The University at Buffalo football team is officially bowl-eligible.
Jaret Patterson scored five touchdowns and led the Bulls to a 49-30 win against Toledo on Wednesday at UB Stadium.
Patterson is the first Buffalo player in the FBS era to score five touchdowns in a game. Lou Corriere set the UB record of six touchdowns in a game on Nov. 7, 1942 against Hobart.
The sophomore running back also tied a Mid-American Conference record for individual touchdowns in a game, and he ran for a career-high 192 yards on 32 carries.
The Bulls (6-5, 4-3 MAC) close the regular season at noon Nov. 29 against Bowling Green at UB Stadium. Toledo (6-5, 3-4) finishes the regular season Nov. 29 at Central Michigan.
Four minutes after Evan Davis missed a 37-yard field goal attempt for Toledo, Kevin Marks gave the Bulls a 7-0 lead on a 4-yard touchdown run with 3:38 left in the first quarter.
Jaret Patterson opens UB's third drive with a 44-yard run to put UB at the Toledo 36. Three plays later, the Bulls notched a fourth-down conversion when quarterback Kyle Vantrease found Antonio Nunn for a 12-yard pass on fourth-and-5 from the Toledo 31, which helped set up Marks’ touchdown.
On Toledo’s ensuing drive, UB linebacker Matt Otwinowski intercepted UT quarterback Eli Peters (10 for 17 passing, 163 yards, interception) at the UT 26, and returned it two yards, which set up Vantrease’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Patterson and gave the Bulls a 14-0 lead.
That lead, however, was fleeting for the Bulls. Toledo needed 6 plays from the UB 45-yard line to cut UB's lead in half on Shakif Seymour's 1-yard touchdown run with 29 seconds left in the first quarter, a drive that started as a result of Ronnie Jones' 54-yard kickoff return.
Then, less than two minutes into the second quarter, the Rockets tied the game at 14-14 on a two-play drive that started at the Rockets 41-yard line, the result of a 26-yard punt by Jackson Baltar. Bryce Mitchell’s 56-yard catch opened the drive and put the Rockets at the UB 8, and on the next play, Devon Russell was called for pass interference, which put the Rockets at the 2 and set up Bryant Koback's touchdown run.
Patterson scored his second touchdown, a 1-yard run that completed a 10-play drive with 9:25 left that gave the Bulls a 21-14 lead, and after Thomas Cluckey cut UB’s lead to 21-17 on a 21-yard field goal with less than five minutes left in the half, Patterson scored his third touchdown on a 1-yard run with 40 seconds left in the half.
Cluckey kicked his second field goal, a 38-yard kick, at the end of the first half to cut UB’s lead to 28-20, then cut UB’s lead 28-23 3:06 into the second half on a 41-yard field goal.
Patterson completed a 14-play, 5-minute, 37-second drive with his fourth touchdown, a 2-yard carry with 6:37 left in the third that opened the Bulls’ lead to 35-23. About three minutes later, Koback was unable to hold onto Carter Bradley’s fourth-down pass from the UB 7, which preserved the Bulls’ 12-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
Patterson scored his fifth touchdown – his fourth rushing touchdown, a 7-yard run – 3:50 into the fourth quarter, which gave the Bulls a 19-point lead. Then, Vantrease capped off scoring for the Bulls with a 1-yard touchdown with 3:06 left.
Toledo's Ronnie Jones scored on a 5-yard touchdown run with 18 seconds left.