Glass Bowl; Toledo, Ohio
CBS Sports Network
College football teams can hardly count on a second chance, but occasionally a second chance can come there way.
It might be said that the 2015 Toledo Rockets are getting a do-over Friday when they meet Western Michigan at the Glass Bowl. A little over three weeks ago, UT was in a position to deliver a virtual knockout to defending champion Northern Illinois' bid for a return to the championship game.
The Huskies, however, overcame second quarter losses of quarterback Drew Hare and standout receiver Tommylee Lewis to post a come-from-behind 32-27 victory. That, along with a Huskies win over Western Michigan two weeks later, put NIU in the drivers seat for a trip to the championship tilt.
The Huskies may still be at Ford Field in Detroit December 4, but an upset loss to Ohio Tuesday means NIU now needs a Toledo loss to Western Michigan.
As before against NIU, Toledo will be on home turf. Also, the Rockets were ranked No. 24 prior to the NIU loss, but fell out of the Top 25 until this week, when they regained the No. 24 spot. Then, too, Toledo's challenge will be one of the top offenses in the Mid-American Conference.
Here's more on the two teams:
>> The Broncos were on a five-game winning streak prior to losing their last two games. Both losses came to MAC powers: Bowling Green (41-27) and Northern Illinois (27-19). WMU last played Nov. 18 (at NIU).
>> Western Michigan ranks second among MAC teams in total offense (486.5 ypg) and is fourth in scoring offense (35.3 ppg).
>> The Broncos are eighth in both scoring defense (27.9 ppg) and total defense (405.0 ypg).
>> Rushing the football is a Bronco strength. As a team, WMU ranks third witha 201.6 ypg average. Individually, freshman Jamauri Bogan is sixth among MAC rushers and owns 11 touchdowns. He averages 6.1 ypc and 75.8 ypg. Jarvion Franklin is another option with 668 yards and five TDs to his credit. Levante Bellamy has averaged 7.1 ypc on 59 trips for 420 yards.
>> Quarterback Zach Terrell ranks third in passing yards (271.1 ypg) and is second in pass efficiency.
>> Western Michigan has two of the top receivers in the MAC. Daniel Braverman ranks second in receptions (9.0) and receiving yards (108.0 ypg). Corey Davis is third in receptions (6.9 rpg) and fourth in receiving yards (101.3 ypg).
>> Sophomore Asantay Brown has 94 tackles, ranking him 11th among MAC defenders. Caleb Bailey is fourth in TFL (1.09).
>> Western Michigan tops the conference in time of possession (34.34).
>> The Broncos are tied for eighth in turnover margin (0.00) .
NO. 24 TOLEDO ROCKETS (9-1, 6-1 MAC)
>> Toledo took a 20-19 overtime decision in last year' meeting in Kalamazoo. Kicking played a crucial difference in the contest. Toledo's Jeremiah Detmer sent the game into overtime with a 37-yard field goal as time expiered. Western Michigan's Andrew Haldeman's extra point attempt hit the left and bounced back onto the playing field go spell the difference. It was the Rockets' fifth straight win over WMU.
>> Toledo ranks third in both scoring offense (35.8 ppg) and total offense (461.5 ypg).
>> The Rockets forte is running the football. They rank second in rushing offense (214.4 ypg). Kareem Hunt tops the league in rushing with an average of 107.9 ypg. Terry Swanson is fourth 89.0 ypg).
>> Senior quarterback Phillip Ely has completed 55.6 percent (190/342) of his passes for 2400 yards with 19 TDs and 10 interceptions. He ranks seventh among MAC quarterbacks in pass efficiency.
>> Corey Jones is the top Rocket receiver in terms of catches (49 for 477 yards and four TDs. Cody Thompson leads in total yards (31 catches, 610 yards, 4 TDs, while Alonzo Russell tops the receivers with five TDs among his 31 catches for 556 yards.
>> Toledo is fifth in pass offense (247.1 ypg) and also fifth in paa defense (219.7 ypg). The Rockets are sixth in pass offense efficiency and second in pass defense efficiency.
>> Toledo is second in turnover margin (+7). Ironically, the only team ahead of it is Bowling Green, and the Rockets were aided by a 5-1 advantage in turnovers in their critical 44-28 win over BG.
>> Chase Murdock leads UT defenders with 71 tackles, including 6.5 tfl. Cheatam Norrills is tied (with DeJuan Rogers) for second with 54 stops and leads the Rockets with three interceptions. Two came against Bowling Green.
>> Kicker Jameson Vest has converted 17 of 25 field goals attempts (68%) with a; long of 44.