UB Football Expected to Be Third in MAC East Preseason Media Poll – Buffalo News | Hot Mobile Press

CLEVELAND — Eight months after going 4-8 aggregate and 2-8 in the Mid-American Conference, the University at Buffalo was selected for third place in the East Division in the 2022 24-man MAC Soccer Media Poll.

The projection is an improvement of sorts after the Bulls finished fifth in the East a season ago.

“You know, pre-season surveys are very necessary,” said Bulls coach Maurice Linguist. “This time of year brings all the excitement and all the juice and all the talk about football. We know where football is played, it’s played on the field. Our men in the dressing room know and understand that. We have work to do in August.”

Ahead of Buffalo to the east was Miami, Ohio, with 139 points, 20 first-place votes and five MAC Championship votes, followed by reigning division champions Kent State with 116 points and three first-place votes.

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Teams that don’t rank #1 usually feel insulted, and that insult is exactly why games are played. Teams are given weekly opportunities to prove a misjudgment and their results from training camp to the end of the season are what matters most.

“It doesn’t mean anything, but you still have to use it to stoke the fire that they doubt us,” Bulls linebacker James Patterson said. “We know what we can do and we know what kind of team we are and we just have to show that on matchday.”

Northern Illinois, the reigning West Division and MAC champion, is expected to repeat both titles with 122 points and nine championship votes, respectively. The Huskies aim to become the first consecutive MAC title holders since 2012, which included their streak of six straight championships.

Buffalo athletic director Mark Alnutt had no problem with the rankings. He took it as a compliment for the job of sophomore linguist coach.

“You know what, nice where we are,” Alnutt said. “They could put us sixth to be honest. I think when you have that position in there and again just the college landscape right now with the transfer portal and everything else, people who are putting together rosters as best they can, there’s a lot of unknowns across the league. For them to be recognized for the work he and the staff are doing and for the hard work our student-athletes put in over the off-season to finish third, I like our position and I like our opportunities to get ahead .

Polls aside, the 2022 season has plenty of fascination for the Bulls. Patterson, who was named a first-team All-MAC for the past two seasons, is entering his final season on watchlists for the Dick Butkus Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Outland Trophy.

“None of this means anything until my game confirms it,” Patterson said. “I really have to go out there every day to show it.”

With 294 career tackles, Patterson is six away from entering the top 10 in UB history. H would join a small group of bulls to raise at least 300 for her career. When briefed on this upcoming milestone, apart from a setback, Patterson looked up at the ceiling and said, “Wow, wow.”

Knowing he’s that close put a smile on Patterson’s face because one of his coaches, Justin Winters, went to UB with a tackle under 300.

“Looking back, I always tried to beat his tackle record. It really pushed me to be the best version of myself. He always told me, ‘You have to hit it, you have to hit it.’ That gave me the motivation to really beat it. Hearing that and saying that maybe I could call him and say, ‘I have to get it this year. I’m just grateful for him pushing me and being this coach pushing me over the top to be the player I am today.”

Joining Patterson on a preseason honors watch list is Quian Williams, a graduate of the wide receiver. In his first season with the Bulls, Williams was selected as the third All-MAC team. His game from the 2021 season, coupled with excitement about what he might be doing this fall, has earned him a spot on the Biletnikoff Award watch list.

“It just came from playing with great people, putting in a lot of work and praying even harder. It’s definitely something I’ve been striving for since I was a kid,” Williams said. “Just seeing my name on some great recipients across the country means a lot. It’s definitely something I’m pushing for, but ultimately I’m pushing for team success first and my success will come after that.”

2022 MAC Football Preseason Media Survey

East Division (first place votes)

1. Northern Illinois (11) 122 points

3. Central Michigan (4) 112

Voices of the MAC Soccer Champion: Northern Illinois 9, Toledo 6, Miami 5, Central Michigan 4.

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