Our weekday MACtion slate continues with the Toledo Rockets and Bowling Green Falcons on Wednesday night. There are a trio of MAC games to quench your thirst tonight, none bigger than Toledo-Bowling Green and Western Michigan-Northern Illinois. Toledo and Northern Illinois are deadlocked in the MAC West, each with a record of 5-1 in conference play. The Rockets do have a win over Northern Illinois, though, and hold the better overall record of 8-2. If everything remains the same, Toledo would receive the nod to go and play in the MAC Championship.
Toledo has a Heisman hopeful leading the way for them, Logan Woodside. No, really, the Heisman Trophy Trust has named him a finalist for the most prominent award in all of college football. Will he win the Heisman? No. Does he have a chance to win the Heisman? No. However, just being named a finalist, especially coming from the MAC, is an accomplishment in its own right. It indicates that his efforts are not going unnoticed, which can happen playing in one of the smaller conferences.
The biggest stage Woodside and Toledo have been on this year was against Miami earlier in the season. No one was really giving Miami much credit then, and not many people knew what the turnover chain was. Now, every time you turn on a sports talk show, there is somebody talking about the Hurricanes. Before all the talk about Miami, though, Toledo had the Canes on the ropes. Well, for a half that is. The Rockets took a 16-10 lead to halftime, but the floodgates opened up in the second-half and Miami ultimately wore Toledo down for a 52-30 final on September 23rd. That’s more than Notre Dame were able to offer this past Saturday.
Woodside has put up some gaudy numbers the last two years, and his appeal to NFL scouts is getting bigger by the day. The most glaring positive from Woodside is his ability to protect the football. He does not make many mistakes or turn the ball over. He has just 2 interceptions on the year, to go along with the 20 touchdowns he’s dished out through the air.
Dating back to last season, Woodside has thrown 65 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He was the most prolific passer a year ago, and is putting up nice numbers again in 2017. With a stable running game, Woodside hasn’t been asked to dish out huge numbers every game. Shakif Seymour is averaging 6.6 yards per carry with 544 yards. Woodside had Kareem Hunt last season, so it’s really allowed him to pick defenses to pieces. Bowling Green must have a strong game defensively to compete with Toledo tonight. Head below for our free Toledo vs. Bowling Green pick.
Toledo Rockets vs. Bowling Green Falcons Pick
vs. Bowling Green +17(-110)
Betting odds provided by Bovada.lv
Toledo vs. Bowling Green Pick:
Toledo are coming off a tough loss to the Ohio Bobcats last week. Ohio are no slouches, they’re a good football team, but the way Toledo lost was at least a bit surprising. Ohio took it to Toledo, beating them by a score of 38-10. Woodside was held to just one touchdown pass, while the Ohio running game ran all over them for 3 touchdowns on the ground.
It wasn’t too much of a surprising win for Ohio at home, but a blowout of that magnitude was surprising. It was an off-day for the Toledo offense for sure. The Rockets are 11th in the nation with 498 yards per game, and best in the MAC. They’re also scoring 36.1 points per game. So, needless to say, the Bobcats went into that one prepared for everything Toledo wanted to do.
Bowling Green do not have the same level of talent on defense to neutralize Toledo tonight. The Falcons have been getting whipped around pretty good. They are allowing 505 yards per game for 126th out of 130 teams in the FBS. Bowling Green are 113th against the pass and 123rd against the run. After Ohio put the clamps down on Toledo last week, I expect a bounce back performance from the Toledo offense. Diontae Johnson didn’t miss a beat last week, though, as he improved to 1,003 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year.
I don’t see the Bowling Green defense hampering Toledo’s offense. Their only hope, I believe, is to have freshman quarterback Jarret Doege go off. Doege was dealing with an injury earlier in the year, but is healthy now and playing well. Bowling Green haven’t had a capable signal-caller since Matt Johnson, but Doege may hold they keys to their future. He has 6 touchdowns and 1 interception in 2018. Doege is up against a Toledo secondary who are allowing less than 200 yards passing per game.
Note that he’s only played in five games this season, and just beginning to find a rhythm now. In his last two games, Doege has passed for 5 touchdowns and no interceptions. With his defense, though, I don’t see them pulling an upset. Tyree Jackson of Buffalo passed for 406 yards and 3 touchdowns on their defense a week ago. It was the best game of his career. Woodside should be able to do something similar. I’ve been wavering on a pick on the total or spread here, and I really don’t want to fade Toledo after getting trounced last week to Ohio. The top of the MAC is exponentially better than the bottom. I see a 23 or 24-point win for Toledo on Wednesday night.
PICK: TOLEDO -17 (-110)