Norfolk State Spartans (0-0) vs. Toledo Rockets (0-0)
September 4, 2021 7:00 pm EDT
The Line: Toledo Rockets -37.5 / Norfolk State Spartans +37.5; Over/Under: 58.5
(Get latest betting odds)
The Toledo Rockets meet the Norfolk State Spartans Saturday in week 1 college football action at the Glass Bowl. Norfolk State hasn’t played since 2019 when it finished 5-7 overall and 3-4 on the road. Toledo finished 4-2 last season and are winning 64.4 percent of its games under coach Jason Candle.
The Norfolk State Spartans averaged 28.9 points and 374.6 yards per game in 2019. Norfolk State allowed an average of 29.1 points and 422.8 yards per game in 2019. Juwan Carter returns at quarterback after throwing for 2,600 yards and 23 touchdowns. Kevin Johnson is back after leading the Spartans with 400 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. Da’Kendall James and Justin Smith is a receiving duo that combined for 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. Defensively, De’Shaan Dixon returns after 61 tackles, Chris Myers led Norfolk State with nine sacks and Devyn Coles had five interceptions. Norfolk State appears to be loaded on both sides of the ball and could have one of the better defenses in the FCS. However, Norfolk State hasn’t played football in forever, so it’s going to be interesting to see any potential rust or how long it takes to get back in the swing of things.
The Toledo Rockets averaged 35 points and 494 yards per game last season. Toledo allowed an average of 24.3 points and 362.2 yards per game last season. Carter Bradley should takeover at quarterback after 89 pass attempts last season. Bryant Koback returns after leading Toledo with 500 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Isaiah Winstead and Bryce Mitchell is a returning receiving duo that combined for 700 yards and seven touchdowns. Defensively, Dyontae Johnson returns after leading Toledo with 47 tackles, Jamal Hines had two sacks and Nate Bauer had two interceptions. Toledo returns majority of last years roster and has a chance to produce a conference title this season if things break right. The main issue for Toledo is replacing quarterback Eli Peters. Still, Toledo will have a shot to bring home a MAC title at the end of the season.
It’s hard to back Norfolk State with confidence knowing it hasn’t played football in forever. Toledo should cruise in this game and there’s a reason the spread is what it is. With that said, Toledo does have a quarterback to replace and it could take time to settle in. Also, Toledo has a meeting with Notre Dame on deck next week, creating the ultimate lookahead spot. I doubt the Toledo Rockets will empty the clip to beat up on Norfolk State. Give me the Spartans and the points.