When: Saturday, Sept. 10 – 7 p.m. ET
Few believed Toledo would be much of a threat in the MAC because of its defense being unable to get off the field quickly enough to maximize possessions for its dynamic offense. But the Rockets made a statement in Friday’s 31-10 win, holding Arkansas State to 266 total yards and not allowing a touchdown until the game’s final minute. The Red Wolves got 83 of those yards on one play and Toledo gave up a couple sizeable gains on the ground, but the overall performance against a pretty talented opponent certainly opened some eyes around the MAC.
Maine won’t be a pushover FCS foe, however. The Black Bears led Connecticut by a touchdown in the fourth quarter on Thursday before allowing 10 unanswered points, capped by a 37-yard field goal with 11 seconds left in a 24-21 loss.
What To Know About Toledo
Remember that dynamic offense I mentioned? It racked up 556 total yards against Arkansas State and scored 31 unanswered points after trailing 3-0 at the end of one quarter. Damion Jones-Moore and Kareem Hunt led a strong rushing attack as expected, and Logan Woodside finished 23-of-31 for 371 yards and three touchdowns. Cody Thompson was on the receiving end of 174 of those yards and caught a TD pass. If the Rockets defense can continue playing like it did in the opener, they could be a dark horse in the MAC West race.
What to Know About Maine
The Black Bears nearly pulled off the first FCS vs. FBS upset Thursday before Albany knocked off Buffalo the next night. After the close loss to UConn and a fellow CAA member defeating a MAC foe, they’re going to be entering The Glass Bowl with plenty of confidence.
Maine lined up for a 47-yard field goal with 1:48 to play that, if converted, would’ve given it a late lead. But it was blocked, and UConn marched 50 yards in nine plays for the winning kick.
It spoiled a solid performance from quarterback Dan Collins, who threw for two scores. The Black Bears didn’t run often, but when they did it wasn’t very successful, finishing with 40 yards on 19 carries. They’ll need to be better in that department if they plan to leave Toledo a winner.
Offense: Toledo – Just too much firepower on that side of the ball compared to Maine’s spotty-at-best running game.
Defense: Toledo – It proved some of its doubters wrong with a strong effort.
Special Teams: Toledo – It’s not as if the Rockets did anything spectacular in this department, but Maine having a late field goal blocked is the difference here.
Coaching: Toledo – Jason Candle has been coaching parts of the Toledo offense in some capacity since 2009, and that unit seems to be functioning pretty well in his first full season as head coach.
Toledo – The Glass Bowl can be an intimidating environment, especially for an FCS team. The Rockets won eight straight there before close losses to MAC powers Northern Illinois and Western Michigan in their final two home games of 2015.
Matchup To Watch
Woodside vs. Maine’s pass defense
Maine allowed 162 passing yards against UConn, but that is very misleading considering Huskies quarterback Bryant Shirreffs completed 69.6 percent of his 23 pass attempts. Look for Woodside to have a big day throwing the ball.
Toledo vs. Maine Betting Odds
Spread: No line
Toledo vs. Maine Prediction
Woodside and the Rockets’ offense proves to be too much for Maine to handle, spoiling the Black Bears’ upset bid.
Toledo vs. Maine Final Score Prediction: Toledo 40, Maine 17