Ohio heads to the Glass Bowl with two things on their mind. Getting bowl eligible, and keeping pace with Akron in the MAC East race. Akron is playing 1-6 Buffalo, and a win is likely. WMU in the West is rowing along, and Toledo is trying to make their match up at the end of the season a defacto MAC West championship game.
In a classic match up of strength vs. strength, you have one of the best offenses in the nation going against an Ohio defense that is one of the best in the MAC. Ohio is the only MAC defense yet to give up 1000 total rushing yards on the ground. Toledo’s MO has been to attack a defense with their rushing attack, to set up Logan Woodside and the potent passing attack. Kareem Hunt is averaging 105 yards a game, and his backfield partner in crime, Terry Swanson, is averaging 5 yards a carry. Ohio is hoping the two backs hit a brick wall, which will help the Bobcat secondary.
When the Bobcats have the ball, they have had a balanced attack. Quarterback Greg Windham will look to do a better job of converting third downs. The only truly effective way to stop the Rockets offense is to keep them off the field. Toledo’s defense is still a bit of an enigma. It gave up a bunch of yards to BYU and BGSU, but otherwise has been pretty stout. I look for them to keep OU in a lot of third and longs, and Rockets defensive end John Stepec to cause problems for Windham.
The Rockets have 4 different receivers that have had a scoring strike of over 60 yards and 3 different backs that have scored from 40 yards out or longer. That’s a lot of field to cover for any defense. My guess is the Bobcats keep it close for the first half, as the last 3 Rockets opponents have done. The multitude of weapons will eventually be too much for the Ohio defense, and there will be a lot of points in the second half. The question is can the Ohio offense keep pace? Going into their games with the Rockets, neither BYU or BGSU looked like they were capable. Both were able to, and in the case of BYU, they were able to hand Toledo their only loss of the season.