2012 Toledo Rockets Football Preview
2011 Record: 9-4 (7-1 Mid-American)
Head Coach: Matt Campbell, first season (1-0 at Toledo)
Projected Returning Starters: 9
Spring Game: April 13th (Blue 21 Gold 13)
Notes: Traditionally, Toledo has been one of the top, if not the top, MAC program, winning the MAC Championship 10 times. Despite Miami University being known as the Cradle of Coaches, Toledo has a strong argument that their coaches have been fairly successful, as well. Coach Gary Pinkel led the Rockets from 1991-2000, winning the conference title in 1995, finishing 11-0-1 with a ranking of 24th. He also won the West Division three more times from 1997-2000. Prior to Pinkel, Nick Saban coached the Rockets for a year. Of course, Saban has gone on to win three national titles. Toledo’s most recent coach, Tim Beckman, is now the head man at Illinois. Now, Matt Campbell takes over. Most of Campbell’s assistant coaching experience has been in Northwest Ohio, serving as an assistant at Toledo and rival Bowling Green.
BVTSB Take: Toledo shared the MAC West title last season, losing on a tiebreaker to Northern Illinois based on a 63-60 shootout loss to the Huskies on November 1st, at home. Still, the Rockets improved on the prior season, and finished the season in fine fashion, after starting the season 1-3. Toledo could very well have started the season 3-1, as they had Ohio State on the ropes (and had an opportunity to win the game on their final drive). They lost at Syracuse based on horrible officiating, where a missed extra point for the Orange was counted as a successful kick – Syracuse won the game in overtime. Toledo was 3-3 in games decided by a touchdown or less in 2011, including a 42-41 win over Air Force in the Military Bowl. Toledo ranked eighth in the country in average points per game with 42.2. The offense was led by quarterbacks Terrance Owens and Austin Dantin. The junior Owens and the senior Dantin will return this year – the two combined for over 3400 yards passing and 33 touchdown passes; they had only 7 interceptions. Their numbers were extraordinary – expect these numbers to come back to earth a bit this season. Running back David Fluellen, who had 97 carries in 2011, has the most experience at the position, as both Adonis Thomas and Morgan Williams depart. Probably the biggest loss is wide receiver Eric Page, who decided to forego his final two seasons at Toledo and take a shot at the pros. Page went undrafted, but has signed with the Denver Broncos. Page had 2 kick returns for touchdowns, 10 receiving touchdowns, and 1182 yards receiving. Dwight Macon, a converted quarterback, is said to be the replacement for Page this season. Wide receiver Bernard Reedy also returns this year, having nine touchdown catches and 758 yards receiving in 2011. The Rockets face Arizona and Wyoming on the road and Coastal Carolina and Cincinnati at home in non-conference play. Don’t be surprised if they go 1-3 in non-conference play again. Toledo has a relatively soft schedule in terms of MAC East teams, facing Buffalo and Akron, but they do face rival Bowling Green week 3, at the Glass Bowl. Toledo’s lack of experience and the depth of the MAC West will give them trouble. Still, a bowl appearance is likely in what projects to be a rebuilding year.
2012 Early Projection: 6-6
To see the 2012 MAC composite schedule, click here.
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