The #19 Toledo Rockets (6-0, 3-0 MAC) absolutely demolished Eastern Michigan in all aspects of the game last week, with six runners and nine receivers touching the ball at some point in the game, and eight (!) different Rockets scoring touchdowns, in a 63-20 victory. Toledo is going to have to continue to set fire to the MAC schedule if they want any chance of breaking the College Football Playoff or the New Year's Six; Temple, Memphis, and Houston also find themselves ranked in the AP, as each of those American Conference teams are undefeated as well.
Meanwhile, the Massachusetts Minutemen (1-5, 0-2 MAC) have fans wondering if moving to the FBS was a bad idea after losing to a not-bad-but-not-good Kent State team on UMass' homecoming, thanks in part to Blake Frohnaphel's Dan Orlovsky impression. The Minutemen will have to turn their season around and quick for any chance of a bowl game; a win against a nationally-ranked Toledo would surely spark a fire under Mark Whipple's crew.
How To Watch:
Location: Gillette Stadium (68,756) in Foxbourough, MA.
Date/Time: October 24th, at 3:00 p.m.
Television/Streaming: This game will not make an appearance on cable television. It will be available to stream on ESPN3 or on the WatchESPN App. Both ESPN3 and the WatchESPN App are available to those with valid cable subscriptions.
Radio: For a Toledo perspective, tune in to AM 1370/92.1 WSPD Toledo or log in to www.utrockets.com. A UMass perspective can be found at WEEI 105.5 FM Springfield or on the TuneIn App.
Players to Watch:
Kareem Hunt (RB)-- Hunt has been somewhat limited between suspensions and injuries this season, thus far gaining 249 yards and three touchdowns. However, he is bound to explode for a big game at some point this season. With a constant rotation between Terry Swanson and Damion Jones-Moore, Hunt can make for a pretty scary change of pace back, and with the simply abysmal Massachusetts defense to eat up, Hunt could finally find his rhythm.
Orion Jones (DT)-- Jones was poised to a breakout season after a promising 2014, and those expectations have been met and then some. In only six games, Jones has 28 tackles, nine tackles for loss (43 yards), and five sacks from the defensive tackle spot. Jones causes havoc in the backfield, and handles his assignments with ease. Together with Treyvon Hester, Jones will make Frohnaphel think twice before trying to run out of the pocket.
Marquis Young (RB)-- In last season's matchup, UMass' leading rusher, Shadrack Abrokwah had 38 yards. Thirty-eight. That absolutely has to change for any chance of an upset, because UMass definitely won't win if they're forced to go to the air. Young isn't the starter (Jamal Wilson is), but Young outgains Wilson by ~150 yards this season, and has shown potential. Young will have to get going as the most dependable option out of the backfield.
Trey Dudley-Giles (DB)-- Dudley-Giles is an important player to the UMass defense, but he's going to have to bring his A-game this week vs. the veritable and volatile Rockets offense. Thus far, TDG has five passes defended and four pass breakups, with an interception and 39 tackles. Phillip Ely has developed a reputation for being an efficient gunslinger, and there are a plethora of options to cover, including Cody Thompson, Corey Jones, and Alonzo Russell, amongst others. TDG and Jovan Santos-Knox will have to make some big plays to keep UMass in the game.
Odds: Toledo are 14.5 points favorite on the (true) road against the Minutemen. The over/under for the game is 62, with 65% of bettors choosing the Rockets to win the game, according to OddsShark.
Weather: It ill be mostly cloudy in Foxbourough tomorrow, with a high between 50 and 52. There is no chance of precipitation and the winds will be approximately 5-8 miles per hour, according to The Weather Channel.