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Counterintelligence: Toledo

Occasionally, OTP has the great fortune of being able to reach across the various state lines of Blogfrica to learn a bit about upcoming opponents. Today, we turn to Toledo blog Let’s Go Rockets for their wisdom and the answering of our five questions for this weekend’s epic contest between the Rockets and our beloved Ball State Cardinals.

OTP: So, Toledo… you’ve got Ball State coming in on Saturday, the same BSU that dropped a Homecoming contest in extremely failtastic fashion to Western Michigan and followed that up with a bed shatting against the MAC doormat of Eastern Michigan. Realistically, how concerned are you at all that BSU even covers the spread? Any possibility of a win for the Cardinals? Are the fans and students already chalking this up as a W and moving on to the next week?
LGR: The EMU game is a shining example of how you can’t underestimate or look past another MAC opponent. That being said, we don’t think you can count BSU out of this ballgame and Beckman and his team won’t go into the matchup on Saturday night thinking they’ve already won. While Toledo’s defense has played well, our offensive play has been sporadic at times and while we don’t view this as an opening for BSU to sweep in, it is possible that it’ll keep this game closer than we’d like.

OTP: Give the Cardinals fans something to worry about when Toledo has the ball. What’s been the brightest spot of success so far this season for the Rockets? Any superstar playmakers we should know about as we build our taunting base?
LGR: As was the case last year, Eric Page is a threat anytime he’s on the field (WR, KR/PR) while our young QB (Dantin) is progressing, Page is already at the next level and is dangerous everytime he gets the ball. The ability to make plays after the catch and get separation from his defender will leave opponent defenses chasing him all over the field. Our running game is picking up steam as well, Adonis Thomas and Morgan Williams are able to hit the openings created for them by the o-line and make plays. Be mindful of the QB scramble as well, Dantin has rushed for 236 yards on the season (72 yards in the last game against Kent State).

OTP: Same for the Toledo defense. Who stirs the drink on UT’s defensive side? Who should we purchase voodoo dolls for?
LGR: Ball State will want to watch out for our defensive line. Malcolm Riley and T.J. Fatinikun are particularly pesky up front for opponent defenses. Archie Donald, Dan Molls and Isaiah Ballard will also cause problems from the linebacker position. Keep an eye out for senior DE Alex Johnson who is returning from an injury (suffered against WMU).

OTP: You guys are undefeated in the MAC, yet got drilled by your two most impressive opponents (Boise State and Arizona). Clearly there’s no shame in that, but has there been any noticeable differences in the performance, execution, or gameplan in the Ws as opposed to the Ls?
LGR: As with most big name opponents, it’s tough to keep your composure when the heat is on. We can claim that we were shaking off the rust and getting into a rhythm when we played Arizona the first week of the season, but the same excuse doesn’t fit for the Boise State game. Aside from the obvious talent of those opponents, a lot of little factors contributed to the two loses for the Rockets. Penalties and poor execution let a lot of opportunities slip past the team and with a slightly stunted offense at times, the play-calling has errored on the side of conservative in the hopes of giving the defense a chance to keep us in the game. That has worked at times, but doesn’t always put points on the board. In situations where we’ve relaxed and played Toledo football, we’ve walked away with the Ws even out of conference (here’s looking at you, Purdon’t).

OTP: Assuming you’ll predict a Toledo win (and feel free to predict a W and the score), what would you consider to be a victory you’re happy with? What sort of things will have to occur for you to consider Saturday a successful outing outside of just throwing up a W?
LGR: As we mentioned before, if we settle in and play Toledo football, we don’t see any reason that the Rockets won’t be happy at the end of the night. It would be good to see Dantin have another successful night and get the ball out to Page for plenty of catches. It’d be a good night if the running game really takes off and gets a good foothold and confidence boost for the rest of the season by putting up some strong numbers and showing they can score as well. The defense needs to continue dominating the opposing offenses and hold BSU to as few rushing yards as possible (currently, the UT defense is first in the conference in rushing defense against MAC opponents and allows just 63 yards / game) Creating a few turnovers, whether by fumble or INT would go a long way to showing that in a pinch, we can still rely on our D (something we haven’t been able to say for the last few seasons) We would also like to avoid the injury bug.

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One Response

  1. I am a toledo fan and I am very impressed with the way BSU started against Toledo. I think BSU will be a contender in the years to come. Also I thought I would take this chance to say the Cards RB’s need to read the name of your website ” over the Pylon” Its not good to fumble when no one touches you!!

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