Buffalo's Jaret Patterson surpasses 1,000 yards in five games as Bulls rout Akron

AMHERST, N.Y. -- Jaret Patterson ran for 105 yards and matched a major college football record by reaching 1,000 yards for the season in five games as No. 24 Buffalo routed Akron 56-7 on Saturday as a tune-up for the Mid-American Conference championship.

Patterson scored two touchdowns before halftime, bringing his season totals to 1,025 yards and 18 rushing TDs for the Bulls (5-0). He is the 12th player in FBS history to surpass 1,000 yards in as many games.

"We knew we had to dominate from the first play to the last whistle," Patterson said.

Patterson continued his record-setting run after he tied an FBS mark with eight rushing touchdowns in the Bulls' 70-41 victory against Kent State two weeks ago. His 409 yards rushing in that game were the second-highest total in major-college football history. Patterson's 710 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns over his previous two games also set an FBS record.

Named this week as one of 10 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award, Patterson leads the country in rushing yards per game (205) and yards per carry (8.3).

Kevin Marks Jr. led the Bulls with a career-high 182 yards and two touchdowns Saturday. Marks went over 100 yards and scored twice in the first half as Buffalo (5-0) built a 35-0 lead against Akron (1-5).

"It really shows what type of team we are," Patterson said. "How we handle success, not playing down to our opponent."

Buffalo coach Lance Leipold challenged his team after an idle week during which the Bulls entered the national rankings for the first time and were declared MAC East division champions.

"If you want to be a team that wins a championship, if you want to be a ranked team, you have to go out and play like it," Leipold said. "You can't wait for the so-called next bigger game."

Buffalo finished with 428 yards rushing. Backup quarterback Matt Myers scored on a 4-yard keeper in the third quarter and walk-on running back Tajay Ahmed added a 44-yard touchdown run late.

Buffalo's passing attack found the end zone for the first time in three games when Kyle Vantrease connected with Trevor Wilson for a 52-yard touchdown early in the third quarter. The Bulls ran for 21 straight touchdowns before that.

Jonzell Norrils scored on an 11-yard run in the fourth quarter for Akron. Buffalo had shutout Akron for nine straight quarters going back to 2018.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.