Nevada Non-Conference Preview: Toledo
The Nevada Wolf Pack closes out non-conference play on the road as they face of against Toledo. Here is an early preview of this game.
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Nevada Non-Conference Preview: Toledo
The Nevada Wolf Pack wrap up non-conference play with a trip to Ohio to face off against the Toledo Rockets in a rematch of last year’s contest in Reno. Game time and where the can be seen on TV is still to be determined.
About the Toledo Football program:
The Toledo Rockets, of the Mid-American Conference, are coming off an excellent season last year where they went 11-3 and won their first MAC Championship since 2004. The Rockets did it with an explosive offense led by quarterback Logan Woodside. Woodside was second in the nation with 73 touchdowns in his final two seasons which was second only behind Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.
Woodside, like Mayfield, is in the NFL now but most of the offensive pieces remain on this Rockets team. There are issues that remain as to who will quarterback the Rockets now that Woodside has moved on. The defense is a solid unit whose strength lies in the defensive backfield, but it will need to be a collective unit for the Rockets to repeat as MAC champions in 2018.
Head Coach: Jason Candle, third season, overall record, 21-7
2017 Record: 11-3
2017 Season in Review: The Rockets opened the season with a 3-0 record that included a 37-24 victory over Nevada in Reno. After a 52-30 loss to Miami in Week 4, Toledo won eight of their next nine games which included a 45-28 victory over the Akron Zips in the MAC Championship game. The victory earned the Rockets a birth in the Dollar General Bowl in Mobile where their season came to a crashing end as they were shut out by a score of 34-0 by Appalachian State. The ugly outing by the Rockets marred an otherwise great season overall by the Rockets.
Key Players Returning in 2018: RB Shakif Seymour, RB Art Thompkins, WR Diontae Johnson, WR Jon’Vea Johnson, WR Cody Thompson, DB Ka’Dar Hollman, S Josh Teachey, S Kahlil Robinson, DL Nate Childress, DE Willie Ross Jr.
Strengths: Like last year, the strength of this team is its offense. The Rockets ranked in the top 20 in scoring offense (36.4 points per game) and total offense (483.9 yards per game) in 2017. And the offense should continue its run as one of the better offense units in the country. The Rockets rushing attack lost Terry Swanson to graduation and he ran for over 1,300 yards last year but don’t fear, the two running backs behind him last year, Shakif Seymour and Art Thompkins, ran for a combined total of over 1,300 yards last season so safe to say the rushing attack is in good hands.
The passing attack returns both Diontae Johnson and Jon’Vea Thompson who are both the top two targets in a deep receiving corps for the Rockets.
The secondary is also a strength of Toledo as this unit let the Mid-American Conference last season with 15 interceptions. Both Hollman, Teachey, and Robinson return to anchor this talented Rockets secondary.
Weakness: With all the weapons the Rockets have on offense, the question remains is who will quarterback this team. No matter if its junior Mitchell Guadagni or sophomore Eli Peters, neither quarterback has much experience as both players have combined one career completion. Also, the offensive line lost some talent and will need to lean on a few experiences linemen to rebuild that unit.
Also, while the secondary is a solid unit, the defense was only okay. The team did give up 26 points per game last season which is ok but it was offset by the Rockets blistering offense. If the offense suffers from a new lead at quarterback, the rest of the defense outside of the secondary will have to step up for Toledo to repeat the performances of last season.
This rematch between Nevada and Toledo has all the makings of a shootout. Both teams’ offenses are going to be in an explosive mode while the defenses could still be finding themselves by the time this game comes around.
All in all, it should be a fun, exciting game to wrap up conference play for the Wolf Pack and one that if Nevada’s offense can outlast Toledo’s offense and the Wolf Pack’s defense can make a stop or two, the Wolf Pack have a very good chance to close non-conference play with a big non-conference win on the road.