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Mid American Conference: Toledo looks to rocket past Cincinnati

The Mid American Conference might not have the name or reputation of the SEC, Pac-12, Big Ten or even the Big East, but there are a number of competitive teams in the conference and one of them hooks up Saturday night October 20 against a nationally ranked opponent.

The Toledo Rockets host the Cincinnati Bearcats in a matchup of teams looking to qualify for a postseason bowl game. The Bearcats are 5-0 on the season and but had a hard time putting away Fordham, an FCS opponent last weekend. Nevertheless, they enter the game ranked No. 21 in the nation and are lead by quarterback Munchie Legaux who has over 1,200 yards passing in five games and 11 touchdown passes.

Toledo is going for their seven consecutive win for the first time in more than 10 years. Toledo has been the class of the MAC for a number of years, this season is averaging more than 39 points per game, and that was after scoring just 24 in the opening game of the season in a 24-17 loss to Arizona.

Toledo won 12 consecutive games between the 2000 and 2001 season, but has lost seven consecutive games to teams that are ranked. The last time they beat a ranked team was in 2003 when they outscored Northern Illinois 49-30 when NI was ranked 21 in the nation.

The Rockets have three of the top offensive players in the country. Terrance Owens is their field general at quarterback and has thrown for an impressive 1,900 yards this season and 12 touchdowns. His favorite target is wide out Bernard Reedy who has 52 receptions on the year for 667 yards and 5 touchdowns. Their third great offensive performer is David Fleullen at running back. Fleullen has 798 yards on the season rushing and has scored 9 touchdowns.

Last weekend Toledo outscored Eastern Michigan in a high scoring offensive show 52-47. In the game, Fleullen ran for 188 yards and had two touchdowns. In the game, Reedy caught 11 Owens’ passes and totaled 237 yards, a personal career best. He had two touchdowns on the day, including one running back a kickoff.

Toledo is 26th in the nation in total offense, averaging 475 yards a game. However, their defense is suspect since it is allowing opponents 478 yards per game, which puts them at a ranking of 111th in the country. The Toledo defense is also giving up 28 points per game.

That lack of defense could be problematic in the game against Cincinnati, as the Bearcats have scored 101 points in their last two outings. In those games, Legaux has passed for an average of 265 yards and has tossed seven touchdowns, while throwing just one interception over his last three games.

The wide open offense of the Rockets has allowed them to remain at the top of the West division of the MAC conference with a 4-0 conference record and 6-1 overall. In their division they lead Northern Illinois by a half game and Ball State and Western Michigan by two games. In the East division of the conference, Ohio and Kent State are 3-0 in conference play and Bowling Green is a game back at 2-1. Overall, Ohio is 7-0 on the season a looks to be the champion of the East and could play the Rockets or Northern Illinois in the championship game of the conference.

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