The lights will be on in Toledo, Ohio this Friday night as the Rockets look to rebound following a tough loss at Ohio State. Things do not get much easier for Toledo though because Boise State is rolling in to town on the next stop on their BCS-hopeful season. Our panel of college football writers take a look at this match-up.
Boise State plays their first game since beating Georgia in the season opener. The Broncos will play Friday night at Toledo, who just fell short of a rare road victory against Ohio State. Should there be any reason to place Boise State on upset alert this week?
Gerald Nicdao, San Diego Sports Examiner: No. Ohio State was depleted—seven suspensions and injuries started to pile up. Boise State is coming off a bye week and I’m sure that Chris Peterson was watching Toledo’s performance intently. The question won’t be if the Broncos can score with the Rockets. The question is whether Toledo can keep up with Boise State. The Rockets have a pretty mediocre offense, averaging just 21 points and 283 yards per game—bad enough for 114th in the country. I see Kellen Moore dissecting the Toledo defense while the Toledo offense starts off well, but ends up sputtering at home.
The Broncos should be off to a 2-0 start.
Stephen Francis, Dallas Sports Examiner: Boise will always be on upset alert because of the schedule they play. That’s just the way it is. Granted, I’m a proponent of giving the “little guys” a chance, but until they prove week in and week out that they can maintain a hefty schedule, there will always be concerns about an unexpected road bump for them. Not to mention, the Rockets will come into the game charged up in front of a home crowd with what could be a sizeable television audience watching.
Having said that, I’m still not sold on Ohio State. I think this game will be a good barometer as to how good/bad the Buckeyes are this year.
Jordan Caldwell, Utah Utes Examiner: Toledo certainly looked impressive against Ohio State; however, Boise is 11-0 the past two seasons when they’ve had more than a week to prepare. Never bet against the Broncos when they are coming off of a bye week. Boise State will win big.
Sean Jackson, Ohio State Buckeyes Examiner: Boise State is a veteran team that should be well-aware of Toledo’s talent. The Rockets had a great game in Columbus (in fact they should have won) but it will be interesting to see how the team responds after such a close loss. Offensively, the Rockets could test Boise but ultimately the Broncos have too much firepower on offense and win big.
Rich Kurtzman, Colorado State Rams Examiner: Boise State should definitely be on upset alert, and if they’re not giving their full focus to Toledo, they may lose this week. Boise State is undoubtedly one of the top teams in the country—they have Kellen Moore and their offense is extremely potent—but Toledo nearly beat Ohio State last week. The Rockets lost to Ohio State 22-27 and it shouldn’t be missed that Toledo allowed a punt return, missed a field goal and botched another one. They could have actually upset the Buckeyes last week if they would have executed on special teams, which is why this game against Boise State will be closer than many imagine. But in the end, the Broncos will win and remain in the top five.
Schimri Yoyo, Big East Examiner: NONE AT ALL. Ohio State is not that spectacular this year and Boise State is just flat out better than anyone else they’ll play the rest of the year until they get to a possible BCS Bowl. The loss to Nevada last year left a bad taste in the Broncos’ mouth. I would be SHOCKED if they had any mental letdowns like that this season. That Nevada loss, I suspect, is still fresh in all of their minds.
Shawn Lealos, Oklahoma Sooners Examiner: Boise State will not be upset by Toledo this week. People can ignore and underrate the Boise State team all they want but the Broncos are one of college football’s elite programs. They are proof that, with a championship caliber coaching staff, it doesn’t matter where you play. All that matters is what the team accomplishes on the field. They may still get robbed when it comes to national title opportunities but they still recruit top players and can beat any team in the nation, especially teams like Toledo.
Troy Hyde, Iowa Hawkeyes Examiner: There is every reason to put Boise State on upset alert. The biggest reason is that Boise State is not playing at home on the blue turf, where they have the best home field advantage in college football. The second reason is Toledo is a good football team who showed its worth last week against Ohio State. Toledo could have and probably should have won that game. So Boise State better not play down to Toledo or make very many mistakes because Toledo can definitely pick them off.
Max Price, Oregon Ducks Examiner: Short answer: no. Boise State has had a week to come down from their victory over Georgia, a win over an SEC team that sure must have felt good. We’ve seen this many times before, when a team like Toledo plays much better than they’re capable of, only to fall to a team like Ohio State anyway. They’d have to play so much better this week, and I just don’t think that’s possible, not to mention Kellen Moore isn’t about to let anything get between him and his long-awaited national championship appearance.
Kevin, National College Football Examiner: I really don’t see Boise State losing this weekend, but I would not be surprised if we see a bit of a shootout develop in Ohio Friday night. I don’t think the layoff affects Boise State too much, because this program is built to compete at an elite level. Toledo is only built to win on the MAC level. Toledo is a good team and just could not hang on for a victory in Columbus so I expect them to come out motivated this weekend, but give me Kellen Moore and some receivers and I like their odds any day of the week, anywhere in the country.
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