Defense Is Key To A Toledo Rockets Victory Over Navy in Week 8

By Joseph Lisi
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Toledo is 3-3 on the season and is coming off an impressive 47-20 victory over Western Michigan two weeks ago. The Rockets have found the answers to their early offensive struggles and are averaging over 30 points in three of their last four games. However, when the Navy Midshipmen come to town this Saturday, the Rockets will need a valiant effort from their defense to secure a victory.

Navy possess the 11th best rushing attack in the country, averaging 277 rushing yards per game. Playing in the MAC, Toledo faces mostly spread offenses that are pass happy and rush the football to keep the offense balanced.

However, with the Midshipmen, the defense must prepare for the triple-option and a zone blocking scheme that the team rarely faces. Toledo will have an extra week to prepare for Navy’s triple-option attack, however, it is very hard to duplicate the game speed on the blocking schemes in practice.

On the season, the Rockets have been solid against the run, averaging 142.6 rushing yards per game. The Rockets’ secondary has been exploited this season, giving up 254.7 passing yards per game. The Rockets are 55th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing 25.2 points per game.

For the Rockets to get the victory at home, they must contain Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds. The sophomore leads the team in both passing and rushing. Through the air, Reynolds has completed 59.1 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and one interception.

However, it is in the rushing attack where Reynolds’ legs are lethal. For the season, he has gained 416 yards (4.7 yards per carry) with seven touchdowns.

Joseph Lisi is a MAC writer for, follow him on Twitter @GoForthe2, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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