Toledo quarterback Aaron Opelt had an impressive day for the Rockets, albeit in defeat. Opelt threw for 423 yards and 3 touchdowns against the Purdue Boilermakers this past Saturday on the road.
Like it or not, there is a next week so hopefully, like the players will do, we gotta wash this one away, write it off as being one of those days and hope for better things next week (I know, it is a stretch at this point in time but I don't know what else to tell you!).
It is a short week so we will get to work right away to get you some information on Toledo. The Buffs will open as a 3.5 point favorite on the road. It will be interesting to see where the line moves.
Toledo played Purdue this past weekend and gave the Boilermakers' pass defense some problems. Toledo QB Aaron Opelt threw the ball 67 times completing 41 for 423 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Once again, the Buffs defense will be matched up with an offensive line that has a tremendous amount of experience. It looks like Purdue's front four handled the running game, only allowing 70 yards on 22 carries but with the way the Buffs defensive line was moved off the ball against Colorado State, this Toledo offense might even be more dynamic against Colorado.
On the defensive side, it looks like Purdue had their way with the Rockets from the beginning, racking up an impressive amount of yardage. Purdue quarterback Joey Elliot completed 17 of 28 passes for 220 yards, 3 TD's and 3 INT's. But where the Boilermakers really were impressive was on the ground. Running back Ralph Bolden carried the ball 21 times for 234 yards, good for an 11.1 yards per clip and two scores. Overall, Purdue ran the ball 39 times for 315 yards and four scores. Here is the ESPN box score if you want to take a closer look.
That is a boat load of rushing yards.
Unfortunately, the Buffs might only give running back's Darrell Scott and Brian Lockridge the ball one time each against Toledo and throw the ball 40+ times so we might not be able to exploit the weak Toledo defensive front. You would think the Buffs, regardless of how many points they might be down in this game would realize that running the ball at an average of 8.1 yards per carry like Purdue did against Toledo will be better than throwing the ball 40 times at 5.6 yards/attempt like they did against Colorado State. Simple math to me, but who knows.
The Purdue SBNation site, Hammer and Rails, will be a good place to get a look at an opponent's perspective of Toledo if you want to check out some detailed thoughts.
This comment by Hammer and Rails got me a little more worried than I was about the game on the road against Toledo:
The defense, however, is a concern. Honestly, I think they were just worn out from the no huddle, the heat, and 67 passing attempts from Opelt. Notice, Toledo got 17 points in the final 20 minutes. This was when Kawann Short, Mike Neal, and Nickaro Golding all had to head to the locker room for fluids. Our entire D-line was gassed and getting no rush, so Opelt had plenty of time.
They might not have the heat on Friday night but they are going to try and get the Buffs worn out on a short week with travel which doesn't bode well for a team that is already low on depth and playmakers at the defensive line. Further, the propensity to give up the big pass play against Colorado State will obviously be another concern as Toledo will look to air it against Colorado from the first whistle after watching this Sunday's game film. It sounds like Purdue had trouble getting pressure on Opelt and no Buff fan is going to feel confident that they will be able to get to the Rocket's signal caller either. Given the time, Opelt looks to be relatively accurate and this offense isn't afraid to challenge defenses.
The Buffs won't win this game with another 17 point effort.