The adage of “Put up or shut up” certainly seems applicable to the Fighting Football Cardinals this weekend, as they go on the road to the Glass Bowl to face the Toledo Rockets with a pretty high likelihood that the rest of the season hangs in the balance. With a demoralizing loss to Indiana State following a heartbreaker at Iowa, this team is on the precipice of one of two roads. Either the losses are fuel for the team going forward in a band-them-together-to-come-out-stronger kind of deal or they become an excuse to let the season unravel and with it, the program building of the last three seasons is swiftly detonated. So yes, this game, and more importantly than the outcome, the performance within it, is kind of large.
Before we get into the whys and the hows of the game itself, it’s important to know the whos, namely the Toledo Rockets and their season to date, their young up and coming coach, and their replacement skill players that seem to be just as talented if not more so than the player they are replacing. If you thought when starting QB Phillip Ely went down with an injury against Missouri that Toledo became irrelevant, then you have another think coming. Replacement Logan Woodside torched Cincinnati and I am sure is licking his chops looking at the completions to the seam in the middle of the field that Indiana State found so successful over and over and over. Kickoff on Saturday is 7:00PM and it’s nut cutting time in the Glass Bowl for the Cardinals. The coaches are working on gameplanning, the players focused on practicing, but it’s time for you to better know Toledo!
Record: 1-2 (0-0 MAC)
Head Coach: Matt Campbell
Series: Tied! 19-19-1
Last Meeting: BSU won 31-24 in 2013 in Muncie
Toledo Head Coach Matt Campbell…
… is in his 3rd full season as the head coach at Toledo
… owns a career head coaching record of 18-11 (11-5 MAC)
… has spent all but two years in his 12-year coaching career in the MAC (4 of them at BG, 6 of them at Toledo)
… describes himself as “relentless”. That’s cute.
… is the second-youngest head coach in the FBS at age 34.
When it comes to Toledo versus Ball State…
… the Cardinals are riding a two-game winning streak, each coming by exactly 7 points.
… in games played in Toledo, the Rockets have an 11-7-1 all-time series lead.
… Toledo head coach Matt Campbell is yet to notch a W against the Cardinals as a head coach.
… this year’s game will be streamed on ESPN3.com or the WatchESPN app.
The Toledo Rockets…
… were picked in the preseason poll at media day to win the MAC West.
… lost starting junior QB Phillip Ely against Missouri on Sept. 6.
… replaced Ely with sophomore Logan Woodside who went 27-40 for 322 yards, 3TDs, and 0 INTs against Cincinnati.
… trailed at one point to Cincy 34-0, and mounted a furious comeback to make it 41-34. The final was 58-34.
… have a stout running game as well, as sophomore Kareem Hunt gained 101 yards on 12 carries against Cincy. He’s rushed for 100 yards or more every game this season and eight different times over his young career.
… also lost to SEC foe Missouri at home 49-24 in a game much closer than the score would indicate.
… defeated New Hampshire 54-20 to open their 2014 campaign.