Thoughts and observations from Saturday’s 47-20 lambasting of Western Michigan. ...
-I wasn’t around to see Wasean Tait or Chester Taylor, but I can’t imagine either was superior to David Fluellen. The senior workhorse, who notched his fourth career 200-yard day, ranks atop the FBS is most major rushing categories. He’s second in yards (846) and second in rushing TDs (nine). His 141 yards per game is seventh. His balance and one-cut ability are special. He’s also a lock to catch the ball whenever it’s thrown his way. If there’s a weakness in his game I’m not smart enough to find it. What a back.
-With Chaz Whittaker recording an interception (he had two, actually), six different Rockets have picked off a pass. I still would like to see better coverage from the secondary, but I don’t want to be overly critical. They’ve made progress. Western Michigan’s Tyler Van Tubbergen didn’t pose much of a test.
-Western Michigan first-year coach P.J. Fleck is a good recruiter, evidenced by his securing a bunch of early commitments from prospects with plenty of options. Ten of WMU’s pledges have a UT offer. The story going forward is whether Fleck can hold onto his commitments with his team’s accumulation of ugly losses. If I’m UT I’m spending the bye week trying to flip Fleck’s commitments.
-A quibble: I didn’t like the offensive drive before halftime. Toledo crossed midfield and had two timeouts left with 30-40 seconds left. What followed was three incomplete passes, including a couple of deep sideline routes, one of which was intended for D.J. Larkins who was playing safety a week ago. I’d like to see a run there or at least a higher percentage pass. Campbell was not happy after the series. These shortcomings won’t cut it against Navy or Bowling Green.
-Another quibble: Bernard Reedy needs to check his pride and call for a fair catch every now and then. I admire his courage to field the ball amid a sea of coverage men, but it’s not smart. At best he’s going to be stopped for no gain or a loss. At worst he’s going to fumble or get injured. Coaches need to address this before it’s too late.
-One more quibble: Only 17,621 on homecoming? Do better, Toledo fans.