On Tuesday Night the Broncos Football Team travels to Toledo to take on the Rockets. This past weekend the Broncos, behind Alex Carder’s 400 yards passing, defeated the Ball State Cardinals to improve their record to 5-4 and 3-2 in the MAC. The Rockets played last Tuesday and lost to Northern Illinois 63-60. Western trails the all-time series against Toledo 28-37, but Bill Cubit holds a 4-2 career record against the Rockets and with a win will tie Gary Darnell with 46 wins, tying him for 6th most wins in Broncos history. Before the Broncos and Rockets battle tonight at the Glass Bowl, let’s take a look at the keys to the game for the Broncos to become bowl eligible for the second consecutive year.
1. Contain Austin Dantin and Eric Page – Behind Alex Carder and Jordan White, the passing duo of Dantin and Page might be the second best combo in the MAC. Last week against Northern Illinois, Dantin and Page combined for 150 yards and 5 touchdowns. The Broncos pass defense at times as been great but over the last 3 games, they have allowed on average 234 yards through the air. Austin Dantin leads the MAC in passing efficiency and also has the ability the move the ball with his legs as well. Toledo has allowed only 9 sacks this year so we, so getting pressure on Dantin will be necessary.
2. Eliminate Turnovers – The Rockets are atop the MAC West and their there for a reason, they don’t turn the ball over. They currently lead the MAC in turnover margin, creating 14 more turnovers than their opponents. Against Ball State, the Broncos had 4 turnovers including 3 interceptions. Ironically, the Broncos are 0-2 in games when they’ve won the turnover battle and 3-1 when losing the turnover battle.
3. Get the running game involved early – It’s no coincidence that the Broncos are 3-1 when they rush for over 100 yards. Tevin Drake is averaging almost 6 yards per carry, but it seems too many times Coach Cubit focuses the offensive game solely around the pass. While the passing game has been amazing this year, it makes the team too one dimensional and predictable. Toledo is too good of a team to attack them primarily through the air only.
4. Hold Toledo to 3 in the Red Zone – Toledo features not only one of the best offenses in the MAC but one of the best red zone offenses in the MAC as well. While I predict this to be a high scoring game, holding the Rockets to field goal attempts instead of touchdowns in the red zone will give the Broncos an opportunity to come out victorious.
5. MAC Championship? – At this point, it seems unlikely the Broncos have a chance to make it to the MAC Championship. But with a victory there remains a possibility. Western will still need a lot of things to go their way. But if the MAC Championship is out of the question, at least a win over a quality school like Toledo will only bolster their resume for an opportunity to get to a postseason bowl game.
Prediction: Toledo 42 WMU 38