Toledo's season has been a series of highs and lows.
Beating Michigan at the Big House, the Rockets logged the conference's highest-profile win of the year. Toledo also took No. 25 Fresno State to overtime.
On the other hand, Ball State shut out Toledo, 31-0. Florida International also extinguished the Rockets in Toledo, 35-16. Northern Illinois dealt the Rockets a severe beatdown by a 38-7 count.
In its wins, Toledo has run the ball effectively. Coach Tom Amstutz relies on two backs: Morgan Williams and DaJuane Collins. You might remember Williams as a Canton McKinley recruit whom the Zips pursued. He went to Toledo as a nonqualifier and has been dependable. The freshman ran for 142 yards against Fresno State. Collins, a junior, is sixth in the MAC in rushing yards, averaging 79.6 yards per game.
Aaron Opelt has been a consistent passer, but nothing special. He has only thrown three interceptions, but also has never eclipsed 265 yards passing. His chief receivers are Stephen Williams and Nick Moore. Williams is ninth in the MAC with 60.6 yards per game. Moore, a 6-foot-4 senior, had a huge game against Michigan, catching 20 balls for 162 yards.
Linebacker Archie Donald leads the defense in tackles, which is fifth in the conference. Also watch for safety Barry Church, another player whom the Zips recruited. As a unit, Toledo has only eight sacks. It has allowed the second-most first downs in the MAC (Akron is last in that category because the 3-3-5 is trash). The Rockets' rush defense and pass defense statistics are average, at best.
The game starts at 8 p.m. at the Rubber Bowl. I haven't seen any odds yet, but I would expect Akron to be a three- or four-point favorite.
The MAC East standings have become even more muddied since Akron played last. There are four teams with two wins: Akron, Buffalo, Temple and Bowling Green. The important category is the number of losses, of course. Only Akron and Buffalo have two losses. Miami plays at Buffalo on Tuesday at 7:30 on ESPN2. If Miami loses, the defending division champs fall out of contention. If Buffalo loses, Akron is alone in first. Both are good results. As for the other contenders, Bowling Green plays at Ohio on Saturday. Temple has a bye week.
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