Toledo Rockets 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook
2015 Record 10-2
Toledo Rockets 2016 Preview
Former OC turned head coach Jason Candle has a loaded Toledo Rockets squad that is poised to take the next step in 2016.
Overview: With Matt Campbell leaving for Iowa State the Rockets found a familiar face to replace him in Jason Candle who inherits another talented squad that always seems to fall short in the big games…Northern Illinois. Does he have a plan that gets Toledo over the hump?
USA TODAY Sports
Offense: The potent Toledo Rockets offense that averaged 35 points in 2015 has the potential to duplicate those numbers with the majority of their weapons back in the fold. Sure the Rockets lose quarterback Phillip Ely who approached 3,000 passing yards but things are in good hands with Logan Woodside threw for 2,263 yards with 19 TD’s and eight picks in 2014 but was redshirted in ’15. Corey Jones (55-577) was a sure handed short yardage receiver with Cody Thompson (37-825) more explosive but the Rockets are more then two receivers so Woodside has plenty of targets. Kareem Hunt and Terry Swanson ran for 973 yards and 923 yards respectively and both are back running behind an O-Line that returns five players with starting experience including All MAC LT Storm Norton.
Defense: The 2015 Rockets allowed just under 21 points but the defensive line lost five of their top seven but new DC Brian George comes over from defensive minded Kent State so this situation is not ideal but George has done a lot with less before. DT Treyvon Hester and end John Stepec are the top guys back for the Rockets with a combined 12 TFL and 5.5 sacks so there is something to build around with several three star recruits in the fold as well a few transfers. Eight players saw time at linebacker but top tackler Chas Murdock is gone. The Toledo secondary loses four of the top five with FS DeJuan Rogers the top guy back after posting eleven pass break ups. Seven others saw the field a year ago so George has something to work with.
Special Teams: Punter Nick Ellis averaged just over 39 yards per boot and Jameson Vest was 19-27 on field goals so both could do more to improve the Rockets special teams. Diontae Johnson averaged almost 23 yards on 32 kick returns while Corey Jones brought back 19 punts at just over ten yards.
Outlook: One thing I know is Toledo will find the endzone but it’s hard to imagine the defense matching last season’s numbers with the line and secondary losing so much. Toledo is heading to a Bowl but winning the conference doesn’t appear to be in their future in my view but the Rockets are a team to watch.
9/3 @ Arkansas State
9/17 Fresno State
10/8 @ Eastern Michigan
10/15 Bowling Gree
10/22 Central Michigan
11/2 @ Akron
11/9 @ Northern Illinois
11/16 Ball State
11/25 @ Western Michigan