AMHERST, N.Y. (WROC) — There’s no doubt. The story of the UB football team this year is running back Jaret Patterson. He’s breaking records and even getting some Heisman buzz.
But you don’t get his numbers without a strong offensive line, which features two Section V alums— Victor native Mike Novitsky and Pittsford Sutherland grad Jack Klenk.
“It’s fun just blocking for Jaret and you look up and he’s juking out a couple of guys and scoring a touchdown,” said Klenk. “It’s a good time. Just get your guy and then let it happen.”
Patterson knows that an 8-touchdown performance like the one he had against Kent State isn’t just a one-person accomplishment.
“Those guys up front definitely deserve some national attention,” said Patterson. “Those holes were pretty huge. It’s a team effort.”
Another part of that unit is blocking tight end Jake Molinich. The Pittsford native is also Buffalo’s nominee for the Burlsworth Trophy, given annually to the top player in college football who started his career as a walk-on.
That impressive offensive line hasn’t even allowed a sack this year and is powering the highest-scoring offense in the country. They’ve helped lead the Bulls to a top-25 ranking in the latest AP Poll, the first time Buffalo’s cracked the list in program history.
“It was almost not believable,” said Novitsky. “This program has grown so much in the past couple of years. To see it finally get the recognition that it deserves makes us just want to keep pushing and keep working harder.”
“It’s pretty surreal. It didn’t really register, I don’t even know if it still has yet,” said Klenk. “I think we’re still focused on playing each week, just focused on Akron and before we were focused on Ohio. I think we just want to win each game. We’re going to look back on it and realize how special it was. But right now we have to stay focused in order to keep it going and keep moving up.”
15 players on the Bulls are from Section V. Players from Monroe County make up more of the Bulls’ roster than any other county in New York State. Klink makes sure his teammates know it.
“Every time I see anyone, even at practice, make a play I’m always yelling ‘585’! My teammates just get annoyed with me because I always say that all the time,” said Klenk. “No matter who it is if they’re a freshman or a senior. I love just seeing guys from Rochester do well.”
The Bulls will wrap up the regular season against Akron on Saturday before their date in the MAC Championship Game. A win would give the Bulls their first conference championship since 2008.