Although the Toledo Rockets picked up their first victory over Eastern Washington last weekend, it did not come without a cost. Starting quarterback Terrance Owens was lost due to a knee injury and the team had to rely on true freshman Logan Woodside to carry them to victory. However, if the Rockets are to get back to a bowl this season, they will need to ride the coattails of their star running back David Fluellen.
Woodside performed admirably in filling in for Owens. He completed 14-of-24 passes for 185 yards and one touchdown. The Rockets accumulated 530 yards of total offense in the 33-21 win against Eastern Washington. The Rockets were able to explode for 325 yards on the ground as running back David Fluellen carried the rock 21 times for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
Fluellen will be counted on this weekend to take the pressure off of Woodside against the Central Michigan Chippewas. Central Michigan is yielding 173 rushing yards per game and has failed to slow down any of their first three opponents. The Chippewas are giving up 37 points per game and have given up an average of 3.98 yards per rushing attempt. Fluellen will be counted on by head coach Matt Campbell to provide balance to the offense.
This will allow the coaching staff to open up the playbook and give Woodside more plays to engineer.
In order for the Rockets to get back to .500 this weekend, Fluellen must be able to find running room against the Chippewas. This will take the pressure off of Woodside, who will be making his first career start (on the road) and allow the play-action passing game to develop.
When given time last week against Eastern Washington, Woodside did produce. He connected on an 81-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Bernard Reedy that allowed the Rockets to pull away in last weekend’s victory.