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Archive for Friday, September 15, 2006

Rockets enjoy friendly confines

Quaint Glass Bowl has been good to home team: 34-2 since end of 1999 season

September 15, 2006

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Toledo coach Tom Amstutz reacts to a call against his team during the second overtime of the Rockets' 45-43 triple-overtime loss to Iowa State. Toledo lost its season opener Aug. 31 in Ames, Iowa.

Toledo coach Tom Amstutz reacts to a call against his team during the second overtime of the Rockets' 45-43 triple-overtime loss to Iowa State. Toledo lost its season opener Aug. 31 in Ames, Iowa.

The Glass Bowl, the home stadium of the University of Toledo football team, quickly has established itself as a place visiting opponents just don't want to go to.

It's not intimidation - the 26,248-seat stadium is dwarfed by dozens of venues across the country. Rather, it's more of the way Toledo plays when surrounded by the comfort of home.

Toledo gets its first crack at an opponent at the Glass Bowl today, when Kansas University comes to town for the Rockets' first home game of the season. UT will be shooting for its sixth straight home-opening win and will try to improve on its 34-2 home record since the end of the 1999 season.

"I have never been at the Glass Bowl," Kansas coach Mark Mangino said, "but they say it's kind of a neat, nostalgic place to go watch a game."

Going home is something Toledo desperately needs. The Rockets are 0-2 this season, opening with a triple-overtime loss to Iowa State which ended when a two-point conversion pass was dropped.

Last week against Western Michigan, the Rockets outgained the Broncos in total yards but made a myriad of mistakes that doomed them in a 31-10 loss.

Quarterback Clint Cochran, for one, threw two interceptions, lost a fumble, bobbled a snap on a field-goal attempt and was sacked five times against Western Michigan.

It was just one of those days.

"We went back to practice Sunday, and we took our losses as a team and a coaching staff," Toledo coach Tom Amstutz said. "Obviously, we had a disappointing weekend, but we're going to refocus and gather back together. There's no crying in football."

Mistakes have cost them so far, but the Rockets have it in them to have another fine season. Toledo has won at least eight games each of the last six years and will rely on a potent passing attack to try to make it seven.

UT has attempted 80 passes in two games so far, completing 57 for 585 yards. Divide those in two, and you've got game averages. And they're all pretty high.

Cochran has completed 72.2 percent of his attempts, and that's no fluke. He completed 74 percent of his 42 pass attempts last year as Bruce Gradowski's backup.

"They do stretch the field vertically," Mangino said, "but they throw a lot of underneath routes, screens and things of that sort that they're good at that's been good to them over the years. They do have a high completion ratio, but they throw the ball vertically. They can get the ball down the field."

Basically, Toledo's offensive weakness plays into KU's defensive strength, and the Rockets' offensive strength matches up with KU's weakness.

Jalen Parmele has 181 yards rushing on 35 carries so far, but his legs won't win Toledo's first game today, not with KU's run defense putting up similar numbers as last year's.

Whatever key Toledo finds, it better find it quick. Though the Rockets have rebounded from an 0-2 start before, they know that the quicker the recovery, the better.

"We know we're 0-2," linebacker Mike Alston told the Toledo Blade. "We're fighting for a victory. But 0-3? Hey, we're thinking about nothing except what we have to do to win."

Comments

hspunk97 8 years, 3 months ago

ROCK CHALK!!!! with love in Springfield Missouri

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