First reaction to Arkansas State at Toledo*

First reaction to AState at Toledo*

* = Censored for public consumption

This one went downhill from the start and left a lot of folks with a lot of questions. There turnover issues; there were penalty issues and there were running game issues. The Red Wolves lost in all three of those phases

Fredi Knighten was not available so redshirt freshman James Tabary got his second start. It was a lot different facing the Rockets’ defense than it was bigger, stronger and faster than Missouri State. Tabary was sacked six times and tossed 3 interceptions.

Obviously having a healthy Knighten would have helped. He would have had to speed that Toledo would have to respect. They knew Tabary was not going to run and it showed.

The offensive line had a rough night. The final numbers showed a negative 14 rushing, most of that coming on a minus 54 yards in sacks.

Toledo took the opening kickoff and drove 71 yards to take the lead. J.D. McKissic fumbled the ensuing kickoff and the Rockets cashed in for a field goal and a 10-0 lead.

Ja'Von Rolland-Jones’ interception set up the Red Wolves with a first and goal and that wound up missing a 20-yard (Think extra point distance) field goal by Drew White.

So where to now? Up next is the Sun Belt opener with Idaho at home. The non-conference schedule has been brutal so we will see if it made the Red Wolves’ better.

ALARMING NUMBERS

  • Two trips inside the Red Zone and no points.
  • Going 2 of 13 on third-down conversions while Toledo was 10 of 20.
  • Toledo ran 98 plays. A-State ran 59.
  • Time of possession: Toledo 28:37; A-State 21:23.
  • 90 yards in penalties, several of the costing the Red Wolves big plays.

COMMENTARY

We felt like it would not be an easy task. While the Rockets’ numbers coming in were a little out of whack for a 2-0 team, they were strong in the red zone and limited points. We saw how they are in the red zone. They won the stat war for the first time this season against a Red Wolves team that looked out-of-sync from the start. Toledo’s first scoring drive was awfully easy.

You have to love J.D. McKissic. Yes he fumbled on the first kickoff but played with passion and determination the rest of the night. And after taking the shot to the face (where targeting was the obvious call that everyone seem to notice but the referees) he still returned to play. He is giving you what you expect from a senior.

BLAKE ANDERSON

“We may have had the toughest schedule in the country to open the season. Toledo is a top-25, top-30 team and they played that way. We’ve played some good opponents and got hammered a little bit, but we’ve learned a lot about our team. Our number one goal in the off-season was to find a way to win the Sun Belt and that starts next week with Idaho. I know this about our guys; they will pull together and work hard for this. They’ve done it everyday since they’ve been here and they’ll prepare to win one week at a time in the Sun Belt. This team is capable of that, but it’s been a tough four weeks. “