Only a few minutes had passed after the University of Toledo football team returned to its locker room at the Glass Bowl following a rout of Eastern Michigan on Saturday when attention quickly turned to next week's opponent.
It was the same scenario 150 miles away in Kalamazoo, Mich., albeit under different circumstances, for Bowling Green State University after a road loss to Western Michigan.
Once the clock hit 00:00 in the previous weekend's slate of games, rivalry week began for the Rockets and Falcons, who square off Saturday at noon at Doyt Perry Stadium.
"[Next] is the team down south and a rivalry game. It's already been mentioned and already been talked about," UT coach Tim Beckman said after the win over the Eagles. "We know it's the next step, and it's definitely a rival game. We'll be ready and prepared."
While the Rockets (3-3, 2-0 Mid-American Conference) enter the battle for the Peace Pipe riding a two-game winning streak, the Falcons (3-3, 1-1) have lost two straight and three of their last four.
"It doesn't get any easier next week," BG coach Dave Clawson said. "There's no simple solution here. There's not an easy team coming to Doyt Perry where we can just show up. We play a really good football team next week. If we don't settle down and if we don't get better, nothing is going to change."
UT hasn't won at Perry Stadium since 2005, a fact Beckman mentioned in his postgame address to his team Saturday.
The Rockets will still likely be favored, but BG proved in a win at Miami late last month that it can't be taken lightly.
"It's always a big game with our rival, the team down south," UT quarterback Austin Dantin said. "We're not going to take this game for granted. Especially after a big win it's easy for a lot of guys to sit back, [so] it's great to have our rivals next week so we can focus on them and get ready for that game."
The Rockets snapped a three-game losing streak in the Battle of I-75 last year with a 33-14 victory over BG at the Glass Bowl.
In the two teams' last meeting at Perry Stadium, the Falcons came away with a 38-24 win after grabbing an early 24-0 advantage.
Bowling Green holds the lead in the all-time series between the two schools at 39-32-4.
"We have to come out next week and put up points," BG quarterback Matt Schilz said after the Falcons managed just 14 points at Western Michigan. "We have to hang with these teams that put up points. We're going to get after it this week and be ready for Toledo."
UT RECRUITS: The Rockets received nonbinding verbal commitments Sunday from Pittsburgh Central Catholic running back Damion Jones-Moore and Chicago Kenwood defensive end Phillip Martin.
Jones-Moore (5-7, 170), a two-star recruit according to Scout.com, and Martin (6-4, 265), a three-star recruit according to Scout, are UT's 13th and 14th commitments for the 2012 recruiting class.
PAGE HONOR: College Football Performance Awards Sunday named UT junior wide receiver and Springfield graduate Eric Page as the national punt returner of the week.
Page scored on an 85-yard punt return against Eastern Michigan, the first touchdown on a punt return of his career.
Guidelines: Please keep your comments smart and civil. Don't attack other readers personally, and keep your language decent. Comments that violate these standards, or our privacy statement or visitor's agreement, are subject to being removed and commenters are subject to being banned. To post comments, you must be a registered user on toledoblade.com. To find out more, please visit the FAQ.