• Joe Broback

Mid-American Conference 2020 Preseason Superlatives

Simply put, MACtion is some of the most entertaining football in the college game. And it's not just because they play on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during November. Starting with Buffalo, the favorite to win the conference, the MAC boasts some great players, and not just within the Group of 5. If you're not paying attention to this conference, you're missing out.

Best Offensive Player: RB Jaret Patterson, Buffalo

This is a no-brainer. Patterson exploded in the second half of the season for the Bulls, and heads into the 2020 season as one of the best players in the country. He carried the ball 312 times for 1,799 yards, but it's his work in the final stretch that was the most impressive. IN his last three games, he rushed for 663 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Best Defensive Player: LB Treshaun Hayward, Western Michigan

When you produce 142 tackles, people tend to notice. Hayward was a monster on the defensive side of the ball for the Broncos. He also finished second on the team in tackles for loss (11) and tied for first in sacks (4.5). That type of production gives the coaching staff a player they can move around to make plays, and at times can limit what an offense tries to do against them.

Underrated: S Saeed Holt, Toledo

Holt wasted little time inserting himself for the Rockets. In the first game against Kentucky, he made a handful of huge plays that kept Toledo competitives against the Wildcats. While he plays safety, Holt's used in a ton of different looks to put him in position to make plays. His 11 tackles for loss led the team, and no other player had double digits in that category. He's more comfortable near the line of scrimmage, but he can play all over the field. Toledo should have one of the better secondaries in the MAC, and Holt can be one of the best players in the conference on the defensive side of the ball.

Don't Forget About: RB Kevin Marks, Buffalo

Jaret Patterson demands plenty of attention, and for good reason. It's tough to be Patterson's backup, but Marks didn't let that stop him from producing. The Bulls second man rushed for 1,035 yards on 227 carries, meaning teams don't have time to relax when Patterson goes to the sideline. In an offense that's still looking for more consistency in the passing game, having this two headed rushing attack is a valuable asset.

Also don't forget: QB Dustin Crum, Kent State

He doesn't put up any eye-popping stats, but he gets the job done. Crum is a solid passer who takes care of the football. His 20 touchdowns to just two interceptions thrown are evident of that, along with his 69.3 completion percentage. Throw in he can be a great downhill runner, and the Golden Flashes are in business this year. Which is weird to say considering at one point many were writing off this program completely just a couple years ago.

Newcomer: Kurtis Rourke, Ohio

Name sound familiar? It should. Nathan Rourke's little brother looks to fill his brother's shoes for the Bobcats this year. If the success runs in the family, Ohio's a competitor once again in the conference. All Kurtis has to do is compete with 10,091 career yards and 98 total touchdowns. Seems easy, right?

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