Toledo Preview

Who: Michigan v. Toledo
When: October 11, 2008, 12:00 PM
Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
: Big Ten Network
: Michigan Sports Network
Last Meeting: First Meeting Ever
Rankings: Michigan - NR / Toledo - NR

Program Background

Conference: Mid-American Conference
Head Coach: Tom Amstutz
Off. Coordinator: Chris Hedden
Off. Scheme:
Def. Coordinator: Tim Rose
Def. Scheme:
2008 Record: 1-4 (1-1)
Last Game: Lost to Ball State 31-0

With all due respect to the celler-dwellers from the Mid-American Conference, this isn't exactly an exciting match up. Toledo comes into this game with a 1-4 record, and while you can argue that they've played some good teams so far (Arizona, Fresno State, FIU, Ball State), it still doesn't make up for the fact that this Toledo team just isn't that good.

But that's not to say that there aren't good teams in the MAC. Let me be honest, I would not want to play Ball State or Western Michigan right now.

The last I saw, Michigan was favored by 13. For a Michigan team that also is not very good, a double digit spread is saying something.

Rich Rodriguez, at the post-game presser last week talked a lot about how dissapointed he was in himself and his teams executiuon. On Monday, after watching the game tape, he called his team soft. Defensive coordinator Scott Shafer said that he was out-coached by the Illinois staff.

There is no way Michigan will come out flat in this game. Call it a warm-up game if you want, but what I think it is, is a chance for Michigan to prove to itself that it can still play for a conference title. That they really aren't as bad as they looked last week.

On paper, this game looks like it will be close.

Total Yards
Michigan - 299.8 (109th)
Toledo - 335.4 (95th)

Passing Yards
Michigan - 177 (100th)
Toledo - 193 (93rd)

Rushing Yards
Michigan - 122.8 (88th)
Toledo - 142.4 (66th)

Points Scored
Michigan - 20.6 (98th)
Toledo - 25.4 (40th)

If anything, it looks like Toledo has the edge.

But that's on paper. In reality, Toledo is not a very good football team. They had a pretty bad scandal in the off-season in a point-shaving incident. And that left the team with a pretty bad taste in their mouths. Their head coach, Tom Amstutz, who probably pushes 400+ pounds, is lucky to have a job...and most likely won't after this season is over.

This will be the first ever trip for the Rockets into the Big House. And while they may play with a renewed sense of ambition, they are not anywhere near the same level of fit and condition as Michigan is. There is just no way they can play with the same sense of urgency that Michigan will. Rodriguez, McGee and Shafer will not be out-coached two weeks in a row, especially by a corrupt staff from a mediocre MAC school.

I expect this game to go very well for Michigan, especially on defense. They have something to prove this week after letting Juice Williams tear them up last week.

Toledo QB, Junior #11 Aaron Opelt will be under fire all day long. While he comes into this game with 2 years of playing experience, it is likely he has never played a defense this veteran before.

Opelt's favorite target is Junior WR Stephen Williams. He has 35 catches for 339 yds and 5 TDs.

The Rockets are led by Junior RB DaJuane Collins. He has 371 yds on just 50 carries and has 4 TDs.

So, statistically speaking, Toledo has some playmakers. But it is on defense that everything falls apart.

Scoring defense alone is almost enough to tell the tale. They give up a rediculous 35.8 ppg (111th). 171.4 yds on the ground (90th) and better on defense with 200.2 yds per game through the air (55th), with a total defense giving up 371.6 total yards (77th).

While there will be some that will predict a loss for Michigan simply based on principal, or the performance last week against Illinois, I personally feel that Michigan will come out on fire in this game and blow past Toledo.

I can't explain it, but it's just a feeling. Michigan needs, and deserves a big win, and hopefully this will be it. Because frankly, it may be the last chance we have this year to do so.


  1. Anonymous10:39 PM

    Well the Toledo-Michigan game you poo-pooed is now history. As what you call a "celler-dweller" of the MAC, I now have a couple thoughts for you.

    I remember word for word a blog I read after the Michigan "battle" with Appalachain State last year. This one line blog was so eloquently written at that time that I would like to quote it here, word for word.

    Here it is in it's entirety!

    The only thing I have to add is in response to your closing statement where you said that "they (Michigan) really aren't as bad as they looked last week". I disagree completely. They are now officially, WORSE than they looked last week.

    Hey MEEESHEEGAN! Welcome to the cellar! Maybe we could find an opening for you in the MAC next year. But we'll have to give that some more thought. Can we get back to you on that?

  2. Anonymous10:42 PM

    Oh my...

  3. Anonymous4:30 PM

    LMAO. "warm up game".

    Ok, I've totally lost it. hahaha