The Toledo Rockets have a forecast 67% chance to win against The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders with a spread of -7.0/7.0 and an over/under of 65.5. The Toledo Rockets are 0 – 0 against The Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders in the 2021-22 Season.
— Friday, December 17th Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders @ Toledo Rockets
Bowl season starts on Friday as the 7-5 Toledo Rockets take on the 6-6 Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders in the Bahamas Bowl. Both teams are in a Bowl game for the first time since 2018. Kickoff is set for Noon ET on Friday from Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium in Nassau, and the game will air on ESPN.
These teams have never played before. MTSU has a 2-6 all-time record in FBS Bowl games, with their last win in 2017. The Rockets are 10-8 in Bowl games, but they have lost three in a row since winning the Boca Raton Bowl in 2015.
Rockets Offense Ready to Soar
Toledo is 8-4 ATS this season, and the total is 6-6 in their 12 games. The Rockets rank 35th in the nation in total offense at 436 ypg, and they rank 24th in scoring at 34.2 ppg. The defense ranks 31st, allowing 342 ypg, and they are top 20 against the pass at 190 ypg.
The Rockets won their final three MAC games and four of the last five. They have scored at least 34 points in five straight games and topped 45 points five times this season. They put a scare into Notre Dame in September and allowed less than 24 points in nine of 12 games this season.
Quarterback Dequan Finn had a fantastic redshirt freshman season with 16 touchdowns and only one interception. He threw for 1855 yards and completed 60 percent of his passes as the main quarterback in seven games while also rushing for 418 yards and eight touchdowns. He enters the Bahamas Bowl, having thrown for at least 250 yards and three scores in three of the last four games.
Running back Bryant Koback has rushed for 1,274 yards on the season with 15 touchdowns. He averages 6.7 yards per carry and has topped 100 yards in five straight games while scoring at least two touchdowns in four straight. Koback ran for 203 yards and four touchdowns against Ohio on November 16, and he has 18 total scores on the season.
Six different Rockets have caught at least two touchdowns this season, led by Devin Maddox with four. Maddox leads the team with 38 receptions for 562 yards, while Isaiah Winstead has 34 catches for 488 yards.
The Rockets defense has 37 sacks on the season with seven interceptions and ten fumble recoveries. Linebacker Jamal Hines leads the way with ten sacks and 82 total tackles.
Blue Raiders Have Questions at Quarterback
The Blue Raiders are 5-7 ATS this season, and the total is 6-6 in their 12 games. Their offense ranked 100th in FBS this season at just 356 ypg and 109th in rushing at 120 ypg. The defense was better against the run, ranking 35th, than against the pass where they allowed 240 ypg.
MTSU enters the Bahamas Bowl having won two of the last three games. They allowed more than 24 points just once since October 9 after they started the season 2-4. In their push to get bowl eligible, the Blue Raiders averaged 32.3 ppg to win four games.
Quarterback Chase Cunningham has been out since being injured in the October 30 game. Nick Vattiato took over and threw for 777 yards in the final four games while completing 68 percent of his passes.
The freshman threw five touchdown passes but also had six interceptions, five in a loss to Western Kentucky. He was benched in the final game for Mike DiLiello, who accounted for two touchdowns in the comeback win.
The running game has struggled all season with no true number one back. While four players have rushed for at least 200 yards on the season, none have topped 400. Martell Pettaway ran for 75 yards in the final regular-season game and leads the team with 359 yards and three touchdowns on the season.
Four receivers have at least four touchdowns on the season, led by Jimmy Marshall’s six. The senior has 45 catches for 510 yards but scored just once after Vattiato took over.
The Blue Raiders defense has 30 sacks and 16 interceptions on the season. They have accounted for five touchdowns, three on interception returns and two on fumble recoveries. Quincy Riley has five interceptions, while Jordan Ferguson has a team-leading seven sacks.
- Toledo Rockets -10 (-105) Money Line -385
- Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders +10 (-115) Money Line +290
- Total Points: 49.5 Over -110, Under -110
The Blue Raiders played two quarterbacks in their final game of the season after losing two quarterbacks to injury this season. The run game did start to come around late, but they will likely have trouble keeping up with the Rockets.
They may be able to slow down Koback with their talented front-line, but the secondary will struggle against the Rockets’ speedy receivers and dual-threat Finn.
Betting Pick: Toledo -10 (-105)
Keep up with your latest NCAAF news coverage and betting pick previews at NJSportsbookReview.com.
Ayden loves sports. There is no doubt about that. He is a walking calendar when it comes to the latest events in sports. He has grown into the passion of writing about them and settled into his role as a writer after many freelancing jobs. He can write about any sport out there! This is the guy!