Wednesday’s #MACtion match-up between the Toledo Rockets and the Buffalo Bulls features two teams that are looking to bounce back after disappointing outcomes last week. The Rockets lost on a field goal with 41 seconds remaining in the game, while the Bulls lost on a field goal as time expired. Fortunately for the Rockets, they have already clinched bowl eligibility at 6-4 with two more opportunities to pick-up wins to ensure being selected for a bowl.
The Rockets started the season strong, going 4-1, with their only loss coming on the road at Kentucky. Since then the Rockets have been shaky, going 2-3, including a loss to a bad Bowling Green team. The Rockets struggles have been tightly tied to the injury of star QB Mitchell Guadagni, who left the Bowling Green game, and has not seen the field since.
With Guadagni out, the Rockets first turned to QB Carter Bradley who also was injured and has not played in three weeks, so it’s likely that QB Eli Peters is behind center for the Rockets when they face-off against UB. Peters is experienced, having split reps with Guadagni last season until Guadagni was injured, giving Peters full control of the Toledo offense. Over the past two seasons Peters has thrown for 2502 yards in 15 games, with a 24:9 TD to interception ratio. Peters’ top options out wide are WRs Bryce Mitchell and Danzel Mckinley-Lewis. The pair has combined for over 50 catches and 1000 yards to go with 5 TDs. The Toledo backfield also features a dynamic duo of RBs that rivals UB’s own. Bryant Koback and Shakif Seymour have have ran for 6.5 and 5.0 YPC respectively, on their way to piling up over 1700 yards and 14 TDs combined on the ground.
Toledo’s defense has been one of the worst in the MAC this season, allowing the second most yards per play (6.5), ahead of just Bowling Green. The defense has been particularly bad against the run, ranking last and allowing 5.2 yards per carry.
Individually, the defense is led by LB Jordan Fisher with 77 tackles on the season. The defensive backfield is led by Kahlil Robinson (3 INTs and 3 passes defended), and Samuel Womack (2 INTs and 14 passes defended). Toledo will be without their top pass rusher Terrance Taylor who has been suspended for a very late hit in last week’s game against NIU.
The Bulls are 8 point favorites at home in this one, and need to win their last two to feel good about securing a bowl bid. Toledo is a talented team, but down their top two QBs and their top pass rusher this is one the Bulls need to win. We’ll see how Lance Leipold is able to get the team to bounce back after last weeks disappointing collapse.