Kevin Marks Jr. had a big day for Buffalo on Saturday, running 16 times for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
He was only 312 yards and six touchdowns behind his own teammate in the same game.
Jaret Patterson tied an FBS record with eight rushing touchdowns — matching the mark set by Howard Griffith of Illinois in 1990 — and ran for 409 yards, the most in a game since Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine ran for a record 427 yards, with five touchdowns, against Kansas in 2014.
In one 70-41 win over Kent State, Patterson doubled his season touchdown total, and nearly doubled his season rushing total — he came into the game having run for 511 yards on 71 carries, impressive in its own right as a 7.2-yard average rush.
There are 45 entire teams in FBS who entered Saturday with seven or fewer rushing touchdowns this season, including Florida, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Going into the Egg Bowl, Mississippi State had rushed 114 times for 151 yards and five touchdowns.
Patterson already was Buffalo’s career rushing touchdown leader with 41. Had Saturday been the only game he’d ever played, Patterson would be tied for 18th in school history. His full 2020 season would rank 10th on the Bulls’ career list.
Together, Patterson and Marks made Buffalo the first team to run for 10 touchdowns in a game since Georgia Southern had six different players go in against Georgia State in 2014. That was a 69-31 affair in which Donovan Harden caught 11 passes for 186 yards and four touchdowns for the Panthers in defeat. The record remains 12 rushing touchdowns, set by UTEP (then known as the College of Mines and Metallurgy, before it became Texas Western the following year) against New Mexico State (then New Mexico A&M) in 1948.
The Bulls’ 515 rushing yards as a team were plenty impressive, but nowhere near the 768 that Oklahoma put on Kansas State in 1988. It was the first 500-yard rushing game this season, following two last year, as Army ran for 594 yards against VMI and Kentucky had 517 yards on the ground against Louisville.
The funny thing was, there was no way to see this coming for Kent State, whose rushing defense isn’t great, but at 177.7 yards allowed per game, entered with a lead in that category on schools including Wake Forest, Central Florida, Florida State, Boise State, and Oregon. The Golden Flashes’ run defense slipped all the way to fourth-worst in FBS, ahead of only Akron, UMass, and Bowling Green at 262.3 yards allowed per game. And before allowing 10 rushing touchdowns in one game, Kent State had surrendered nine scores on the ground in three games.
Buffalo, now 4-0 and with at least 42 points scored in each game, has two games remaining, at Ohio and home against Akron. Patterson, who ran for 301 yards last week, needs just 318 yards to set Buffalo’s career rushing record, currently held by Branden Oliver at 4,049 yards.