Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson expected to play in Camellia Bowl

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo’s Jaret Patterson is expected to play against Marshall in the Camellia Bowl, a week after one of the nation’s leading rushers hurt his right knee.

Coach Lance Leipold said Patterson should be “ready and able to go” after the junior worked out individually on the sideline during practice.

Leipold said it remains to be determined whether Patterson would wear a protective brace on the knee he hurt in the third quarter of a 38-28 loss to Ball State in the Mid-American Conference championship last Friday. The coach wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Patterson seeing limited playing time.

“I guess go is go. Would I see a little more rotation? Possibly,” Leipold said.

Patterson was hurt while being tackled for a loss and returned briefly in the fourth quarter while wearing a brace. He finished with a season-low 47 yards on 18 carries but scored his 19th touchdown rushing to match the school single-season record he set last year.

Overall, Patterson leads the nation by averaging 178.7 yards rushing per outing, and he ranks 10th with 1,072 yards despite Buffalo (5-1) playing just six games this season.

In the Bulls’ regular-season finale against Akron, Patterson matched a major college football record by becoming the 12th player to reach 1,000 yards rushing in just five games.

Patterson made headlines last month when he finished with 409 yards rushing and matched a single-game major college record by scoring eight touchdowns in a 70-41 win at Kent State. His rushing total was the second-best in FBS history, and was 18 yards shy of the record set by Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine in 2014.

Patterson had 301 yards rushing the previous week to join former Texas star Ricky Williams in becoming the second college player to top 300 yards in consecutive weeks.

Buffalo is making its third consecutive bowl appearance and leads the nation in averaging nearly 310 yards rushing per game. Patterson shares the backfield duties with Kevin Marks, who has 77 carries for 603 yards and six TDs this year.