#70 Toledo Football 2013 Preview

Toledo Rockets

Overall rank: #70
#2 Mid-American
Toledo Logo
The Toledo football program seems to be at the top of its game right now. Not only is it one of the top programs in the rising Mid-American Conference, Toledo has made three straight appearances in bowl games (the 2010 Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl, the 2011 Military Bowl and the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl). Sure, the program may not have the recognition that other programs like Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State get in the area, but Toledo has made people aware that a good brand of football is played in between the college hotbeds.
2012 Record: (9-4, 6-2)
2012 Bowl: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl vs. Utah State (L 41-15)
Coach: Matt Campbell (10-4 at Toledo, 10-4 overall)
Offensive Coordinator: Jason Candle
Defensive Coordinator: Tom Matukewicz
Returning Leaders:
Rushing: David Fluellen, RB, 1,498 yards
Passing: Terrance Owens, QB, 2,707 yards
Receiving: Bernard Reedy, WR, 1,113 yards
Tackles: Cheatham Norrils, DB, 74
Sacks: Jayrone Elliott, DE, 6
Interceptions: Cheatham Norrils, DB, 2; Jordan Haden, DB, 2
Other Key Returnees: WR Cassius McDowell, WR Alonzo Russell, PK Jeremiah Detmer, DB Junior Sylvestre, LB Trent Voss, WR Justin Olack, OL Josh Hendershot, OL Jeff Meyers, OL Greg Mancz, C Zac Kerin,  LB Chase Murdock

Key Losses: RB David Pasquale, LB Dan Molls, LB Robert Bell, S Jermaine Robinson, S Mark Singer
The Rockets’ offense returns in high gear with all of the leaders from last year’s team back in action. David Fluellen ran for nearly 1,500 yards and was an integral part of the Toledo rushing attack. In fact, teams may argue Fluellen WAS the rushing attack, but to do so would disrespect Owens, a quarterback who rushed for over 500 yards while passing for 2,700 more. Toledo’s running game should return solid, and the receiving corps is first-rate as led by Reedy and McDowell. Detmer, the team’s kicker a year ago, also returns and he hopes to build off a solid season. Having all the returning help should help the Rockets get off the ground offensively.
Defense is a different story. Molls and Bell combined for nearly 270 tackles, and you don’t replace production like that overnight. Campbell will be paid the big bucks to try and figure things out, but he will get some help from D-coordinator Tom Matusewicz.  If Toledo can figure out a way to strengthen that line and not show a lot of weakness right away, it could be a better season for the Rockets. It will be interesting to see how Toledo’s season hinges on replacing its weak parts.
The Bottom Line:
There should be little problem for Toledo to do well in its division. The problem right out of the gate is a schedule with two Southeastern Conference teams, Florida and Missouri, on it. Toledo could start the season 0-2 and still be solid, so don’t be too demoralized if one or both of the SEC games turns into a blowout. The more Toledo remains competitive in these first two games, the better off the entire season will turn out.
2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 193.23 (35th in nation, 5th in conference)
Passing Offense: 252.00 (48, 5)
Total Offense: 445.23 (32, 3)
Scoring Offense: 31.54 (44, 5)
Rushing Defense: 182.31 (78, 7)
Pass Defense: 290.85 (116, 12)
Total Defense: 473.15 (109, 11)
Scoring Defense: 28.38 (67, 5)
Turnover Margin: 0.54 (33, 3)
Sacks: 1.85 (70, 7)
Sacks Allowed: 2.00 (66, 8)