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UB's Oliver, Mack named to national award watch lists


Branden Oliver (top) and Khalil MackTop photo by Mark Mulville, Buffalo News / Bottom by John Hickey, Buffalo News --University at Buffalo football players Branden Oliver (top) and Khalil Mack (bottom, 46) were named to national award watch lists Tuesday.

By Aaron Mansfield

Two University at Buffalo football players are making national noise. 

The pair of Florida natives who have cemented their careers as some of the finest in UB history were named to national award watch lists Tuesday – running back Branden Oliver to the Maxwell Award (which recognizes the nation’s top college football player) and linebacker Khalil Mack to the Chuck Bednarik Award (the top defensive player).

They were both named to their respective watch lists in 2012, as well.

Mack and Oliver, roommates their junior year and training partners, are entering their senior year. Mack, a Sports Illustrated honorable mention All-American last season, had 94 tackles, including 21 for loss, eight sacks and four forced fumbles in 2012. He played 11 of the squad's 12 games. Oliver battled injuries last year and played just seven of the team's 12 games, but he averaged 117.3 rushing yards per game. He set UB's single-season rushing record (surpassing James Starks) with 1,395 yards his sophomore year.

Oliver is the first player in program history to be named to the Maxwell Award watch list. Seven Mid-American Conference players made this year's Maxwell watch list and two made the Bednarik.

The Bulls, who finished 4-8 last season, the third under head coach Jeff Quinn, will open their 2013 campaign Aug. 31 at Ohio State, ranked No. 5 in Sporting News' preseason NCAA rankings.

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Follow reporter Aaron Mansfield on Twitter @aaroncmansfield.



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About Campus Watch

Bob Dicesare

Bob DiCesare

Western New York native Bob DiCesare covers UB football, Big 4 basketball and writes an occasional column. He still holds a grudge against Chris Ford who, he's convinced, cost St. Bonaventure the 1970 NCAA basketball championship.

@TBNDicesare |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered colleges for The Buffalo News since 1999. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |