchdowns (Patters is 4th and Marks is 10th).
  • Both are top ten in YPC with backs that have 350 or more carries (11 total) Patterson’s YPC is 1st and Mark’s is 6th

Fun number time is over, the core here is that these are two players not even done with their Sophomore year yet and they are on pace to become the #1 and #2/3 backs all time for the Bulls. A lot of this hinges on staying healthy, of course, and UB keeping the offensive line as a strong unit for the next couple of seasons.

To date both backs, and the way the compliment each others style, has been the highlight of a season that was supposed to be a rebuilding year. After a 10 win 2018 campaign the Bulls lost offensive skill player of note as they either graduated or left the school.

Patterson is five years away from a 1,000 yard season and Marks is at 730. Patterson could hit one K with his first run against Kent (if he stick to his career average) and Marks needs 90 yards a game (or 68 if UB makes a bowl game).

When we were talking on Bulls and beers the enormity of that hit, two backs over 1,000 yards has never happened at Buffalo.

2013 Branden Oliver 310 1535 5.0 15 ESPN.COM
2014 Anthone Taylor 282 1403 5.0 12 ESPN.COM
2011 Branden Oliver 306 1395 4.6 13 TFS.COM
2008 James Starks 272 1333 4.9 16 TFS.COM
1986 O.D. Underwood 229 1,189 5.2 15 UB Record Book
1996 Anthony Swan 244 1117 4.6 9 TFS.COM
2007 James Starks 251 1103 4.4 12 TFS.COM
2016 Jordan Johnson 200 1040 5.2 6
1991 Alan Bell 225 1017 4.5 7 TFS.COM
2018 Jaret Patterson 183 1013 5.6 14

UB has had 10 seasons in which a back went over 1,000 yards since 1949, which is as far back as I’ve been able to piece things together from various sources.

It’s come close to happening three times (setting 800 as the floor).

  • In 1996 Anthony Swan ran for 1117 yards and Todd Pace put up 885.
  • In 2015 Anthone Taylor ran for 829 yards and Jordan Johnson put up 811
  • In 2018 Patterson ran for 1039 and Marks ran for 845

So is this the Buffalo Bulls Running Back Duo The Best In Program History? Yes, without a doubt

Either of this years backs, on their own, would probably be in the James Starks & Branden Oliver tier of UB running backs. Having them at the same time makes this team harder to defend against and allows them to keep fresh legs longer.

There are three games left this season. UB needs one to be bowl eligible, two to be likely, and three to be a no brainer. Each of these games are going to be played on clod November weeknights. And the UB Bulls will depend on the running game more than ever, which is something Kent, Toledo, and Bowling Green should be worried about.

I’m only upset getty or USA today didn’t have a shot with both backs on the field for me to use.

Picking between Patterson and Marks for the cover is a hard choice. I’m sure Lance Leipold can understand the dilemma.