WMU: 3 Days and Counting

What concerns should the Toledo Rockets (3-2, 1-0) have in mind as they prepare for homecoming against Western Michigan (2-3, 1-1) Saturday night? With just three days until kickoff, Rocket Digest examines these problem areas as Toledo takes aim on a third straight victory.

Saturday night the Western Michigan Broncos come to town to take on the Toledo Rockets in UT's homecoming game. The Rockets are 3-2 overall and 1-0 in the MAC so far, but this team knows that a win over Western Michigan Saturday night is a must if the are going to contend for the MAC West Division Title. What three concerns should Rocket fans be aware of heading into this homecoming game?

Three Big Concerns

1. The WMU Passing Game
Despite struggling early this year, Tim Hiller and the Western Michigan pass offense has the capability to take over a game. With Desmond Marrow still out after suffering a knew injury at Northern Illinois last year, Toledo's secondary is young. Three true freshman start in the secondary. Daxton Swanson has emerged as the team's top cornerback and he is a solid tackler, but Byron Best has been beat deep a few times at the other cornerback spot. The other true freshman starter in the secondary is Jermaine Robinson. He has played well, but is better against the run then in pass coverage. The only team Toledo has played with a strong passing game is Purdue, and they scored 52 points on the Rockets. With such a young secondary, the Rockets will have to get pressure on Hiller to try to disrupt the passing game.

2. Turnovers

Toledo has done a good job of winning the turnover battle this year, but last week at Ball State the Rockets committed three very costly turnovers. Those turnovers resulted in 14 points for the Cardinals. Toledo actually fumbled the ball four times, but were lucky enough to recover two of those fumbles. One fumble that Ball State recovered stopped a drive when UT was already at the BSU 35 yard line. The other was a miscue on a punt near midfield. Aaron Opelt also threw an interception that was returned 57 yards to give Ball State a 1st and goal inside the 10 yard line. Toledo has to shore up those turnovers and win the turnover battle Saturday night.

3. Penalties

Toledo is the most penalized team in the MAC, averaging 9 penalties for 75.2 yards per game. Last weekend at Ball State, Toledo committed 12 penalties for 104 yards. Many of the penalties are holding calls on either kick returns or on running plays. There have also been quite a few false start penalties, and some defensive pass interference penalties. Toledo has to stop shooting themselves in the foot if they are going to continue to win games. Some of those offensive holding penalties stopped promising drives against Ball State and that cannot happen agaisnt a better opponent.

Coming Up
On Monday – 5 Numbers to Note
On Tuesday – 4 Names to Know
On Wednesday – 3 Big Concerns
On Thursday – 2 Key Match Ups
On Friday – 1 Bold Prediction

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