college football picks Toledo at Western Michigan 9-18-10

September 18, 2010

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DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 18th, 7:00 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Waldo Stadium (30,200) — Kalamazoo, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Toledo 0-1, WMU 1-0. Away Record: Toledo 1-0, WMU 0-1. Neutral Record: Toledo 0-0, WMU 0-0. Conference Record: Toledo 1-0, WMU 0-0. Series Record: Toledo leads, 36-28.

GAME NOTES: Western Michigan will begin Mid-American Conference action this Saturday when the Broncos host the Toledo Rockets at Waldo Stadium.

The Rockets currently hold a 36-28 edge over WMU in the all-time series, but the Broncos have won the last four meetings against Toledo, including a 58-26 decision a year ago.

Toledo’s season got off to an embarrassing start, as the team was trounced at home by Arizona, 41-2. However, coach Tim Beckman’s men rebounded this past weekend against a tough conference opponent in Ohio, defeating the Bobcats by a 20-13 margin. It was the third straight victory in the conference opener for Toledo, which has now defeated Ohio in 12 consecutive meetings.

The Broncos also kicked off their 2010 campaign with a setback, as they were defeated by Michigan State, 38-14. However, just like the Rockets, the Broncos rebounded in their next matchup, as they rolled over Nicholls State, 49-14.

Not much went right for the Rockets on offense in their opener, and even though the team grabbed a victory over Ohio this past weekend, the offense still seemed erratic.

The Rockets’ ground game stumbled through their second straight contest, as the team rumbled for just 102 yards on 2.1 yards per attempt. Adonis Thomas led the way with 53 yards, while quarterback Austin Dantin rumbled for 21 yards and one score.

Dantin also completed 12-of-15 passes in the win, but finished with just 102 yards and one score. Dantin, who tossed one interception in the opener, was picked off twice against Ohio. Even though Toledo found a way to win, if the offense does not improve in all areas, victories will be hard to come by for the rest of the season.

Fortunately for coach Beckham the defense showed solid improvement in the second contest. After surrendering 41 points against Arizona, the Rockets dialed up a much better showing against Ohio.

Clearly the Bobcats are not as potent as the Wildcats, but regardless, Toledo’s defense did a number against its conference foe, holding the Bobcats to just 183 total yards.

Against Arizona the Rockets were tortured for 413 yards through the air, but the defense sewed up its loose ends, and held Ohio to just 137 passing yards, and also collected three interceptions. Overall, the Rockets forced four turnovers in the game and held Ohio to just 3-of-13 on third down attempts.

The Broncos did not get much going in their season-opening matchup against Michigan State, but the offense faired much better this past weekend against Nicholls State.

Obviously the drop off in talent between Michigan State and Nicholls State is evident, but the success of the offense in the victory has to be pleasing to coach Bill Cubit.

Alex Carder was sensational in the victory, as the signal caller threw for 298 yards and five touchdowns. The sophomore had a much easier time in his second contest, after being held to just 220 yards and two scores in the opener.

Fellow sophomore Jordan White has been the main target for Carder in the first two games, hauling in a team-high 14 receptions. Against Nicholls State the wide out grabbed six passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns.

The ground game still has some work to do, because it has been inconsistent in the early going. Even against Nicholls State the Broncos were held to just 3.0 yards per carry.


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Much like the offense the defense had a much easier time against a weaker opponent in Nicholls State.

Western Michigan did an excellent job against the run and the pass, limiting Nicholls State to a total of just 241 yards. In the loss to Michigan State, the Broncos were gashed on the ground for 297 yards and four scores, but coach Cubit’s crew was much better against the run this past weekend, holding Nicholls State to just 112 yards on 4.0 yards per attempt.

The Broncos surrendered just nine first downs in the win and held the opposition to a mere 2-of-12 on third downs.

The Broncos have won the last four meetings with Toledo, and even though both team’s are coming off wins, look for WMU to continue its dominance against the Rockets. Coach Cubit’s passing attack was outstanding last weekend and considering Toledo’s troubles against the pass, it is likely Carder and company have a big showing.


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