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HomeSportsUT
Published: Sunday, 9/23/2007

Amstutz's goal was to get more experience into game

BY MAUREEN FULTON
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Hoping to prevent its propensity to give up big plays, the University of Toledo made a few personnel tweaks on defense against Iowa State last night.

The Rockets made some changes in the starting lineup to get more players with experience in the game.

Sophomore Lester Richmond moved from rover to free safety, a position where he could have more of an impact. Richmond came into the game leading the team with 21 tackles. Senior Greg Hay moved from linebacker to rover. Hay is second on the team with 18 tackles.

To replace Hay, sophomore linebacker Beau Brudzinski made his first career start. Brudzinski, a 6-foot-1, 217-pounder from Weston, Fla., came into the game sixth on the team in tackles. In the first three games he had recorded 15 tackles, including two tackles for loss.

Redshirt freshman Joe Underwood also made his first career start at defensive end.

PRACTICE THE SAME: All of UT's injuries have not mandated a change in its weekly practice routine. The Rockets still practice in pads a few days a week, doing some hitting.

"We haven't really lost many players in practice," UT coach Tom Amstutz said. "We do a good job of not jumping into piles.

"We need to work. We're going to keep on practicing. Our philosophy is if one guy's down, the next guy's going to step in and take his place."

NO NAMES: The Cyclones do not have names on the backs of their jerseys this year, a policy instituted by coach Gene Chizik.

"I told them, if you want people to know your name, then do something worthy of it," Chizik told reporters. "They'll find out who you are. They'll look you up in the program."

COMING HOME: Despite a crowd that was not as big as the season opener against Purdue, the Rockets were still happy to return to the Glass Bowl.

"You always love playing at home," defensive tackle Tyree Pollard said. "You play a little harder in front of the family and friends. It's always good to be at home."

HOT QBs: Sophomore quarterback Aaron Opelt completed his first seven passes last night and 11 of his first 12. The only incompletion was an interception.

Iowa State QB Bret Meyer wasn't far off Opelt's pace. Meyer completed 10-of-13 passes in the first half, also throwing a pick.

EXTRA POINTS: Freshman Myshan Pettis from Rogers High School recorded his first career interception in the first quarter. It was the second interception of the season for the Rockets. Junior Keith Forestral recovered a fumble in the second quarter, the first of his career. Defensive end Skylaar Constant sat out this week after getting hurt last week at Kansas. Other injured starters, Tyrrell Herbert, Nigel Morris, and Douglas Westbrook, did not dress. UT's 95-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter was its longest of the season. It was the first time this year that ISU scored two first-half touchdowns.

Contact Maureen Fulton at:

mfulton@theblade.com

or 419-724-6160.



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