There are no quote-unquote bye weeks on the University of Toledo's football schedule, just a bunch of odd stretches.
This is one of them.
The Rockets had nine days without a game after playing at Temple on Sept. 17 and before playing at Fresno State last Tuesday. Now, they're in a stretch of 10 days without a game before Eastern Michigan visits the Glass Bowl a week from today.
Later in the season, there will be two short weeks with only five days between games and one stretch of 11 days without a game.
''We just sort of work with the schedule we have,'' UT coach Tom Amstutz said yesterday. ''I like some of it. This current stretch allows us plenty of time to get some guys healthy. It gives our players a lot of time for conditioning and for film study, and it allows our staff to get out and do some recruiting.
''We pretty much adjust and do what we have to do.''
THE STING: Despite trailing 27-7 at halftime against Fresno, the Rockets' offensive play chart in the second half showed 28 rushes and just 13 pass attempts. It should be noted that two of the runs were quarterback sacks on what were intended to be pass plays, but it was still a run-heavy attack.
Did UT get conservative because first-time starter Clint Cochran was at quarterback, his protection was shaky, or because his receivers were struggling against mostly bigger and more physical defensive backs?
''Not really,'' Amstutz said. ''We just tried to stay with our game plan. We ran into a hornet's nest and, I think, what you do is work with the plays you practiced and do the best you can.''
FLAG FOOTBALL: Immediately after Tuesday's game, Amstutz criticized the Western Athletic Conference officiating crew, which penalized UT 11 times and Fresno just four times.
After watching the films, however, he said, ''It was maybe not as much [a problem] as the emotion I was feeling at the time. It was very one-sided but I don't like to [use] that as an excuse. It just wasn't our night.''
Through four games, the Rockets have been penalized 39 times for 344 yards.
MAC GRID NOTES: The Rockets are now 2-7 under Amstutz in regular season, nonconference road games. Both wins have come against Temple. ... Speaking of Temple, when Bobby Wallace took over as head coach at the start of the 1998 season, he owned a career coaching record of 82-36. If his Owls lose, as expected, today at Bowling Green, his career mark will become 101-101-1. ... Western Michigan senior quarterback Ryan Cubit is done for the year after suffering a broken leg in the Broncos' win at Temple last Saturday. ... Buffalo must be looking forward to starting league play today. The Bulls are without a touchdown through three nonconference games and have been outscored, 86-3. ... Ohio's game at Northwestern on Sept. 3 was the 1,000th in Bobcat history. Today, Central Michigan plays its 900th game when the Chips visit Akron. For those wondering, UT and BG have played 825 and 812 games, respectively. ... By visiting Boston College today, Ball State will have opened the season against four teams that won bowl games last year. The Cards have already lost to Iowa, Bowling Green, and Auburn.
OTHER UT SPORTS: The Toledo women's golf team is ranked No. 51 in the season's first Golfweek/Sagarin national college index, the highest rating in the program's history. ... UT's men's tennis players posted a cumulative 28-5 record in the Bradley Invitational. Freshman Al Nabhani played both singles and doubles and went 7-0. ... On the women's side, junior Myriam Cueva won Flight 1 singles and doubles titles with a 6-0 combined record at the BG Invitational. ... The women's volleyball team had a six-match winning streak snapped Thursday at Ball State, but returns to its home court today at 3 when Akron visits Savage Hall. ... UT is accepting Varsity T Hall of Fame nominations for the 2006 induction class from now through Nov. 11. Nomination forms are available at www.utrockets.com.
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