Home » Blog » MAC: Toledo looks to capitalize against UB

MAC: Toledo looks to capitalize against UB

The MidAmerican Conference has a great matchup this week when one of its best teams, the Toledo Rockets who are 7-1 overall and 4-0 in the conference, visit the University of Buffalo, who is 1-7 overall and 0-3 in the conference. Toledo is fighting Northern Illinois for first place in the West division of the conference.

At last meeting between these two teams, the standings did not look anything  like they currently do. At that time, the worst team in the east was Kent State and Northern Illinois was in the cellar in the West division. Buffalo was on their way up and Ohio and Toledo were a middle of the pack teams.

That was 2007, this is now. Kent State, Northern Illinois, Ohio and Toledo are all undefeated in the conference and Ohio is ranked no. 23 in the nation and Toledo is banging on the door to get into the top 25. Then there is UB, which won the title in the MAC in 2008, but has not had a season over .500 since.

UB has been looking for a way to launch their season and future, but has not been able to. They were shutdown entirely by a tough Kent State defense to begin conference play, they allowed Ohio to get away with a win and then were completely destroyed away against Northern Illinois.

Today’s interdivision conference game in Buffalo will give Buffalo another attempt of defeating of the top teams in the MAC. The Bulls however, must straighten up their loose play in at least two areas – special teams and turnovers. UB has the nation’s no. 118 ranking in defense against the kickoff.

That is critical in today’s matchup as Bernard Reedy the speedy wide receiver for Toledo is ranked no. 13 in the nation in kick returns with a 28.4 yards per return average and two returned for six points. Last week he ran one back against no. 18 Cincinnati that put Toledo ahead and they went on to win 29-23.

Where turnovers are concerned, the Bulls now hold the last spot in the country at no. 120, with just three takeaways all season. They have not intercepted an opposing quarterback for three weeks and have only one fumble recovery the entire season and that was on the final drive of a game that Northern Illinois beat Buffalo 45-3. When the defense cannot create turnovers, it makes their own offensive turnovers that much more noticeable.

The game could be a complete blow out for Toledo if everything on paper were true on the field. Toledo is averaging over 35 points per game and converting on more than 45% of their third down conversions. Toledo has 16 plays that they have scored on that were 35 yards or more this season, while Buffalo only has four. The speed on the Toledo side of the ball is more than Buffalo has probably seen the entire year, with the exception of Georgia. The Bulls are only averaging 20 points per game.

With a win this weekend, the Rockets could finally break into the top 25. They were given a boost of confidence when they defeated Cincinnati last weekend and look to add to that this weekend.

  • 100%