No player from the Mid-American Conference has won the Heisman. Buffalo tailback Jaret Patterson could change that this year. Here are two props available to wager at Mybookie on Patterson’s Heisman Trophy chances and Buffalo’s 2020 college football season – assuming there is one – and an overview.
Jaret Patterson Heisman Trophy Odds & Analysis For 2020 Season
Patterson played high school football at St. Vincent Pallotti in Maryland. He rushed for 2,045 yards and 23 touchdowns his senior season. In a game vs. Riverside Baptist he accounted for 558 all-purpose yards (282 rushing, 54 receiving, 124 KOR, 98 INT return). Still, he wasn’t considered a top recruit.
“The recruiting process, I heard it all. Coaches saying, ‘He’s a good player, he’s too small, he can’t play in the ACC, the Big Ten, he’s too small,'” said Patterson.
As Patterson waited for an offer, his twin brother and UB defensive captain James had several, including one from Buffalo.
As a freshman in 2018 at Buffalo, he played in all 14 games and started six. Patterson was named the MAC Freshman of the Year and All-MAC Second Team. He led the team in rushing with 1,013 yards and 14 touchdowns on the season – both school records for a freshman running back. He averaged 5.5 yards per carry, which was third in school history for a single season.
Last year as a sophomore, Patterson had the best season by a running back in school history. He rushed for a single-season school record 1,799 yards and scored 19 rushing touchdowns, also a school record. Patterson led the MAC and ranked fifth in the nation in rushing. He had eight 100-yard rushing games on the season and was named the Walter Camp National Player of the Week after rushing for a single-game school record 298 yards and a Mid-American Conference record six touchdowns against Bowling Green.
Patterson was twice named MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Wee and was named the Offensive MVP of the Bahamas Bowl after rushing for 173 yards and two touchdowns against Charlotte.
With another performance like last year’s, he should find himself as one of the top running backs in the 2021 NFL Draft class. Patterson isn’t the fastest or most explosive running back. But what he does well is somehow manage to slip out of tackles and keep going for extra yardage.
Patterson will be running behind an offensive line projected to be one of the better units in the country by Pro Football Focus.
The Bulls return eight starters on offense and nearly 100 percent of their total offensive production from a season ago. All but one running back who had a carry and one wide receiver who caught a pass are returning along with every quarterback to an offense that posted record-setting offensive numbers last season. The Bulls shattered the school record for rushing in 2019 with 3,256 yards to lead the MAC and rank 10th in the nation.
One issue for Patterson is that he shares carries with Kevin Marks, who comes off a strong season in his own right. The junior rushed for a career-best 1,035 yards and scored eight touchdowns in 2019. Over his two seasons, Marks has rushed for 1,880 yards and 21 touchdowns. He ranks in the top 10 in school history in career rushing yards and career rushing touchdowns.
Obviously, it’s unlikely a MAC player is going to win the Heisman. The last Bull to contend for national recognition, defensive end/linebacker Khalil Mack, used a season opening game against Ohio State to grab the attention of voters. Mack went on to be the No. 5 overall pick in the 2014 draft by the Raiders – he now plays for Chicago.
Buffalo opens the season at Kansas State on Sept. 5. K-State will pay Buffalo a $900,000 guarantee for the game, which will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools.