Depth Chart |
Granted, the Rockets didn't win the MAC title last
season, they didn't even win their own division, but while Northern
Illinois might have played Akron for the conference championship,
Tom Amstutz's team had the last laugh blowing out UTEP 45-13 in the
GMAC Bowl in a bigger win than it might appear.
Toledo had been to plenty of bowl games, but it got annihilated by a
combined score of 90 to 35 over the previous two and gave the MAC a
bit of a black eye. Now the Rockets will try to shoot for even more with the
team to make the type of national noise Miami University got in 2003
with Ben Roethlisberger.
Oh sure, winning the MAC is the first goal going into every
season, but it's just as important on a national scale to be
consistent and to occasionally get the big wins in high profile
games. Averaging nine wins a season under Amstutz shows just how
good the program has been over the last five seasons and it's going to be five in six.
Head coach: Tom Amstutz
6th year: 45-18
Off. 20, Def. 22, 2 ST
Lettermen Lost: 12
Best Rocket Players
OT John Greco, Jr.
LB Mike Alston, Sr.
3. FS Tyrrell Herbert, Jr.
4. WR Steve Odom, Sr.
5. TE Chris Hopkins, Sr.
6. OG David Perkins, Jr.
7. CB Nigel Morris, Jr.
8. LB Mike Chamberlain, Sr.
9. RB Jalen Parmele, Jr.
10. RB Scooter McDougle, Jr.
at Iowa State
at Western Michigan
at Kent State
at Eastern Michigan
at Northern Illinois
2005 Results: 9-3
2005 predicted wins
at Fresno State L 44-14
at Ball State
at Central Mich
at B Green W 44-41 2OT
UTEP W 45-13
Rockets finished first in the MAC in total offense, first in scoring,
first in total defense, first in scoring defense, first in rushing
offense, and near the top of just about every other category.
With 44 lettermen returning along with 16 starters, expect more of the
same despite losing some huge pieces of last year's puzzle.
It seems like asking a lot to be the MAC favorite after losing QB Bruce Gradkowski, the top two running backs, three of the top four tacklers,
and a kicker who didn't miss a field goal, but Toledo is going to do it
and come out looking just fine thanks to plenty of strong young talents
waiting to produce.
The building blocks are in place with the MAC's best offensive line, one
of the league's best defensive lines, and a linebacking corps that will
be camped out in opposing backfields all season long. And, of course,
there's Amstutz and his coaching staff that have proven to be able to
make adjustments on the fly and be able to patch up problems in a hurry.
Yes, Toledo will be the odds on favorite to win the championship and
could even be in the mix for a ten-win season. There's nothing routine
There will be chances for a
few big statements with road trips to Iowa State and Pitt over the first
half of the season, while the MAC schedule works out relatively well
getting three of the final four games at home. However, the Rockets have
to go on the road to face Northern Illinois and Western Michigan. The
road games at Kent State and Eastern Michigan should by layups. Facing
Akron and Bowling Green at home is a major plus.
Offensive Player: Junior OT John Greco. He might not be the tackle
that New England Patriot Nick Kaczur was, but he has grown into a rock
of a tackle and was a key anchor on the line after moving from the right
side to fill in Kaczur's spot on the left. If he's not the MAC's best
offensive lineman, he'll be number two.
Defensive Player: Senior LB
Mike Alston. He received First Team All-MAC honors based on his 9.5
sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. While he was a top player for the
Rocket defense last season, he wasn't the overall linebacker Anthony
Jordan and David Thomas were. Watch for that to change this season as
Alston should finish among the team's top three tacklers.
to a successful season: Sophomore QB Clint Cochran. Cochran has the
accurate arm, the mobility, and the talent to make the offense continue
to roll, but he has to fill the shoes of Bruce Gradkowski, who completed
68% of his passes with 85 touchdown passes and only 27 interceptions.
The rest of the pieces are in place to win the MAC title as long as
Cochran does his part.
will be a success if ...
wins the MAC title. The schedule works out well enough and the
experience and talent is in place. Finding a way to get by a road trip
to Northern Illinois will be key while avoiding a slip against the rest
of the MAC team's they'll be favored over.
Nov. 7 at Northern Illinois. Toledo lost 35-17 last year at home in
one of the shockers of the MAC season. Now it'll likely take a win in
DeKalb to be the West representative in the conference title game.
- First quarter scoring: Toledo 119 - Opponents 45
- Sacks: Toledo 31 for 229 yards - Opponents 13 for 96 yards
- Punts: Opponents 63 for 2,441 yards - Toledo 37 for 1,305 yards
The Last Time Toledo…
…played in a bowl game…2005 (GMAC Bowl
…missed a bowl game…2003
…pitched a shutout…2000 (Marshall)
…was shutout…1998 (Ohio State)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Western Michigan)
…won a conference title…2004 (MAC)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…2004 (Bruce Gradkowski)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Trinity Dawson)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2004 (Lance Moore)
…had a first-round draft choice…1993 (DE Dan Williams)