TOLEDO - The Rockets' goal to be MAC champions is no longer attainable. But there are at least 18 other reasons why Toledo's regular-season finale with Akron on Nov. 20 matters.
Toledo (8-3, 5-2 MAC) lost its showdown game for the MAC West Division title to Northern Illinois on Nov. 14. NIU rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to claim a 31-24 victory and its third-straight division crown. But while the Rockets know they won't be playing in Detroit on Nov. 30, they also know that with eight wins under their belt, there is a good chance they will be invited to play in a third straight bowl game. A ninth win against the Zips would make a bowl berth seem to be a lock.
Tuesday's game is also the final home contest for 18 seniors, a group that won has 30 games in the last four years and also racked up a 19-4 league record the past three seasons. The Rockets can make it an even 20 wins with a victory over Akron.
Akron is 1-10, 0-7 in MAC play under first-year head coach Terry Bowden. The Zips own a 66-6 victory over FCS opponent Morgan State, as well as a few close losses in MAC play. Despite its record, Akron ranks a respectable sixth in the MAC in total offense and seventh in total defense, indicators that the Zips may be tougher than their record. Senior quarterback Dalton Williams leads the MAC with 303.2 yards passing per game.
Back Story on the Akron Game
- This will be the 17th meeting between the two schools, with each team winning eight games. Because Akron is in the MAC's East Division, the Rockets and Zips rarely play. They have met just twice in the last 14 years, with UT winning in 2006 and the Zips coming out on top in 2008.
- Toledo is 19-4 in its last 23 Mid-American Conference games, with three of those losses coming to Northern Illinois.
- Junior RB David Fluellen leads the nation in rushing with 1,460 yards. He needs 11 yards to pass Chester Taylor (1,470 in 2000) for No. 5 on UT's all-time season list. He is 161 yards shy of the No. 2 spot on the list.
- Senior LB Dan Molls' 148 tackles also is tops in the country. He has made at least nine tackles in 16 consecutive games.
- Sophomore PK Jeremiah Detmer has made 14 consecutive field-goal attempts. He has 21 field goals this season, and needs one more to pass Rusty Hannah (21 in 1992) for the UT season record.
The Akron gamed will be the final appearance in the Glass Bowl for 18 seniors. This class has compiled a 30-19 record and made bowl appearances in 2010 and 2011.Robert Bell, LB, Grand Rapids, MI
Byron Best, CB, Greenwood, SC
Austin Dantin, QB, Tallahassee, FL
Jimmy Davidson, WR, Findlay, OH
Danny Farr, DT, Evanston, IL
T.J. Fatinikun, DE Perrysburg, OH
Sam Gaymon, WR, Redford, MI
Hank Keighley, DE, Dayton, OH
Colby Kratch, DE, Watertown, MN
Phil Lewis, DT, Grosse Pointe, MI
A.J. Lindeman, OL, Aurora, IL
Dan Molls, LB, North Royalton, OH
David Pasquale, RB, Cape Coral, FL
Ben Pike, DE, Mentor, OH
Jermaine Robinson, SS, Pittsburgh, PA
Cordale Scott, TE, Cleveland, OH
Mark Singer, FS, Cinnaminson, NJ
Jared Strait, TE, Wyandotte, MI