The Toledo Rockets (9-3, 6-2 MAC) are coming off a win at home against Akron, 35-23. QB Terrance Owens and RB David Fluellen sat out of the final game of the regular season due to minor injuries. The Rockets were led by QB Dantin who completed 29 of 35 passes for 327 yards and 5 touchdowns. Alonzo Russell caught 9 passes for 139 yards and two touchdowns. David Pasquale had 7 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown and also carried the ball 15 times for 93 yards.
#18/22 Utah State (10-2, 6-0 WAC) are coming off a 45-9 win over Idaho. QB Keeton finished 17 of 25 for 133 yards and threw two touchdown passes before being pulled from the game early. RB Williams carried the ball 17 times for 110 yards and a score.
The Aggies two losses this year were to Big Ten Champion Wisconsin 14-16 and 3-6 to BYU. They beat a 10-2 San Jose State who is now ranked #24 by a score of 49-27 and a 9-3 Louisiana Tech team that was ranked #20 at the time by a score of 48-41 in OT. The Aggie QB has thrown for 3,144 yards on the season, compared to Toledo’s Owens who has thrown for 2,677 (through 11 games). The Aggies leading rusher has 1,277 yards and 12 touchdowns compared to Toledo’s Fluellen with 1,460 yards and 13 touchdowns (through 11 games). The Aggies leading receiver has just 663 yards so it is clear they like to spread the ball around to multiple guys. The Aggie defense ranks 8th in the nation, allowing just over 15 points per game.
“Statistically they are ranked in the top 20 in just about every (defensive) category,” said Campbell. “They are extremely well-coached. They do a lot of different things but they have the ability to stay simple. They know where to align and assign at all times.”
The Aggies rank No. 15 in the nation in total defense (322.7 yards/game) and No. 8 in scoring defense, allowing a puny 15.4 points per game. In a victory over San Jose State earlier this season, Utah State punished the Spartans with a staggering 13 sacks. Source
It is still unclear which QB will take the field for the Rockets in this matchup. Will Owens be healthy enough to play, and if so, play well? Will Fluellen overcome an ankle injury and be able to more further up the rushing ranks? One thing is for sure, this bowl game will be exciting and set the tone for the remainder of the post season games.
Toledo – 34
Utah State – 32