Check out the MAC Championship: Toledo vs. Akron fearless prediction and game preview.
Toledo (10-2) vs. Memphis (7-5) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, December 2nd
Game Time: 12:00 pm ET
Venue: Ford Field, Detroit, MI
Is it finally Toledo’s time?
Ohio might have a beef, but ever since last winning it in 2004, Toledo could lay claim to being the best team without a MAC Championship. It’s been close, but there’s always been a Northern Illinois or Central Michigan or Western Michigan in the way.
This season, the Rockets ripped through the West with a fantastic offense that was great against everyone but Ohio. The Rockets inexplicably clunked in a 38-10 loss just a few weeks ago, but came back roaring in the final two games to get to Detroit.
Just as improbable as Toledo’s second loss of the season – the first was to Miami – was Akron’s 37-34 Tuesday night win over the Bobcats to take control of the East.
In 2005, the Zips were able to pull of a shocker with a MAC title, but this year has been even more stunning with wins when they absolutely needed them.
Absolutely no one could’ve foreseen a win over Western Michigan, but a storm and a strange Sunday morning start changed that.
After starting out 1-3, and with issues at quarterback late in the year, to close out 6-2 has been amazing. And now Terry Bowden is one win away from pulling off one of the most fantastic seasons by anyone this year.
But after losing to Toledo 48-21 the first time around, the Zips need a whole slew of new ideas.
One Reason Why Toledo Will Win
Akron just doesn’t have the offense to keep up the pace.
The defense has been good, there aren’t a slew of big mistakes, and they team has a way of doing big things at the right times, but the O is just okay.
There isn’t enough of a ground game – the Zips haven’t rushed for more than 122 yards in any their last six games and average just 3.3 yards per carry – and the passing attack is too spotty.
Kato Nelson threw for 322 yards and four scores against Ohio, and followed it app with a 6-for-20 day for 69 yards and a score last week against Kent State.
On the other side is Logan Woodside, the veteran passer who threw just three picks all season long with 24 touchdown passes, cranking out ten yards per pass no matter who’s in his receiving corps.
He threw for 304 yards and five scores the first time around against the Zips, and with no Akron pass rush to get to him, he should bomb away again.
One Reason Why Akron Will Win
Akron has to keep the chains moving and force a whole lot of big Toledo mistakes.
It didn’t matter might in the first meeting, but Toledo was penalized 11 times for 104 yards. That wasn’t an aberration – the Rockets get flagged way too often.
Somehow, the Zips have to control the tempo and keep Woodside and the Rocket offense off the field. Akron leads the MAC in third down conversions, and while it doesn’t have a ground game to grind away, it can at least keep the chains moving.
And then hope Toledo keeps committing penalties, and hope to be at least +3 in the turnover margin.
Akron is playing with house money – it’s not supposed to be here. All of the pressure is on Toledo, who’s been the MAC’s best team this year and should get the league’s best bowl matchup. Akron has seven wins and will go bowling, and it’s about to let it all out.
Start throwing, get this into a shootout, and start generating mistakes.
What’s Going To Happen
Akron will be plucky for a half, and then it’ll be Toledo’s time.
Will it be all Woodside, or will the Rocket running game rise up? It ran for 300 yards or more in four of the last seven games for an O that should be able to move the ball however it wants to – at least after the game starts to settle in.
The Zips will try to keep up the pace for a while, and then then offense will start bogging down. Woodside and Toledo will go on a mid-third quarter scoring run, and that will be in as the Rocket program finally gets a MAC title again.
MAC Championship: Toledo vs. Akron Prediction
Toledo 44, Akron 17
Toledo -21.5, o/u: 57.5
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