Record-setting running back Branden "Bo" Oliver and standout linebacker Khalil Mack today were named first-team all-Mid-American Conference. The two sophomores -- and offseason workout partners -- were the only two University at Buffalo players named to the first team. Wide receiver Marcus Rivers was selected to the second team and Terrell Jackson given honorable mention at punt return.
Oliver and Mack were obvious first-team selections. Oliver finished second in the conference with a school-record 1,395 rushing yards and was UB's workhorse, rushing a record 306 times. He also had 1,760 all-purpose yards, breaking the UB mark held by James Starks.
Mack, like Oliver a Florida native, was first in the MAC and fourth in the country with 20.5 tackles for losses. He was 10th in the nation with five forced fumbles.
Rivers comes as a surprise. While he led the Bulls with 60 catches, he barely averaged 10 yards a reception and found the end zone just twice. However, he ranks among the better blocking receivers in the league.
Jackson, last year's first-team punter returner, missed the second half of the season after suffering a head/neck injury against Temple.
Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish was voted the Offensive Player of the Year (a no-brainer), Western Michigan DL Drew Nowak the Defensive POY, Ohio PK Matt Weller the Special Teams POY and Bowling Green RB Anthon Samuel the Freshman of the Year. The MAC's top coach was Ron English of Eastern Michigan.
-- Bob DiCesare
taggedCollege football | Mid-American Conference | University at Buffalo