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Pac-12 Confidential

Bud Withers offers an inside look at the Pac-12 Conference and the national college scene.

November 11, 2011 at 4:01 PM

Toledo gets a Saturday off, and it needs one

This is pretty far from the reach of elite college football, but I couldn’t let it pass.

It’s been a pretty weird season at the University of Toledo. The Rockets, of the Mid-American Conference, had the early near-miss against Ohio State, losing 27-22 at the Horseshoe, and two weeks after that, the astonishing overtime loss at Syracuse, when Big East officials managed to miss — even on replay — an extra-point call that cost Toledo a big upset.

Toledo followed with four straight victories in October. But then it began getting crazy, with the ESPN cameras rolling in mid-week games.

On Nov. 1, Toledo fell to Northern Illinois, 63-60 — no overtimes. There were 60 first downs in the game, and 1,121 yards total offense.

Pretty wild stuff — until the next week. Tuesday night, hosting another MAC team, Western Michigan, Toledo, apparently realizing by now it would take at least 60 to win, nipped WMU, 66-63 — again, not in overtime. The numbers were even more ridiculous — Western had 635 yards of total offense, 169 fewer than Toledo’s 804. That’s a total of 1,439 yards of offense. There were 69 first downs.

Western Michigan managed to pack 63 points in 20 minutes, 30 seconds time of possession. Meanwhile, the Toledo Blade reported the game took four hours, 16 minutes, ending at 12:18 a.m. local time — probably not when most educators would want a campus event signing off on a school night.

The Rockets are now 6-4 and 5-1 in league, which means you’ll probably see them in a bowl game in a few weeks, which has to delight ESPN.

In the meantime, they’re working on their defense.

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