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HomeSportsUT
Published: Sunday, 10/7/2001

UT notebook: Ankle injury ends Taylor's statistical spree

BY RON MUSSELMAN
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

ATHENS, Ohio - University of Toledo tailback Chester Taylor led the country in scoring through the first four games, averaging 21 points per game.

He was leading the Mid-American Conference in rushing with 145.2 yards per game and 581 total yards. He was closing in on Wasean Tait's school rushing record, and also was a darkhorse candidate for Heisman Trophy consideration.

Taylor didn't get much chance to add to those totals last night.

He was injured midway through the second quarter after catching a fourth-down pass that he turned into an 11-yard gain and a first down at the Ohio University 19. Ohio cornerback Chip Cox rolled on the back of Taylor's right ankle when tackling him, and Taylor did not return the rest of the first half.

Taylor played one series in the third quarter, but after losing a fumble on the first play, he left the game for good and was replaced by Antwon McCray, who scored three touchdowns in No. 23 Toledo's wild 48-41 victory over Ohio.

Taylor finished with 13 carries for 50 yards - his lowest yardage total since he gained just 36 on 13 carries against Marshall last season. He scored UT's first touchdown on a seven-yard run in the first quarter, giving him 15 for the season (13 rushing).

“I tried to go back out there - I know I have to play hurt - but I was just hurt too bad,” Taylor said.

Trainer Dave Huffstetler said Taylor was having problems getting traction on the natural grass field at Peden Stadium, which was redone in July.

“The surface was so loose, Chester just didn't have a good feel for it, not with his ankle being sprained,” he said.

Taylor also has been bothered by an injured left shoulder, which he had pop out on him in last week's victory over Northern Illinois.

“I'm sore all over,” he said.

Receiver Carl Ford, from Monroe High, said once Taylor went out, he and everybody else on offense knew they had to pitch in to help out.

Ford had eight receptions for 117 yards and one touchdown -both career highs. Quarterback Tavares Bolden passed for a career-high 387 yards. And McCray scored a career-high three touchdowns, including the final two.

“It puts a lot on pressure on the whole offense when Chester is not in there,” Ford said. “Everybody knows how important he is to our offense.”

Toledo has a bye week coming up. The Rockets won't return to MAC play until Oct. 20 when they visit Ball State.

“I am going to need the bye week to rest up and heal my body,” Taylor said. “I'll have two weeks to get ready for Ball State.”

QUICK HITS: Toledo was penalized 10 times for 114 yards; Ohio had three penalties for 23. ... Toledo was the first nationally-ranked team to play at Peden Stadium since 1974, when Miami handed Ohio a 31-3 loss en route to a No. 10 ranking and a Tangerine Bowl victory. ... UT tight end Chris Holmes had a career-high five catches for 73 yards and one touchdown. He had just five receptions in the first four games. ... Brandon Hannum continued to struggle with his punting, averaging 33.7 yards on three punts. ... Inside line- backer Tom Ward, from Defiance High, and outside linebacker Corey Morris had a team-high 10 tackles each. Ward had been the MAC's leading tackler. ... The Bobcats have allowed 30 or more points in each of their first four games. A year ago, they were one of five teams to hold every team on their schedule under 30.



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