Toledo Football: Rockets 2021 season preview and prediction – AthlonSports.com

Bryant Koback and Toledo Rockets should brag about one of MAC’s best offenses

Led by 21 returning starters, Toledo will be among the favorites to win the MAC for the 2021 college football season. An improving defense should continue to progress under coach Jason Candle. Plus, the Rockets have no shortage of firepower on an offense that averaged 35 points per game last season. The Sept. 25 road trip to Ball State is a big part of the MAC West title race.

Related: Athlon Sports College Football Top 25 For 2021

Preview of the Toledo offensive for 2021

With the starting experience flowing with each position, there won’t be much intrigue as the Rockets’ offense takes shape – except at quarterback, where the absence of senior Eli Peters has left Toledo. with a full-fledged competition. Peters, who started 14 games in the past three seasons, ended his career in the spring with lingering injuries. Now the Rockets are looking for Carter Bradley, who made a few starts in 2020, to fight with Tucker Gleason, Dequan Finn and Gavin Hall for the starting nod. Bradley threw for a career-high 432 yards against Central Michigan last season.

The line returns all five starters, including all-conference double center Bryce Harris and former Freshman All-America tackle Nick Rosi. They anchor a unit that helped Toledo’s offensive come second in the MAC in all-out offense (494.0) and first in passing offense (325.8).

Junior running back Bryant Koback is a two-year-old starter who delivers a punch, rushing for 2,626 yards and 30 touchdowns in three seasons. The receiving group is led by junior Isaiah Winstead, a third-team All-MAC pick, as well as seniors Danzel McKinley-Lewis and Bryce Mitchell. McKinley-Lewis has 87 catches and five scores in his career, while Mitchell, a 2019 second-team All-MAC selection, has 55 receptions and nine touchdowns.

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Toledo defense preview for 2021

There’s no way to overdo it – the defense is loaded as it brings back plenty of players from both depths in the final game of 2020, including four performers from all conferences.

The line has both strength and depth with 10 lettermen, led by a pair of juniors – All-MAC two-rusher Jamal Hines and 2020 All-MAC tackle Desjuan Johnson. Hines has 130 tackles and 22 TFLs in his career, while Johnson has 75 tackles, 15 TFLs and 4.5 sacks.

The linebacker squad is led by junior All-MAC Dyontae Johnson, who recorded 47 saves in the six-game 2020 season. High school has safeties from all lectures in senior Tycen Anderson and sophomore Nate Bauer. Anderson has 182 career tackles and played 45 games with the Rocket. Senior cornerback Samuel Womack has led the MAC in assists for the past two seasons and will be joined on the other corner by veteran Justin Clark.

Overview of Toledo specialists for 2021

That group sack four-year-old starting punter Bailey Flint, who led the MAC in 2019 with 47.3 yards per punt. Freshmen Thomas Cluckey and Evan Davis handled the kick in 2020 and will face each other again, while senior Ronnie Blackmon is an experienced returning man.

Final analysis

A pair of three-point losses kept the Rockets out of the Conference Championship game last season, and a roster brimming with experienced staff in every position should give Jason Candle enough firepower to fight for it again. the title in his sixth season as a head coach.

With the NCAA granting players additional eligibility due to the abridged 2020 season, Candle has 60 letter recipients on its roster, including six who won all-conference honors last season. The Rockets undergo a severe test in the second week of the season at Notre Dame and should go on to try for the MAC title.

National ranking: 80

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