87 seconds of highlights can't really do a game with 18 touchdowns (and 1 field goal) justice, but Toledo played their second straight game in the 60s in defeating Western Michigan 66-63 on Tuesday night. This came a week after their 63-60 loss to Northern Illinois last week. The MAC! It's Faaaantastic! (Hey, it's not like the NBA is using that slogan right now.)
Football is a funny, funny game. Those two Toledo games sandwiched the newest Game of the Century between #1 LSU and #2 Alabama on Saturday night where the Tigers needed overtime to win 9-6. Depending on your own football philosophy or your region of the country, you may have thought Bama-LSU was as ugly as a Nick Saban comedy tour... or, you may have thought that it was a beautiful work of smashmouth defensive artistry.
Similarly, you can either love or hate the video game numbers and seven on seven drills that are featured in these MAC shootouts. But it's amazing to think that what we saw in Toledo and Tuscaloosa is the same game of 22 players and one oddly shaped ball. Here's a look inside the numbers at Toledo-Western Michigan, how it compares to LSU-Alabama, and the rest of college football...
The Rockets and Broncos combined for 129 points, 18 touchdowns, and 1,439 yards of total offense.
*The 129 combined points is more than three FBS teams have scored this year - Kent State, New Mexico, and Florida Atlantic. Those three schools average 14 PPG or less. Last night, WMU scored at least 14 points in every quarter.
*The 68 combined completions also exceeded the season totals of three teams - Navy (55), Georgia Tech (54), and Army (25). The 10 combined passing touchdowns would place this game in the Top 100 amongst college football teams. It's more passing touchdowns than teams like Texas, Penn State, Kansas State, and Florida have registered this season, and also one more passing touchdown than Case Keenum had against Rice.
*Toledo and Western Michigan combined for 1,439 yards of total offense last night. MAC brethern Kent State has only totaled 2,005 yards all season.
*Toledo's 804 yards is only the fourth time since 2000 a team has gained 800 yards in a game.
*Alex Carder's 548 passing yards is 67 more yards than Army has thrown for this year. Carder completed as many passes last night (38) as Braxton Miller has in his first season at Ohio State, and threw for more yards (548-547) and more touchdowns (7-6) than Miller as well. Let's not even talk about Joe Bauserman.
Onto the comparisons to LSU-Alabama...
*Toledo (37) and Western Michigan (32) surpassed and equalled the combined number of first downs in LSU-Alabama (32).
*Toledo recorded 270 more yards than LSU and Alabama combined (804-534). The 1,439 combined yards of total offense was over two and a half times the offense of LSU's 9-6 victory.
*Toledo-WMU scored more touchdowns (18) than LSU and Alabama scored points (15). The Tigers and Tide needed overtime just to get that!
*LSU threw for 91 passing yards in the game. Carder had 118 passing yards in the second quarter last night, 144 yards in the third quarter, and 180 yards in the fourth quarter. Toledo had 133 yards rushing in the second quarter, more than Alabama posted against LSU's defense in four quarters and an overtime period (96).
*Trent Richardson (5 catches, 80 yards), the leading receiver in LSU-Bama, would have been the fifth leading receiver for the Broncos last night.
*Toledo's 435 second half yards would place them 35th in the nation in average yards per game.
*It wasn't all positive though. The ten combined turnovers between Toledo and WMU are more than seven teams have committed this season. The seven fumbles lost in last night's game is more than that of 51 teams this year!
*Toledo is the first school in college football history (according to the college football reference database) to play two consecutive games where both teams scored in the 60s. Toledo plays Central Michigan (allowing 31.3 PPG) next Friday night on ESPNU. Set your DVR to see if the scoreboard ticks over into triple digits.
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