Archive for Saturday, August 12, 2006

Rockets unsettled at quarterback spot

Sept. 15: at Toledo

August 12, 2006


Starting under center, Toledo won't be the same football team Kansas University routed, 63-14, back in 2004.

New coordinators came in last year and promptly helped the Rockets to another nine-victory season. And now, a new quarterback will replace three-year starter Bruce Gradowski, the co-MVP of the Mid-American Conference last year.

It looks like sophomore Clint Cochran is the quarterback heir. As a freshman, he played in six games, completing 74 percent of his passes and throwing a touchdown. Many of his snaps were late in games, though. He made only one start.

While Cochran seems the obvious choice to take Gradowski's torch, it's not so cut-and-dried to Toledo coach Tom Amstutz.

"I really like to let them compete and do it on the field," Amstutz said. "We have several candidates going for that job. Clint Cochran is No. 1 on the depth chart. But we also have a couple of other guys that will compete."

Those battling are red-shirt freshman Brandon Summers and true freshman Aaron Opelt. Whoever emerges, it will be a significant drop-off in experience from Gradowski, who started 36 games since the 2003 season.

The winner will have heavy expectations in his arm, though eight returning starters on offense will ease the burden. Toledo finished 9-3 in 2005, and has won at least eight games every season since 2000.

As for the Kansas game, it's a Friday-night affair Sept. 15 at the Glass Bowl, Toledo's daunting home where opponents have gone 2-32 since the 2000 season.

"I think we've played well at home," Amstutz said. "A lot of times, we don't have some of the bigger teams like Kansas that come into our stadium. I think that also helps our record at home, when we're playing more of our league opponents in our stadium than some of the bigger schools."


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