The 2022 MAC Champions know where they will be suiting up for their next matchup, acceptin an invitation on Sunday afternoon to the Boca Raton Bowl. The Toledo Rockets (8-5, 5-3 MAC) will face off against the FBS independent Liberty Flames (8-4).
The news was first reported by the Toledo Blade’s Kyle Rowland, later confirmed by Brett McMurphy and the Mid-American Conference.
This is the second-ever appearance in the Boca Raton Bowl for the Rockets, the first coming in 2015, a 31-17 win over the 24th-ranked Temple Owls. This was in Coach Jason Candle’s first game as head coach after Matt Campbell left for Iowa State. This will be Liberty’s first appearance.
Toledo and Liberty have faced off just three times prior with the Rockets claiming all three, most recently in 2007 where Toledo scraped by with a 35-34 win. The caveat is that all of these matchups were when Liberty was still at the FCS level so this is the first time the pair have faced off since the Flames’ jump to FBS.
For a team that was seemingly reeling after a less-than-stellar end of season performance, Toledo dispatched the Ohio Bobcats in the MAC Football Championship, 17-10. They come into this matchup riding a strong defense with seven first and second-team All-MAC selections and some solid QB play by Dequan Finn.
Toledo earns a bowl bid in its second-consecutive season and fifth under Candle.
Liberty will be playing without head coach Hugh Freeze as he was hired to head up the Auburn Tigers in the SEC. The Flames will be coached by interim coach Josh Aldridge before Jamey Chadwell takes over in the fall. The Rockets’ defense will be tested by star receiver, Demario Douglas. He turned 73 receptions into 977 yards and six touchdowns.
The Flames are better than they seem; two of their four losses were by one point and another was by three.
The 2022 Boca Raton Bowl will kick off at 7:30 P.M. on December 20th, and will be nationally broadcast on ESPN.