It’s been a while, but the wait was more than worth it for the Toledo football program.
Prior to the MAC championship game Saturday afternoon, the oddsmakers had installed Toledo (11-2) as a 21-point favorite over Akron (7-6). That ultimately proved to be relatively accurate as the Rockets had little problem dispatching the Zips in a 45-28 win. With the victory, Toledo claimed its first MAC crown since 2004 and its third win total in the game.
The Zips were making their second appearance in the game and first since 2005.
Leading the way yet again for the Rockets was Logan Woodside, with the quarterback completing 23 of his 37 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns. Terry Swanson chipped with 180 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
The defense, though, may have been the story of the day for Toledo as they held Akron to just 123 yards of offense — 76 passing, 47 rushing — through almost three quarters of play; as UT’s defense went into prevent mode, Akron finished with 396 yards. While they forced just two turnovers — the Rockets’ offense had five — UT forced five three-and-outs and seven punts overall.
Both for this season and on into the future, Houston has found its depth in the secondary depleted.
According to Joseph Duarte of the Houston Chronicle, Zaire Taylor plans to transfer from the Cougars. While there’s been no confirmation from the school, the defensive back retweeted another tweet which indicated he was leaving and that an “[e]xclusive interview [is] coming this Sunday.”
Taylor was a three-star member of UH’s 2018 recruiting class. Through the Cougars’ first six games this season, Taylor hadn’t registered a defensive statistic.
When Wisconsin takes the field this weekend looking to bounce back from a stunning beating at the hands of Michigan in Week 7, the Badgers’ secondary could have decidedly different — and depleted — look to it.
UW released its initial injury report for this coming Saturday’s homecoming game against Illinois, and a whopping five defensive backs were listed on it. The injured fivesome are safeties D’Cota Dixon (right leg), Scott Nelson (right leg) and Reggie Pearson (left leg) and cornerbacks Travian Blaylock (right leg) and Faion Hicks (left leg).
Hicks, Nelson and Pearson were all injured in the loss to Michigan. Dixon sustained his injury in the Oct. 6 win over Nebraska and didn’t play against U-M. Blaylock, after playing in the first four games this season, hadn’t seen any action in the last two.
Hicks and Nelson, both redshirt freshmen, along with the senior Dixon were listed as starters ahead of the Wolverines game. Pearson made his first career start in place of Dixon, who hadn’t been listed on the injury report heading into that game.
The Badgers will update the status of all five defensive backs later on in the week.
The depth along the interior of Duke’s defensive line has taken an injury hit.
Earlier this week, Duke confirmed that Edgar Cerenord suffered a ruptured right Achilles tendon in this past Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech. The defensive tackle underwent surgery Monday afternoon to repair the damage.
Suffice to say, the fifth-year senior will miss the remainder of the 2018 season.
Cerenord could pursue a sixth season of eligibility if he so chooses. It’s unclear at this point if he’ll utilize this option.
Thus far, Cerenord, who started all 13 games last season, has played in 41 games during his Blue Devils career. Four of those appearances came this season, and he was credited with 14 tackles in that action.
According to the school, he’s the lone senior on the Blue Devils’ defensive line.
Iowa State’s not going to take the monetary hit lying down.
Earlier Tuesday, the Big 12 announced that ISU has been fined $25,000 after their fans stormed the field this past Saturday. The field storming came in the aftermath of ISU’s huge upset of then-No. 6 West Virginia in Ames.
In a statement announcing the fine, conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that the league “[has] a duty to provide a safe game environment” and that ISU “has a written event management policy that was not thoroughly implemented, and was unsuccessful in ensuring the safety and security of all visiting team game participants” — a sentiment with which WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen is likely to agree.
Not long after the league’s announcement, ISU president Wendy Wintersteen confirmed in a statement that the university will appeal the fine.
Our institution takes the safety and welfare of all student-athletes, officials and fans very seriously. We have reviewed all of our procedures, including several videos of the post-game celebration, and we do not agree with Commissioner Bowlsby’s assessment of the events that evening,. Chief [Michael] Newton, of the Iowa State University Police Department, and the CSC staff had a very thorough and specific plan.
“Those plans were discussed and implemented prior to the game and were evaluated and adjusted during the game to ensure the safest atmosphere for everyone attending the game, including the West Virginia players and staff.
According to school officials, it took security less than 90 seconds to safely get the WVU football contingent off the field and into the locker room. No injuries have been reported on either side.