BUFFALO, NY – In the wake of his record-setting performance in Buffalo's 51-10 win over Akron on Saturday, sophomore tailback Branden "Bo" Oliver is earning some national recognition.
Oliver broke the Bulls' Division I-A record with his 235 yards rushing on 29 carries in the win (8.1 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. The previous record was current Green Bay Packer James Starks' 231 yards versus Toledo in October of 2007.
Oliver was one of six players honored nationally on ESPN's College Football Final show with hosts Rece Davis, Lou Holtz and Mark May. Oliver earned a "Helmet Sticker" – as Starks did in 2007 – for his performance in helping the Bulls break a four-game losing streak and score the most points by a UB team since 1992.
In addition, Oliver was chosen as the running back Performer of the Week, along with Utah State's Robert Turbin, by College Football Performance Awards, for his effort which left him just 65 yards short of Starks' single season rushing record.
Head coach Jeff Quinn credited his offensive line and Oliver's effort when assessing the record-breaking performance: "I'm really pleased to see how well our offensive line has developed from last year to this year and we only have one player graduating and Bo is coming back. Bo inspires us...its not only him running through those holes, but when he lowers his shoulder he makes a tremendous impact and it just inspires us and creates a very positive energy on our sideline and that's why our kids are excited about (him breaking the record)."
Three other Bulls players also earned recognition by College Football Performance Awards after the win. Khalil Mack (linebacker), Patrick Clarke (placekicker) and Brandon Murie (kick returner) all earned honorable mention kudos at their respective positions.
Mack had five solo tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and a forced fumble to lead the UB defense. Freshman kicker Clarke converted on five PATs and field goals of 29, 41 and a career-long 49 yards to improve to 4-of-4 on the season on field goals. Murie started the game with a 93-yard kickoff return, which set up UB's first score from one yard out.