First Look at the Toledo Rockets

The Arkansas State Red Wolves will make their fourth straight appearance in the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile on Jan. 4. It will be the third meeting in the series (Toledo leads 2-0) between the teams. The teams haven't met since 1992 but GoDaddy Bowl will be the first of three over the next 20 months.

Last year Arkansas State announced a two-year home and home series with the Rockets. Those games are scheduled to be played in Ohio on Sept. 20, 2015 and Sept. 3, 2016 in Jonesboro.

The Rockets finished the season 8-4. Their losses were to Missouri 49-24, Iowa State 37-30 and Northern Illinois 27-24.

Here is an early scouring report on the Rockets.

Toledo has captured at least a share of the Mid-American Conference West Division title in nine of the 18 years since the conference was split into divisions. The Rockets won outright titles in 1997 and 1998. They finished with a 7-1 league mark for the third time in the last five seasons and possess a 32-8 mark in league play during that time period.

Sophomore running back Kareem Hunt gained 100 yards on the ground vs. Eastern Michigan for a 10th-straight game as well as the 14th time in his last 15 outings. His nine 100-yard efforts this season are third most in school history behind Wasean Tait (12 in 1995) and Chester Taylor (10 in 2000). Hunt finished the day with 110 yards on 22 carries and moved into 14th place on UT’s career rushing yardage list with 2,226 yards. Hunt’s 1,360 rushing yards this season are the seventh most ever by a Rocket.

The Toledo rushing attack starts off with center Greg Mancz, the senior has been invited to the East-West Shrine game in Florida. He won the MAC's Vern Smith Leadership Award, traditionally given to the conference's top player. Mancz leads an offensive line where all five starters are seniors.

The Rockets are co-champions of the West Division of the Mid-American Conference, sharing the crown with Northern Illinois. NIU won the tie-breaker and advanced to the MAC Championship Game by virtue of its 27-24 win over UT. Toledo won its final two games of the regular-season, a 27-20 victory over MAC East Division champion Bowling Green on Nov. 19 and a 52-16 thrashing at Eastern Michigan on Nov. 28. The Rockets are bowl-eligible for the fifth-straight season.

Toledo played in Mobile for a bowl game in 2005 when it was known as the GMAC Bowl. The Rockets defeated UTEP, 45-13. This will be the 14th bowl for Toledo, and fourth in the last five years. The Rockets have a 9-4 bowl record and most recently played in the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, ID.

Some numbers:

In the MAC, the Rockets are second in scoring offense (34.4), first in total offense (486.3), second in rushing offense (247.3), and seventh in passing offense (239) and third in third-down conversion (45.4).

On defense, Toledo is eighth in scoring defense (29.3), seventh in total defense (402.9), second in rush defense (120), 12th in pass defense (282) and 12th in third-down conversion (45.6) percent).

Some miscellaneous numbers. Rockets average 37.2 yards per punt, have hit 17 pf 22 field goals and 48 of 51 extra points. They have 33 sacks and allowed just 16.