Game day preview: Colorado State at Toledo

·2 min read

Sep. 18—An energetic crowd is expected at the Glass Bowl on Saturday as Toledo returns home for a Group Five showdown against Colorado State. The Rams don't bring the quality of years past, but their name still holds cache in college football circles. And the talent is such that UT must be on guard for an upset.

Here's what to know about the matchup:

Who: Colorado State (0-2) at Toledo (1-1)

When: Saturday, 4 p.m.

Where: Glass Bowl

Spread: Toledo by 14.5

TV: ESPNU

Radio: 1370 AM; 1230 AM

Follow: Kyle Rowland

PLAYERS TO WATCH

—Toledo: Bryant Koback. In the last meeting between Toledo and Colorado State, Koback rushed for 228 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries, an absurd 12-yards-per-carry average. He was effective against Notre Dame and now he'll face a rush defense that's near the bottom of the country. Only 16 schools have given up more rushing touchdowns than Colorado State's five.

—Colorado State: Trey McBride. The Colorado tight end could be one of the best players Toledo faces all season, and at 6-foot-4, 260 pounds, he's not going to be easy to cover. He leads all tight ends with 22 receptions (and one touchdown) for 234 yards. Pro Football Focus ranks him as the No. 2 pass-catching tight end and fourth in pass-blocking.

STATS TO KNOW

—19: The Rockets have 19 tackles for loss in two games this season, ranking in the top 10 nationally.

—27: ESPN's NFL draft guru Todd McShay rates McBride as the 27th-best NFL prospect for 2022.

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Toledo defensive line vs. Colorado State offensive line: The Rockets gave a preview last week of what could be a long year for opposing offensive lines. Colorado State is going to have to create turnovers on defense, but if its O-line is rendered ineffective, UT's miscues could be diminished, and it could be Toledo who creates the game-changing plays, sparking a Rocket surge.

PREDICTION

A letdown will not be in the cards Saturday. The Rockets are a laser-focused group, with the coaching staff instilling a culture of preparation and accountability. Toledo is the better team — there isn't much debating that point. And with a group that just showed great promise at Notre Dame, a mostly-filled Glass Bowl on a beautiful late-summer afternoon won't be a welcome sight for Colorado State. UT will get an all-around performance that gathers more confidence as a potential MAC West championship game at Ball State looms. Toledo 38-20.

WARMUP READING

Is Toledo's two-quarterback system built to last?

After three decades of coaching, UT assistant Kuligowski's tank is still full

Briggs: Can we talk about Toledo football's penalty problems?

First Published September 18, 2021, 6:00am

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