Western Michigan vs. Toledo prediction and game preview. The Broncos and Rockets battle Friday night in Kalamazoo for the MAC West championship.
Western Michigan vs. Toledo Game Preview
When: Friday, Nov. 25 – 5 p.m. ET
Where: Waldo Stadium, Kalamazoo, Mich.
TV Broadcast: ESPNU
Western Michigan has been college football’s darling this season, and at 11-0 has a clear path to represent the Group of Five conferences in the Cotton Bowl. First, it’ll have to get past Toledo and into the MAC championship game, though, and the Rockets aren’t going to lay down.
Toledo is out to clinch the MAC West title, too, and can earn its 10th victory for the first time since 2001 by pulling off the upset. Logan Woodside leads the nation with 40 touchdown passes, and the duel with Western Michigan quarterback Zach Terrell should be an exciting one.
What To Know About Western Michigan
Terrell is the unsung hero for the Broncos as Corey Davis gets most of the attention as a potential first-round pick. Terrell’s 71.3 completion percentage ranks third in the nation – just head of Woodside’s 70.1 – and his 183.91 passer rating also is third, right behind Woodside’s 185.57 mark. Terrell tossed four touchdown passes in Saturday’s 38-0 win over Buffalo and has 27 against only one interception on the year.
Davis caught two of them Saturday to give him a MAC-record 49 for his career. He caught 13 passes for 173 yards and continues proving he’s one of the nation’s top receivers. And don’t sleep on Jarvion Franklin, who leads the MAC in rushing.
What To Know About Toledo
It’s hard to believe Woodside was redshirted last season by former coach Matt Campbell, who left to coach Iowa State and was succeeded by former offensive coordinator Jason Candle. Woodside has been one of the country’s best-kept secrets despite some gaudy numbers. He’s thrown at least three TD passes in every game this season and threw for 325 yards in last week’s 37-19 win over Ball State. He has the ability to match Terrell play for play.
Woodside doesn’t focus on just one receiver, either. Five Rockets have at least 35 receptions, with Michael Roberts catching a team-high 12 touchdowns and Jon’Vea Johnson and Cody Thompson following with 10 apiece. Thompson is the main deep threat with a team-leading 1,125 yards.
Offense: Even – Terrell vs. Woodside is must-see TV, but both teams have plenty of weapons on this side of the ball.
Defense: Western Michigan – The Broncos have had the better unit by a slim margin this season, and Keion Adams is a beast on the line with a MAC-high 15 tackles for loss.
Special Teams: Even – Jones and Darius Phillips are explosive returners and two of the best in the conference.
Coaching: Western Michigan – Candle is a rising star, but he’s not shining as bright as P.J. Fleck, who is going to get plenty of offers to leave Kalamazoo after the season.
Intangibles: Even – Toledo won five straight meetings before Davis’ 139 yards and two touchdowns led Western Michigan to a victory last season.
Matchup To Watch
Franklin vs. Kareem Hunt
The ground game might decide this one, and both teams are good against the run. Franklin will get more carries than Hunt, but Hunt has been very effective when spelling Woodside’s arm. The team with the most rushing yards might come out on top.
Spread: Western Michigan -9
Over/Under: No line as of post
Western Michigan vs. Toledo Prediction
Terrell hits Davis for three touchdown passes, matching Woodside’s total. It comes down to the final drive, when Franklin runs it in for the deciding touchdown in the Broncos’ narrow win.
Western Michigan vs. Toledo final score prediction: Western Michigan 45, Toledo 38