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MAC Bandwagon Podcast, ep. 58: Taking a look at the Rockets and RedHawks

The boys continue their season preview coverage by taking a deep dive on Toledo and Miami

Illustration: James H. Jimenez; photos courtesy of Wikipedia Commons, James H. Jimenez, Kenneth Bailey

Apologies if I sound like a broken record here folks, but I’ve got to say it again: we are so close to football! We are just under three weeks away from the first MAC games of the season, and let me tell you, we are excited here at the Bandwagon.

Kicking off this weeks’ show, Zach and Steve discuss the recent contract extension for Kent State head football coach Sean Lewis. Lewis has done incredible work in three years at Kent, and the Golden Flashes are primed to compete for the MAC championship this fall. The new contract runs through 2025, and includes an increased buyout should a larger program come calling. This is certainly well deserved - this was a program in a bad place when Lewis was hired in December of 2017, and he has completely turned the Golden Flashes around.

Moving into our season previews, the boys first take a look at the Toledo Rockets. After a few disappointing seasons (by Toledo standards, at least) the Rockets return more production than any team in the country, and are primed to challenge for the west division crown. Carter Bradley steps in at QB, and he is surrounded by a great cast of skill position players and a veteran offensive line. There are not many question marks on this offense. Defensively, everyone of significance is back. This could be Jason Candle’s most talented team in his six years as head coach. Will the Rockets be able to get back to Ford Field this year? Only time will tell.

Next up, we take a look at a team that seems to be getting overlooked a bit in the presason: the Miami RedHawks. After 2019’s surprising MAC championship, Miami was only able to complete three games last year due to the pandemic. Because of that, this feels like a team that we don’t know a ton about. Brett Gabbert is back at QB after only playing in two games last year, and some tend to forget that he was the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2019. The RedHawks also get running back’s Jalyon Bester and Tyre Shelton back, both of whom missed last season. The offensive line has to replace Tommy Doyle and Danny Godlevske, but there is still a lot of talent on this team. If the offensive line can develop, and the defense can improve against the pass, this could be a dark horse contender in the eastern division.

As always, thanks for stopping by this week folks. We’ll see you back here next week, and before you know it we’ll have actual football games to discuss!