(CLICK READ MORE TO CONTINUE . . . )
The Rockets won 9 games overall and seven in conference play. Only a narrow loss to Northern Illinois – when UT was decimated quarterback injuries – kept the Rockets out of the MAC championship.
Toledo and Arkansas State combined for 107 points in a 63-44 Rockets win in the GoDaddy Bowl. It was an exclamation point for an offense that shined through much of the year. UT was, in fact, first among MAC teams in scoring (36.6 ppg), total offense (490.5 ppg), and rushing (256.4 ypg).
Running back Kareem Hunt returns this year after rushing for 1,631 yards and 16 TDs on 205 attempts. Hunt was a First Team All-MAC selection.
UT ranked 13 nationally in rushing yards and still managed to hold down the 60th spot in passing yards.
Toledo ranked second in redzone offense, scoring on 88.7 percent of its chances. The Rockets recorded 40 touchdowns (28 rushing and 12 passing).
UT ranked fourth in passing (234.2 ypg), but was fourth in passing efficiency.
Head coach Matt Campbell’s team, with help from its strong running game, ranked fourth among MAC programs in time of possession (31.27).
Receivers Alonzo Russell and Cory Jones will be back this year after combining for 119 receptions, 1,612 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Toledo topped the MAC in rushing defense (256.4). Of course, given the fact that the Rockets were seventh in total defense, one suspects the passing defense was suspect. It was! UT was last in defending the pass (291.7 ypg). Injuries (again) along the back line didn’t help matters, so if the Rockets can get healthy, there is hope for improvement.
Defensive end Trent Voss led MAC linemen in tackles (77) last year. Treyvon Hester (49) also returns along a talented front line. Junior Sylvester, who again led the Rockets in tackles (100/9.5 TFL) in 2014 has departed, but the defense figures to again be strong up front.
The Rockets’ prolific offense often kept place kicker Jeremiah Detmer busy (e.g. nine PATs in the GoDaddy Bowl game). He ended up with 108 points, converting 57 of 59 PATs and 17 of 22 field goals. With Detmer now gone, UT will have to find somebody else who likes to stay busy. The Rockets offense should be striking up the band a lot once again this year.