The Toledo Rockets were in a perfect position last weekend against the Ball State Cardinals. Tied at 24 late in fourth quarter, the Rockets had their opportunities to pull off the upset and pick up a conference win.
However, Ball State proved to be the stronger team as they won 31-24. Sitting at 2-3, the Rockets have little time to think about last week’s loss with the Western Michigan Broncos coming to town. The Broncos are 0-5, but they are a conference opponent and the Rockets will need to be focused and prepared on Saturday in order to get the victory.
Toledo’s offense started to show signs of emerging during last week’s loss. The Rockets were able to move the ball effectively, racking up 415 total yards of offense, however, ball security was an issue as the team committed two turnovers.
The Rockets are averaging 24.8 points per game and are 89th in the nation in passing offense (212.4 passing yards per game). Quarterback Terrance Owens threw for 274 yards last week, and will look to test a tough Broncos secondary that is yielding 168.8 passing yards per game.
Running back David Fluellen (626 rushing yards) has been consistent over the last four weeks and will look for running room against the Broncos. Western Michigan’s defense is giving up 253.8 rushing yards per game this season.
The Rockets have been struggling this year with playing undisciplined football. For the season, the Rockets have committed 33 penalties through five games (6.6 penalties per game). Last week against the Cardinals, the team committed 10 penalties for 97 yards. They cannot afford for this style of play to carry over into this game with Western Michigan.
Toledo has been aggressive in rushing the passer this season. The team has 13 sacks on the year and has been able to force opposing quarterbacks to throw under constant pressure. The Rockets’ secondary has been solid, allowing 248 passing yards per game and has five interceptions on the season. As a defense, the Rockets have been very opportunistic with a +4 in turnover margin.
The Rockets will look to contain a Western Michigan offense that is generating 14 points per game (122nd in the nation). Western Michigan is at the bottom of the nation in total offense with 188.6 passing yards per game (100th in nation) and 122 rushing yards per game (100th in the nation).