The Toledo Rockets (2-1) of the MAC visit the San Diego State (1-2) to take on the NCAA Aztecs on Saturday, September 24th at 3:30 pm.
This will be the first meeting between the two schools The Rockets are looking to bounce back after an embarrassing loss to the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes, 77-21. The Aztecs, playing at home at Snapdragon Stadium, are looking to grab a victory also, losing their last game 35-7 at Utah.
Toledo is led by their powerhouse defense and defensive tackle Dallas Gant. The 6-foot-3 and 235 lb junior linebacker has 25 tackles (6 solos) in three games. He is number one in the MAC with 19 assisted tackles. Rockets receivers Demeer Blankumsee (16 catches for 123 yards) and Jerjuan Newton (10 catches for 202 yards) lead the receiving core. Quarterback Dequan Finn is a dual threat on the field. He has 541 yards passing and also leads the team in rushing yards with 208.
The San Diego State Aztecs come into the game struggling on offense. Quarterback Braxton Burmeister has a 52.5 completion % and 165 passing yards in three games. The Aztecs as a team have eight touchdowns in three games.
Running back Jaylon Armsteadleads in the rushing department, gaining 160 yards on 15 attempts. Wide receiver Jesse Matthews has 57 yards on six catches. San Diego State linebacker MichaelChawcroft is having an impressive season, already with 20 tackles (three for a loss) and two sacks.
On paper, this should be a big win for the Rockets. However, Toledo did lose their last road game a week ago and may not have fully recovered from a loss like that.
Toledo will be seeing a familiar face on the San Diego State sideline in head coach Brady Hoke. Hoke performed as a linebackers coach for the Rockets from 1987-1989. Hoke then went on to work as an assistant coach at Oregon State University from 1989-1994. The Rockets had a record of 15-17-1 with Hoke in the fold. Toledo is now coached by Jason Candle, who is now in his seventh year as Rockets head coach. The Rockets have appeared in four bowl games since his arrival, going 0-4 in those games.
Rockets coach Jason Candle will have a game plan going into the game against San Diego State. What the coaching staff and players should do is not look past this team. Despite their offensive woes, San Diego State could surprise Toledo if the Rockets are looking past them. Toledo needs to be careful and plan accordingly or we could have an upset on Saturday.
(photo: toledoblade.com; Kyle Rowland)