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HomeSportsUT
Published: Sunday, 10/22/2006

Shannon's move to sidelines a little help

BY DAVE HACKENBERG
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

YPSILANTI, Mich. - Sending Clint Cochran into the game to replace freshman starter Aaron Opelt at quarterback wasn't the only change Toledo coach Tom Amstutz made in an attempt to rev up the Rockets offense yesterday.

At halftime, offensive coordinator John Shannon moved from his usual game-day haunt, the coaches' booth in the press box, to the sideline.

"I was just looking for anything to get the offense sparked," Amstutz said after UT dropped a 17-13 decision to Eastern Michigan at Rynearson Stadium. "We needed to get moving and get some points. I thought it helped a little bit. I thought Shannon's presence on the sideline was good in that he could work face to face with our quarterbacks."

UT managed just 140 yards of offense in the first half and was trailing EMU in total yards, 280-204, after three quarters.

"The first half was a combination of bad field position, passes that seemed to fall just out of reach, and us stopping ourselves with some penalties," Amstutz said.

Cochran entered at the start of the fourth quarter and guided UT on touchdown drives of 55 and 53 yards.

"I was pumped to get in there," said Cochran, UT's starter before suffering a knee injury in the season's third game. "I was ready to go. It was great to get on the field and start having a little success."

After Toledo's second touchdown, Cochran was hit from the blind side and fumbled the ball on a two-point conversion attempt. Eastern Michigan's Darran Matthews scooped up the ball and returned it 87 yards to give the Eagles two points.

"That was unfortunate," said Cochran, who completed 6 of 10 passes for 43 yards and one touchdown. "I blame myself completely for that play."

Opelt made his third straight start, played the first three quarters, and completed 12 of 21 attempts for 100 yards.

EMU finished with a slight, 329-318 edge in total yards.

WELL GROUNDED: Toledo got 175 of its yards on the ground, its highest total through what is now a four-game losing streak.

Tailback Jalen Parmele carried the ball 17 times for a game-high 99 yards, including a 14-yard, fourth-quarter run that produced UT's first points.

"We stressed over and over the past week about how we had to get the running game going," Parmele said. "The offensive line did a great job and we got it going. But we ended up coming up short at the end."

Richard Davis pitched in with 11 carries for 41 yards and DaJuane Collins added 34 yards on five carries for the Rockets.

"Our offensive line did a good job and our backs ran the ball hard," said Amstutz.

THREE-DOT-DATA: UT had a six-game winning streak against Eastern Michigan snapped. The Eagles' last win in the series was a 20-13 victory in Toledo in 1999. Toledo is 0-4 in MAC play for the first time since 1978. Senior wide receiver Steve Odom had a team-high six catches for 57 yards and has caught a pass in 45 straight games, every game of his career. It is the longest streak in the nation. Linebacker Keith Forestal led the Rockets with a career-high 10 tackles. Free safety Tyrrell Herbert finished with nine tackles to go along with his third career interception. Tight end Josh Powell hauled in a touchdown pass for the second straight game.



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