Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Toledo Rockets season with what you need to know.
2018 Record: 7-6 overall, 5-3 in MAC
Head Coach: Jason Candle, 3rd year, 28-13
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE TOLEDO OFFENSE
– The offense that finished second in the MAC in yards and led the conference in scoring – averaging over 40 points per game – gets back seven starters, not including getting back its best quarterback.
– Eli Peters did a nice job. The junior hit 55% of his passes for 1,837 yards and 18 scores, but that was after Mitchell Guadagni suffered a season-ending broken collarbone. The 6-2, 200-pounder only hit 58% of his throws, but he connected on 13 touchdowns with three picks and ran for 428 yards and three scores. Either way, the passing game that was among the MAC’s most efficient should be okay, but …
– The top three starting receivers are gone, with 27 of the team’s 32 touchdown catches done. 27-catch Desmond Phillips can move, and then it’s a hope and a prayer that seniors like Andrew Davis and Danzel McKinley-Lewis can rise up and produce – they combined for two catches.
On the plus side, the tight end combination of 6-0, 235-pound senior Reggie Gilliam and 6-4, 245-pound junior Drew Rosi is good enough to do a whole lot more.
– If the running backs aren’t the best in the MAC, they’re not far off. Byant Koback is a nice, quick runner who averaged six yards per pop with a team-high 917 yards and 14 touchdowns, and 5-11, 218-pound junior Shakif Seymour is a veteran who pointed away for 12 touchdowns as a freshman and 565 yards with five scores last season. However, speedy Art Thompkins transferred to UConn.
– The line did a great job for the running game, but there were issues in pass protection and at keeping defenses out of the backfield. Bryce Harris is a terrific veteran center to work around, and 6-8, 345-pound senior Cameron Bell is a good left tackle. Even with the loss of three starters, there shouldn’t be too much of a loss in the transition, but it’ll take fall camp to find the cohesion.