The Toledo Rockets have an uphill battle this Saturday, September 17 on Fox at 7 pm as they face the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes. Both teams come in with perfect 2-0 records. That is where the comparisons end. Ohio State has a 3-0 record all-time against the Rockets, outscoring them 114-22.
Ohio State comes into the game as a powerhouse of college football. Winning with regularity, the offense is something to behold. The Buckeyes are averaging 466.5 yards per game and 33 points per game.
The biggest offensive weapon is the passing game and the arm of quarterback C.J. Stroud. Stroud had 574 yards passing, six touchdowns, and a 69% completion %. As a team, Ohio State is averaging 296.5 passing yards per game. One of the players succeeding from this offense is wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr who has 12 receptions for 240 yards and three touchdowns in two games.
The defense has held its own as well, having five quarterback sacks so far this season.
Toledo comes into this game with firepower of its own, averaging 424 yards per game and 194 yards passing per game. As a team, they have exploded for 92 points in two games for a 46-point-per-game average.
Quarterback Dequan Finn has 393 passing yards, a 61.1 completion %, three touchdowns, and 138 yards rushing on 19 attempts for a 7.3 average. Wide receiver Jerjaun Newton has eight catches for 160 yards and one touchdown.
The Rocket defense has been solid, accounting for two sacks and one interception.
For Toledo to have a chance to pull out a win, they will have to control the passing game of Ohio State. Limiting Stroud to short passes or no yards after the catch will give them a chance to win. The Rockets also need a big passing game overall from Finn, letting him control the game.
The Rockets could also look to upset the Buckeyes by using clock management. The less time Ohio State has to operate the better chance Toledo has to upset. Ohio State has one of the better programs in the nation but they can be beaten. The Rocket defense will also play a huge part in this game if Toledo is to win. They need to get pressure on Stroud every down, crowd the Buckeye receivers, and play physical on the line.
Ohio State does have Toledo’s number in their short matchup history. Needless to say, anyone can get beaten on Saturday and the Buckeyes are no different. Toledo does have a chance for an upset, yet, a lot will have to fall into place for that to happen. Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? no. An upset can appear at any time to any team.
Play-calling will also be crucial. Will Toledo call a wide-open offense and the players go for it every down? Or will it be an offense that is a time management situation and they run down the clock between plays?
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