2013 Toledo Spring Football Analysis
Toledo Rockets 2013 ... Head coach: Matt Campbell
Why To Be Excited ... The Rockets are absolutely loaded on offense. Northern Illinois might have the league’s best attack, but Toledo should be able to keep up with anyone with nine starters returning including quarterback Terrance Owens and four starters on the line. The receiving corps should be devastating with Bernard Reedy and Alonzo Russell two terrific playmakers to work around. Throw in running back David Fluellen, who averaged 125 yards per game, and this will be a nasty team to keep in check.
| 2013 Schedule|
8/31 at Florida
9/7 at Missouri
9/14 Eastern Michigan
9/21 at Central Michigan
9/28 at Ball State
10/5 Western Michigan
10/12 OPEN DATE
10/26 at Bowling Green
11/2 Eastern Michigan
11/9 OPEN DATE
11/20 Northern Illinois
11/29 at Akron
Why To Be Grouchy ... The defense needs a ton of tweaking considering it couldn’t stop anyone’s passing game and eight starters are gone. Tackling-machine linebacker Dan Molls is gone from the middle, three starters have to be replaced up front, and three starters are gone from a secondary that got ripped to shreds allowing a MAC-worst 291 yards per game. After getting blown out by Utah State 41-15 in the bowl game, there’s lots of work to do.
What Needs Working On ... The defensive front has to start getting behind the line. The secondary gave up 200 yards or more in every game, and while it came up with 17 picks, it also gave up two touchdowns or more five times. Five of the 24 sacks came against Coastal Carolina and four came against Akron. When the Rockets weren’t hitting the quarterback, the secondary was ripped to shreds. There won’t be much to do on offense, but the line could stand to be a bit better in pass protection.
Non-Conference Games: at Florida, at Missouri, Eastern Washington, Navy
Games Against The East: at Akron, at Bowling Green, Buffalo,
Realistic Best Case Record: 9-3
Worst Case Record: 6-6
Likely Finish: 8-4
Pre-Preseason Projected Wins: Eastern Washington, at Central Michigan, at Ball State, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Buffalo, Northern Illinois, at Akron
Pre-Preseason Projected Losses: at Florida, at Missouri, Navy, at Bowling Green
Schedule Analysis: The Rockets start out with a nasty run going to Florida and Missouri as part of four road games before October. Fortunately, five of the next six games are at home including the key West showdown against Northern Illinois before closing out with a layup at Akron. Getting two weeks off to get ready for Navy should help in what should be a good run. Going to Bowling Green is a bad break from the East, but getting Akron and Buffalo isn’t bad.
Team Concerns For 2013: With eight starters gone on a defense that finished last in the MAC against the pass and 109th in overall yards allowed. Three starters are gone on the defensive front and three are gone in the secondary. After allowing 291 yards per game through the air, the Rockets have to tighten up with all the new starters, and it would help to get a bit more out of the pass rush. The offense that was so strong at times died in the bowl loss to Utah State, but it gets back nine starters.
The 2013 Class Is Heavy On ... Defensive linemen. The secondary that struggled so much last season might be looking for a little bit of instant help from Austin Niswander and Delando Johnson at safety, while DeJuan Rogers is a great get at corner. The defense got the most help up front with JUCO transfer Robert Zimmerman a decent pickup for the depth and Marquise Moore and end Daniel Davis brought in for a few years from now. It's a deep class of linemen with several other options to play around with. On offense, quarterback Logan Woodside has excellent upside with the perfect tools to fit the Rocket attack.
2012 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 58. That Class Was Heavy On ... New head coach Matt Campbell is getting most of the players former head man Tim Beckman went after, and he’s bringing in a huge class led by a great group of linemen. The lines hadn’t been addressed for a few years, and now Campbell is making up for it with plenty of offensive tackles to develop for the near future and some ready-made defensive tackles who can step in and contend for jobs right away. The Rockets need them.
2011 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 80. That Class Was Heavy On ... Receivers. Last year might have been a success, but the offense struggled and the passing game was hit-or-miss. With four strong receivers, led by 6-4 instant-impact producers Justin Olack and Alonzo Russell along with JUCO transfer tight end Colby Kratch, the Rockets are looking to throw it around a bit more. This is the second straight huge class with plenty of prospects with a little of everything being addressed, and while the receivers are the stars, offensive tackle and defensive back also got a boost.
2010 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 75. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Bulk. There was
little specific targeting for Tim Beckman with a
year to recruit, and he and his staff did a
fantastic job of upgrading the overall talent level.
RBs Cassius McDowell and David Fluellen provide a
potential thunder and lightning tandem, and Taylor
Miller will be an all-star blocker before he's done.
Defense has been a huge problem over the last few
seasons but LBs Jayrone Elliott and Zac Rosenbauer
should shore things up soon while JUCO transfer
Taikwon Paige and Keith Suggs bring more athleticism
to the secondary.
2009 CFN Recruiting Ranking: 109. That Class Was
Heavy On ... Defensive backs. There are several decent incoming defensive ends/linebackers, and the passing game got a boost for the future, but it’s the secondary that got the most help with four corner prospects, led by the lightning fast Byron Best, and safety Jermaine Robinson, who might be ready to play right away.