As we enter inside the top 10, remember that the list was put together based on wins last season. At number nine, the Toledo Rockets went 9-4 and 7-1 in the Mid American Conference under Tim Beckman, who left for Illinois.
Former offensive coordinator Matt Campbell takes over. His tenure began at the Military Bowl which the Rockets beat Air Force 42-41. Toledo as an offense put up 42.2 points per game, with one of the highlights being a 63-60 loss against MAC champion Northern Illinois.
Junior Terrance Owens and senior Austin Dantin will battle to see who’ll be the starting quarterback this fall. Owens threw for 2,022 yards with 18 touchdown passes to just three interceptions with a 72.2 completions percentage in which he completed a staggering 166-for-230 passes. Dantin wasn’t far behind completing 64.9 passes on 122-of-188 passes with 1,404 yards and 15 TDs with four INTs.
It wasn’t all about the passing game for this high powered offense as they had a 1,000 yard rusher on the team, Adonis Thomas, and Morgan Williams who combined for 305 of the team’s 555 total carries in the season. All that production will be gone.
Junior David Fluellen is expected to be the starter. He had 493 yards on 93 carries with four touchdowns last season.
Toledo losses four of its top five receivers from 2011 but does bring back Bernard Reedy who was second on the team in yards, receptions, and touchdowns. Reedy also led the team with 19.0 yards a catch in addition he had 758 yards on 40 catches with nine touchdowns.
Senior linebacker Robert Bell who was second on the team last year in tackles, returns after a 78 tackles season with 3.5 tackles for loss and a sack plus interception. Fellow senior linebacker Dan Molls who was third on the team with 70 tackles is back, he also had 3.5 TFL in 2011.
Pac-12 fans will see the Rockets right off the bat when they travel to Arizona on September 1st for a 7:30 p.m. PT kickoff on ESPNU. This will be Rich Rod’s first game leading the Wildcats onto the field at Arizona Stadium and it could be a tough game for the home team.
Toledo plays in the same division as Western Michigan and Northern Illinois and should be in the division mix, outside of Arizona their non-conference slate includes at Wyoming before hosting Coastal Carolina and Cincinnati. Expect them to make another bowl game for the third straight year this coming season for the Rockets.
2012 Toledo Rockets Schedule –
Bowling Green 9/15
Coastal Carolina 9/22
@Western Michigan 9/29
Central Michigan 10/6
@Eastern Michigan 10/13
Ball State 11/6
@Northern Illinois 11/14