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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 15, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Glass Bowl (26,248) -- Toledo, Ohio. Television: ESPN3. Home Record: BGSU 1-0, Toledo 0-0. Away Record: BGSU 0-1, Toledo 1-1. Neutral Record: BGSU 0-0, Toledo 0-0. Conference Record: BGSU 0-0, Toledo 0-0. Series Record: Bowling Green leads, 28-21.
GAME NOTES: The Battle of I-75 comes early this season as the Toledo Rockets host their Mid-American Conference rival Bowling Green Falcons at the Glass Bowl.
The rival schools, which are separated by just 25 miles, have never met this early in the season. This will be the 77th matchup between Toledo and BGSU. The Falcons lead the all-time series 39-33-4, but they have lost the last two encounters to the Rockets.
Bowling Green picked up its first win of the season last week by downing Idaho, 21-13. The Falcons scored 14 points in 75 seconds to take what turned out to be an insurmountable 15-point advantage. Defensively, BGSU held the Vandals to just six rushing yards and kept them out of the end zone until late in the fourth quarter.
Head coach Dave Clawson is now in the midst of his third season at Bowling Green. The team finished 2-10 in his first year and improved to 5-7 in 2011. Clawson's steady improvement of the program has turned the Falcons into a team with postseason expectations in 2012.
Toledo escaped its season-opening two-game road trip with one win and one loss. After a 24-17 overtime loss to Arizona in their opener, the Rockets came up with a big defensive stop in the final minute to clinch a thrilling 34-31 victory over Wyoming.
The win gave Matt Campbell his first in the regular season as Toledo's head coach. Campbell coached the team to a victory in the Military Bowl last season under an interim basis after Tim Beckman's departure for Illinois. Campbell has taken over one of the more explosive teams in the conference.
Matt Schilz will be making his 25th career start for Bowling Green on Saturday. The junior quarterback completed 24-of-35 passes for 283 yards and a touchdown with an interception in the team's victory over Idaho. Schilz enters the bout with Toledo with 5,734 yards and 37 touchdowns in his career.
Wide receiver Shaun Joplin reeled in seven passes for 117 yards to help the Falcons get past the Vandals last week. Redshirt freshman Chris Gallon has team-best totals of 158 yards and 12 catches through two games.
The 2011 MAC Freshman of the Year, Anthon Samuel was shut down by Florida in the season opener, but he managed to provide a spark for the offense with 67 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries against Idaho. Samuel eclipsed the century mark five times during his freshman season, including a 105-yard and one touchdown outing versus Toledo.
Bowling Green had no answer for Florida's rushing attack in week one and allowed the Gators to accumulate 239 yards on the ground. Last week, the defense managed to hold Idaho to just six rushing yards but it allowed 358 yards through the air.
The Falcons are very experienced with 10 starters back from last year's squad. Defensive tackle Chris Jones has been an impact player with seven tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks on the season. Cameron Truss and Paul Swan are tied for the team-high with 13 tackles each.
After splitting time with Austin Dantin in the opener, Terrance Owens exclusively led Toledo past Wyoming with 374 total yards and four touchdown passes. Owens had 193 total yards, including a 59-yard pass on a crucial third down play late in the fourth quarter, in Toledo's win over BGSU last season.
Reedy has become the main target in the passing game this season following the departure of all-time leading receiver Eric Page. Reedy has caught a team- best 15 passes and two touchdowns. David Fluellen is also transitioning into a vital role in Toledo's offense. The junior running back is coming off of a career-best 109 yard performance versus Wyoming. Fluellen is averaging 4.3 yards per carry.
Toledo's total defense (575.0 ypg) is the third worst in the nation, but it has managed to keep opponents from putting up gaudy numbers on the scoreboard and owns a positive 2.5 turnover margin. The Rockets' first two opponents have combined to score six total touchdowns, but they have also turned the ball over a total of six times as well.
Jermaine Robinson is a huge reason why Toledo's opponents have been turnover prone. Dating back to last season, the senior safety has intercepted a pass in four straight games. Robinson had only recorded two interceptions in his first 35 games before the streak.
Senior linebacker Dan Molls has been the anchor of the Rockets' defensive unit so far with 22 total tackles.
The Falcons showed in their season opener versus Florida that they are a resilient team. Bowling Green could end its losing streak to Toledo as Schilz should have no problem moving the ball down the field against a weak Rocket secondary. However, Schilz is not the most careful passer (29 career interceptions). These evenly matched MAC rivals should provide an exciting contest before this year's owner of the Battle of I-75 trophy is determined.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bowling Green 31, Toledo 30
09/12 10:37:18 ET
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