Bowl Season

FIU converts 4th and 17, wins first bowl game 34-32.
3 Stars
1. Toledo RB Adonis Thomas: He ran for 194 yards and 2 scores for the losers.
2. Florida International WR T.Y. Hilton: Hilton had 3 catches and a receiving touchdown as well as an 89 yards kickoff return for a touchdown.
3. Florida International Kicker Jack Griffen: He was 2 for 2 with a 34 yard field goal as time expired to secure the win.

Great win for FIU program. Mario Cristobal has them headed in the right direction.


Big Ten vs. MAC Detroit
Ford Field
Dec. 26
8:30 p.m.

Little Caesars Bowl Preview


The Toledo offense has been solid all year, but has picked up the pace in the second half scoring 30 or more in all of their last 6 games. QB Terrance Owens took over the offense for the last third of the season. The redshirt freshman has opened up the offense, passing for 1112 yards and 12 touchdowns. Adonis Thomas is the main running back and he has accumulated 905 yards on the season. When Owens drops back, he will certainly look to WR Eric Paige. The first team all-MACer was 5th in the nation in receptions and had 1081 receiving yards. He is also a threat on kick returns, where he scored 3 times, also leading the nation.

The Florida International offense has had lots of success, particularly in the second half of the season. Led by QB Wesley Carroll, the offense has averaged 28.3 points a game. Carroll has passed for 2483 yards and 15 touchdowns. In the receiving category, T.Y. Hilton leads the team with 815 yards, while Greg Ellingson has 546. The Panthers are balanced, with 2 running backs around the 700 yard mark. Darriet Perry has 14 touchdowns, while Darian Mallary has 2.
The Panther defense gives up about 27 points a game, but they have won some high scoring games. Free safety Jonathan Cyprien leads the team in tackles with 105, while LB Toronto Smith has 84. Senior DBs Anthony Gaitor and Ashlyn Parker both have 2 interceptions on the season. It will be important for the Panther defense to step up and force some turnovers.
The Toledo defense is great at forcing turnovers with 33 this year, to only 14 on offense. The Rocket defense is young, and inconsistent.  LBs Archie Donald and  Dan Molls are among the nation's leader with 134 and 133 tackles respectively. It will be CB Desmond Marrow against top FIU receiver T.Y. Hilton. He has 3 interceptions this year. Count on T.J. Fatinikun and Malcolm Riley to make plays on the line, pressuring the FIU offense.

The pick: I like Toledo to win this game. I think their offense will have a big performance and I expect big things from WR Eric Paige.
This pick has been made by and therefore will be correct.
 But if you disagree or agree with me send and email to saying who you think will win and why and I'll post it....

Zach Davis, sports editor of the Independent Collegian was nice enough to answer some questions about the Toledo Rockets.

BS: Despite an average 3-3 start, the Rockets won 5 of their final 6 to finish at 8-4. What changed in the second half of the season?

Zach Davis: It’s important to remember that two of those three opening losses were at No. 10 Boise State (12-1) and against an Arizona (7-5) squad which started 7-1 including a win over Iowa. The biggest difference in the team that UT will be bringing to Detroit than the one that began the season is at quarterback where Terrance Owens has taken over. The redshirt-freshman replaced starting quarterback Austin Dantin on Oct. 30 against Eastern Michigan and threw for four touchdowns in a 42-7 victory. The Rockets are 3-1 under Owens, who has one of the strongest arms in the Mid-American Conference. His presence has opened up the offense which had been unable to move the ball downfield under Dantin.

BS: Both Austin Dantin and Terrance Owens have passed for over 1,000 yards. Who will play and who are some other key players on the balanced Rocket offense?

Zach Davis: Owens secured the starting spot after Dantin broke his collarbone and sternum while also separating his shoulder against EMU. Although Dantin was recently cleared to play in Sunday’s game, he is not fully healed and will be the backup. Even if he was 100 percent the starting job clearly belongs to Owens now until he does something to lose it.

BS: The defense had its ups and downs this year. Please comment on the defense including some personnel.

Zach Davis: The Toledo defense has had its moments where it’s looked like the best unit in the MAC, but a lack of consistent play has truly hurt them at times, putting them in early holes and letting the opponents back into games. They are young but show tremendous promise.

The unit has many playmakers, including linebackers Archie Donald and Dan Molls, who both are in the top-8 in the nation in tackles. The defensive line is deep with pass rushers, led by sophomore T.J. Fatinikun and junior Malcolm Riley. Senior Desmond Marrow is one of the top cornerbacks in the conference and will be counted upon to stop the versatile T.Y. Hilton.

BS: If you had to choose one player to have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?

Zach Davis: It’s hard to call it a breakout with the immense success he’s had in his first two seasons, but wide-out Eric Page is the player that makes this offense go. Page ranked fifth in the nation in receptions (94), 18th in yards per game (1,081) and even threw three touchdown passes on his way to being named First-Team All-MAC. He also excelled returning kicks, leading the nation in touchdowns (3) and finishing third in return average (31.76).

Thanks a lot to Zach Davis. Check him out at

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