Toledo Waits For Boise State

When some talking head criticizes Boise State's schedule, point them to Toledo. The Rockets took Ohio State to the brink on their own field before falling 27-22. The Rockets are one of the favorites in the MAC this season and the whole city of Toledo is fired up to face Boise State.

Ohio State has played the Toledo Rockets twice—and won by a combined score of 87-0.

Last weekend in the Horseshoe, things didn't go so easily for the Buckeyes. Toledo went toe-to-toe with the #15 team in the nation, coming one play and 16 yards short of getting the win. Defensive lineman Johnathan Lamb recovered a fumble on the Toledo 28-yard line with 3:08 remaining. Sophomore quarterback Terrance Owens drove his team down tie field before a fourth-and-5 pass was off the mark. Ohio State prevailed 27-22, but Toledo left the field with tons of confidence.

Despite injuries, the Toledo defense held Ohio State to 112 yards rushing. Offensively, big-play receiver Eric Page caught 12 passes for 145 yards, returned one kickoff for 42 yards and threw for a two-point conversion. Toledo loves to get the ball to Page and let him run in space. His 66-yard touchdown past the Buckeye secondary is evidence of his blazing speed if you let him loose. Page has 181 receptions for 18 touchdowns in just two seasons.

Page averaged 31.1 yards a return last year, third in the nation, and returned three kickoffs for TD's. Toledo Coach Tim Beckman has confidence in both Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens; both played considerably against Ohio State. Adonis Thomas ran for over 1,000 yards last season and averaged six yards a carry. The line features two four-year starters at tackle—Mike VanDerMuelen and John Morookian.

On defense, Toledo has six players they can rotate at defensive tackle that are all about 6-3, 290. Malcolm Riley, Lamb, Johnnie Roberts and Elijah Jones will lead the line while T.J. Fatinikun paces the ends. Dan Molls was second in the Metro Athletic Conference in total tackles and Ballard is a hybrid off the edge. Desmond Marrow is a sixth-year player and his size (6-3, 205) gives him the ability to shut down wide receivers of any size. Diauntae Morrow, Mark Singer & Ross Madison are talented safeties.

Toledo was two points away from a 10-3 season last year and is the preseason pick to win the MAC this year. Toledo officials are expecting a loud Glass Bowl this Friday night for the game with Boise State.

Kickoff is Friday night at 6.


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