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Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
The Rockets host Western Michigan this Saturday.

Rockets Look to Tame Broncos at Homecoming Game This Saturday Afternoon

Courtesy: Toledo Athletics
Release: 09/30/2013
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TOLEDO - The Rockets return home to host Western Michigan in the University of Toledo’s 82nd annual Homecoming Game on Saturday, Oct. 5. The site of the Glass Bowl will be a welcome one for UT following a rugged stretch in which the Rockets played four out of their first five games on the road.

Toledo (2-3, 1-1 MAC) is coming off a tough 31-24 loss at Ball State last week. The defeat put the Rockets in a position where they can ill-afford another conference defeat if they hope to win the West Division title of the Mid-American Conference.

Toledo had a chance to beat the Cardinals but quarterback Terrance Owens’ fourth-down pass to a diving Alonzo Russell at midfield fell incomplete with 1:09 left in the game. Owens completed 34-of-46 passes for 274 yards and one touchdown. Russell tied his career high with nine catches, totaling 147 yards and a touchdown. Senior receiver Bernard Reedy had a career-high 13 catches, while senior running back David Fluellen recorded his fourth-consecutive 100-yard game, rushing for 129 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries.

Western Michigan is 0-5, 0-1 in MAC play following a 32-14 defeat to Kent State in Kalamazoo last Saturday. The Broncos are led by P.J. Fleck, who at age 32 is the youngest head head coach in the FBS and exactly one year older than the nation’s second-youngest coach, Toledo’s Matt Campbell.

Back Story on the Western Michigan Game

• This will be the 68th meeting between the two schools with Toledo leading the series, 39-28. The Rockets have won the last three contests and hold an 18-6 edge since 1989.

• UT is hosting its 82nd annual Homecoming game this Saturday. The Rockets are 57-25 in Homecoming games, including a 6-4 mark when Western Michigan is the opponent.

• Toledo opened the 2013 season with four of its first five games on the road. Conversely, five of the Rockets’ final seven games will be played in the Glass Bowl, including three consecutive MAC games in November.

• With its loss at Ball State, Toledo will need some help in order to win the MAC West title. UT needs the Cardinals to either lose twice, or hope that a three-way tie-breaker with BSU and another West school goes its way. A tie for first between Toledo and Ball State would send the Cardinals to the MAC Championship Game due to their victory over UT.

ROCKET UPDATE

• Toledo is 2-3, 1-1 MAC coming off a 31-24 loss at Ball State on Sept. 28. It was the identical score in UT’s loss to the Cardinals in 2012.

• UT is hosting its 82nd annual Homecoming game this Saturday. The Rockets are 57-25 in Homecoming games, including a 6-4 mark when Western Michigan is the opponent.

• With its loss at Ball State, Toledo will need some help in order to win the MAC West title. UT needs the Cardinals to either lose twice, or hope that a three-way tie-breaker with BSU and another West school goes its way. A tie for first between Toledo and Ball State would send the Cardinals to the MAC Championship Game due to their victory over UT.

• The Rockets ranks second in the MAC in total defense (401.8 yds/game) and fourth in total offense (391.0). UT also ranks third in rushing offense (178.6) and third in rushing defense (153.8).

• Senior RB David Fluellen leads the MAC and ranks third in the nation in rushing with 626 yards. He ran for 129 yards vs. Ball State last week, the fourth-straight contest and 11th time in his collegiate career he rushed for at least 100 yards. With his effort vs. Ball State, Fluellen moved into fifth place in school history with 2,841 career rushing yards.

• Senior WR Bernard Reedy leads the MAC and is tied for third nationally with 39 receptions. He reeled in a career-high 13 catches vs. BSU, surpassing his previous best effort of 11 receptions against Eastern Michigan on Oct. 13, 2012.

• Junior LB Junior Sylvestre is second in the MAC and tied for seventh in the nation with 53 tackles. He led Toledo with 10 tackles vs. the Cardinals. He also scooped up a fumble and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown, his second TD in two games. Sylvestre was credited with a 22-yard fumble recovery for a score at Central Michigan on Sept. 21.

• Senior QB Terrance Owens set career highs in completions (34) and attempts (46) for a season-best 274 yards and one touchdown vs. Ball State. Owens moved into fourth place in UT annals with 6,823 career yards passing.

• Sophomore WR Alonzo Russell tied his career high with nine catches for 147 yards vs. BSU, including a 10-yard TD reception on the opening play in the fourth quarter. Russell topped the century mark in yardage for the first time this season and third time in his career. Russell is 10th in the MAC with 27 receptions.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS

• Western Michigan is 0-5, 0-1 in MAC play. The Broncos lost their MAC opener to Kent State at home last week, 32-14.

• Three of WMU’s five losses have come to Big Ten schools: Michigan State (26-13), Northwestern (38-17) and Iowa (59-3).

• WMU ranks tied for 10th in the league in total offense (310.6) and third in total defense (422.6).

• WMU head coach P.J. Fleck shares the same birthday with UT’s Matt Campbell, Nov. 29. Fleck was born in 1980, exactly one year after Campbell. Fleck, a former Northern Illinois quarterback, is the youngest head coach in the FBS, while Campbell is the second-youngest.

• The Broncos are led by senior running back Brian Fields, who is tied for fourth in the MAC in rushing with 370 yards. Senior LB Kyle Lark is their leading tackler with 48 stops.

TOLEDO-WESTERN MICHIGAN SERIES

Toledo leads the series, 39-28. The Rockets have won the last three contests and hold an 18-6 edge since 1989. The last time these teams played at the Glass Bowl in 2011, Toledo escaped with a 66-63 victory. The contest took 4:16 to play and ended well past midnight. The two teams combined for a MAC-record 1,439 yards of offense, a MAC record for touchdowns with 18 and set a Glass Bowl record with 123 points.

ROCKETS ON TV

The Toledo-Ball State game is being produced by the Buckeye Cable Sports Network (BCSN)and will be broadcast on a tape-delay basis beginning at 7:00 p.m. Saturday. Mason Lowry (play by play) and former UT wide receiver and Hall of Fame member John Ross (color) will call the action.The game will also be streamed live on RocketVision (UTRockets.com) and on ESPN3.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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