Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  Last updated 11/30/11
Explosive Rockets should attract bowl attentionThe guys in the funny-colored sport coats that usually spend most of the game walking around in the press box, smiling and politicking, have to be giddy over the prospect of landing the Rockets for their bowl game.Toledo (8-4) made its case with a dominant 45-28 win over Ball State in its final game of the season. The Rockets shared the Mid-American Conference West Division title with Northern Illinois, but the Huskies will play in the MAC title game based on their win over Toledo.The Rockets have to look awfully attractive to the bowl committees, given their propensity for scoring explosions. Toledo's win over Ball State marked a fifth straight game with the Rockets scoring 40 or more points.One of the most likely scenarios places the Rockets in the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl in Detroit against Northwestern from the Big Ten. Playing so close to home would certainly mean a much bigger Toledo following would attend the game."We'll go anywhere," Toledo coach Tim Beckman said. "We need bowls, because it enables our young players to continue to improve and it gives our seniors the opportunity to play one more game."Toledo also has the big-time star that bowls covet in All-American wide receiver and return man Eric Page. The junior had 16 pass receptions for 145 yards in the final game of the season against Ball State. He also is a threat to take punts and kickoffs the distance, and as the holder on extra points and field goals, the former high school quarterback adds an element of intrigue each time the Rockets line up to kick.The MAC has three automatic bowl tie-ins, and since the two division champions get one each, there is a lot of competition for that third bid. Depending on how the other conferences finish their seasons, the MAC could pick up one or two more bids, which would make the Rockets a lock to play in a bowl. It's hard to imagine any team in the MAC looking more appealing than Toledo, with its explosive offense and star power.NOTES, QUOTES--Toledo has registered back-to-back 7-1 Mid-American Conference seasons for the first time in school history. The last time the Rockets lost fewer than two conference games over a two-year span was back in 1970 and 1971 when the Rockets went 10-0-0 and were 5-0-0 in the conference each year.--With its 45-28 win over Ball State to close the season, Toledo established a school record with a fifth straight game scoring 40 or more points.--Junior WR Eric Page finished the Ball State game with a career-high 16 receptions for 145 yards. Page's 16 receptions are the second-most in a game in school history, trailing only Nick Moore's 20 receptions against Michigan.KEEP AN EYE ON: RB Adonis Thomas -- The senior carried the ball 25 times for a game-high 141 yards in the win over Ball State, scoring a touchdown and surpassing the 100-yard mark for a fourth straight game. Since returning from a broken arm that kept him sidelined for a month mid-season, Thomas has been trending upward and bringing his team along for the ride.LOOKING GOOD: The Rockets have perfected the art of blasting out of the gate and jumping on the opposition. In the season-ending win over Ball State, Toledo opened the game with a 15-play, 80-yard drive that was concluded with a four-yard scoring run from senior RB Adonis Thomas. The Rockets have scored on their opening possession in six games this season, five times scoring touchdowns.STILL NEEDS WORK: The Rockets are dealing with the disappointment of knowing they had their biggest game of the season at home and failed to take advantage of that opportunity. If they had defeated Northern Illinois, the Rockets would be playing in the MAC title game this week. They had their destiny in their hands, and then let it slip away. The next, big step for this program is to take the division title and advance to the conference championship game.QUOTE TO NOTE: "It's a great feeling to know that we broke those records, but I'm more glad that we got the win than anything, and we can have a better record than last year. We finished 8-5 last year. We're 8-4 right now and going to a bowl game, so that's the best feeling." -- Toledo All-American WRKR Eric Page after setting single-season school record with his 104th reception and catching a career-high 16 passes in a 45-28 win over Ball State. Page finished with 112 receptions on the season.STRATEGY AND PERSONNELPLAYER NOTES:--WR Eric Page set a Toledo record early in the Ball State game with his 104th reception of the season. He finished the game with a career-best 16 receptions for 145 yards.--QB Terrance Owens, starting for the second straight game while Austin Dantin remained sidelined with a concussion, connected on a career-high 27-of-32 passes, good for 267 yards and four touchdowns.--WR Bernard Reedy had a 30-yard touchdown reception in the win over Ball State, his sixth touchdown catch of the season.--PK Ryan Casano has hit on 10-of-13 field-goal attempts this season.ROSTER REPORT--QB Austin Dantin missed a second straight game with concussion-like symptoms. Dantin started Toledo's first 10 games of the season. He was replaced by QB Terrance Owens.--TE Danny Noble broke his fibula in his right leg in the earlier MAC win over Eastern Michigan and was lost for the remainder of the season. There is a chance Noble could be available for any post-season play.--DE T.J. Fatinikun injured his arm in the game against Eastern Michigan and was lost for the season.--S Mark Singer injured his shoulder late in camp and missed all of the 2011 season. The senior expects to get a medical redshirt and return in 2012.
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