First the first time, Toledo gets to play at the legendary Guarantee Rate Field, home of the Chicago Whitesox. They will be facing an NIU team that started off slow, but has racked up 3 wins in their last 5 games. One of those losses was in overtime to CMU, and the other was a 45-30 loss to WMU, who is beating everyone.
Toledo is 7-2 on the season. After suffering their second setback of the year to Ohio, they got back to their winning ways with a 48-17 victory over Akron.
This is an important game for the Rockets. They are a game back of WMU, and a second conference loss would certainly be a death sentence in the race for the MAC West. Standing in their way is a familiar thorn in their side.
They are winless in their last 6 games against the Huskies. Maybe traveling to a new place, like legendary Guarantee Rate Field, will be a good thing.
For Northern Illinois to keep the streak alive, their defense is going to have to step up. They are currently ranked 10th in the MAC, giving up 32 points a game. They are also 10th in yards allowed per game, 459. That’s not good news when you are facing an offense that is as loaded as Toledo. A Toledo offense that is averaging over 40 points and 550 yards per contest.
Logan Woodside leads the Rockets with 34 touchdown passes. That’s also good enough to lead the MAC, and is tied with Washington’s Jake Browning for the top spot in the nation. One of his many targets, Cody Thompson is 13 yards short of 1000, good enough for second place in the MAC.
Where the Huskies are most vulnerable, however, is on the ground. Kareem Hunt looks to take advantage, like he has many times before in his career. Last week against Akron, he moved into second place on Toledo’s all-time rushing list.
While things look bleak for the Huskies defense, there is a glimmer of hope. Anthony Maddie has been having a great season, putting up over 199 yards passing and 100 rushing in three games. His duel threat ability has helped make the Huskies second in the MAC in rushing offense. In the last 5 games, the Huskies are averaging over 38 points a game.
Last week, I predicted an offensive slug-fest. I was half right. This week, I expect a much better game. Toledo is playing to keep their MAC West title hopes alive, and the Huskies are playing to keep their bowl hopes alive.