The Toledo Rockets head down I-75 to face their bitter rivals, the Bowling Green Falcons in the 78th edition of the 94-year-old rivalry. Bowling Green leads the all-time series 39-34-4, but Toledo has won the last three contests, including the first two for the newly created battle of I-75 Trophy, which debuted in 2011 to replace the Peace Pipe Trophy.
By the Numbers:
Rankings and records: Toledo enters this game 4-3 (2-1 MAC), with its three loses coming from road games at Florida, at Missouri and at Ball State. The Rockets have won four of their last five games. Bowling Green is currently 5-2 (3-0 MAC) with its only losses coming on the road at Indiana and at Mississippi State.
Toledo's offense is currently ranked 64th in the nation with an average of 415 total yards-per-game, but the Rockets' are 19th in the nation in rushing, thanks in large part to senior running back David Fluellen who is third in the NCAA in rushing yards. Toledo is also one of the better teams in the nation at causing turnovers, having returned a fumble for a touchdown in four straight games. The Rockets are currently tied for 12th in the country in turnover margin.
Bowling Green has the nations 30th best total offense, averaging 467 yards-per-game. The Falcons' also boast one of the country's top rushing attacks (No. 32) and feature the nation's 10th leading rusher, Travis Greene, and William Houston, who currently has seven touchdowns on 30 carries. Defensively the Falcons' are as stout as ever, currently ranked No. 27 in the country in total defense, and No. 1 in the nation in red zone defense.
Four Names To Know:
David Fluellen: The senior running back is questionable with a back injury, but has carried the Rockets' this season. His 1,006 rushing yards are third in the nation. He's averaging just under 7 yards-per-carry, and is tied for third in the nation with 10 rushing touchdowns Fluellen is a big back, with plus speed and will be key to the Rockets success.
Junior Sylvestre: The junior (no pun intended) linebacker has been a force this season, and currently leads the MAC in tackles per game with just under 11. He's also tied for the conference lead in fumbles recovered and is third in fumbles forced. This season Sylvestre's stats stand at 76 total tackles, three fumbles forces, two recovered, and a sack.
Matt Johnson: The redshirt sophomore supplanted three-year starter Matt Schillz as the Falcons' starting quarterback after Week 1, and hasn't looked back. Johnson is currently third in the MAC in passing yards-per-game, passing efficiency and total offense. He's been the main reason for BGSU's newfound offensive firepower and has helped open up opportunities for the Falcons' rushing attack.
BooBoo Gates: The senior safety not only has one of the better names in college football, but some of the best instincts. Gates is a nightmare for offenses from his spot deep in the Falcons' secondary. He's racked up 38 tackles, a pair of forced fumbles, and has an interception on the season. Gates is a hard hitter, who's one of the key reasons behind Bowling Green's success at causing opposing offenses headaches.
How To Witness:
TV: Only on ESPN3, 2:30 p.m. ET.
Can't Watch? Listen Live:
Bowling Green Fans: You can stream the official Falcons' broadcast online at BGSUFalcons.com, CLICK HERE. You can also hear the broadcast on the Falcons' flagship station, WFRO 99.1 FM (Fremont).
Toledo Fans: You can stream the official Rockets' broadcast online at UTRockets.com, CLICK HERE. You can also hear the broadcast on Toledo's flagship station, WSPD-AM 1370 (Toledo).
We've been covering the Battle of I-75 all week. From the David Fluellen and Chris Gallon's injuries, to an official game preview, and even a history on the rivalry of the game. We'll also be providing in-depth game coverage including quarterly recaps. Follow along with all of our coverage in the Battle of I-75 StoryStream.