The big story, aside from winning by 20 points on the road, is losing All MAC defensive end T.J. Fatinikun to a season ending injury. Terrible break for T.J. He's a good guy, who I've known since his senior year of high school at Perrysburg. I covered Bowling Green, and he was committed there before the coaching staff was dismissed. We used to speak often on the phone, with him venting about a difficult decision he had to make. Here's to hoping he makes a full and speedy recovery and is able to work out for NFL teams this spring.
Now some stats/analysis from an emphatic road win ...
-David Fluellen, who enjoyed a superb day with a career-high 213 rushing yards --- topping his previous best by 103 yards --- now ranks fourth in the MAC with 100 yards per game. His six TDs, three of which came at WMU, rank second.
-Terrance Owens' streak of games in which he has thrown a touchdown pass ends at eight. The last time he did not throw for a TD, believe it or not, was when the Rockets scored 60 points last year at Northern Illinois. Another Owens streak, consecutive passes attempted without an interception, rages on at 263.
-Alonzo Russell, who celebrated his 20th birthday Saturday, has led Toledo in receiving yards in three of five games after a five-catch, 87-yard performance. He ranks third in the MAC in yards per game. His destruction of a Broncos defensive back on Fluellen's 53-yard TD run was a sight to behold.
-Jeremiah Detmer, probably at the behest of his coaches, is apparently not trying for touchbacks anymore. He was 10 of 11 through two games and just three of 22 since. My guess is the staff has enough faith in a coverage unit that ranks fourth in the MAC to not readily concede the five additional yards return teams are getting this year on touchbacks.
-Always an overlooked stat: Success on third down. Toledo's offense ranks fourth in the MAC at 45 percent. Its defense is third at 36 percent.
-Toledo's nickel and dime packages are expanding. Getting playing time in these situations on Saturday was freshmen Juwan Haynes, Trent Voss, and Chaz Whitaker, and sophomores Keith Suggs and Jordan Haden, and junior Ross Madison. Haden 63-yard pick six was possibly a 14-point swing. If WMU scores, the game is suddenly 20-16. As it was, UT went up 27-9
-Toledo has been penalized an average of 73.2 yards per game, worst in the MAC. I was surprised when I saw that stat. Didn't think it was that big of an issue. The Rockets were flagged eight times Saturday for 87 yards.
-Toledo is tied with Kent State for second in the MAC in turnovers created (11) and turnover margin (+8). Ohio leads both categories at 13 created and +11.
-Dan Molls, with 62 tackles, is now one behind national leader Anthony Hitchens of Iowa. Molls had 13 stops Saturday.
-Jayrone Elliott leads UT in sacks with three, all of which came in the past two weeks. His impact will be needed even more given the loss of Fatinikun.