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Published: Wednesday, 7/30/2008

Hoke thinks UT can hang with Michigan


DETROIT - When the University of Toledo plays Michigan this fall at the Big House, perhaps it will look back at a recent near-miss by one of its conference brethren.

Ball State nearly took down the Wolverines in Ann Arbor in 2006, playing with a chance to tie the game on the UM 7-yard line with fewer than three minutes to play. UM came away with the 34-26 win.

Cardinals coach Brady Hoke said he thinks UT can perform just as well as his squad did at Michigan Stadium. The Rockets travel there Oct. 11 for the first time.

"When we played Michigan they were the No. 2 rated team in the country," Hoke said. "I don't think they'll be No. 2 this year. I think Toledo will do great. I have a lot of respect for the way [UT coach] Tom [Amstutz] runs his program."

TURNING A PAGE: Bowling Green State University's Anthony Turner has played quarterback and tailback. Now he'll try his hand at receiver.

"A.T. is leaning toward receiver [so that we can] utilize him a little more and be kind of a swing guy," Brandon said, adding that Turner may again be used for direct-snap runs from the quarterback position.

The news comes as a surprise as Turner played well last year at tailback, starting in four games. With the bulk of his production coming in November, Turner rushed for nine touchdowns and 519 yards.

Brandon indicated Turner would have been used sparingly in the backfield as sophomore Willie Geter and senior Eric Ransom had strong offseasons.

Considering the Falcons have considerable depth at receiver, it's not clear how Turner will fit in.

DRIVING IT HOME: Miami senior linebacker Clayton Mullins, the reigning Mid-American Conference defensive player of the year, completed a daunting offseason project. It took his father and him three months of weekends to build a truck back home in Fairborn, Ohio.

Mullins drives the vehicle, which gets less than 10 miles to the gallon, around campus in Oxford.

"You need a stepladder to get into that thing," Miami coach Shane Montgomery said. "You've got to be an athlete."

Even with Mullins' individual success last season, he wasn't happy with how the year ended. The RedHawks lost their final two games to finish 6-7 and miss out on a bowl game despite winning the MAC East.

"We have a sour taste in our mouths," Mullins said. "The big thing is to finish. Everyone is coming back with the same feeling."

TREY'S TIME: Eastwood High product Trey Hunter is expected to be used on special teams and at receiver for Eastern Michigan. Hunter, a redshirt freshman, has impressed in offseason workouts.

"He's got a great work ethic and he's always staying after and catching balls with me," EMU quarterback Andy Schmitt said. "He runs great routes. I think he's going to be a really dependable receiver for us."

Bowsher graduate Aeric Clay, who signed with the Eagles two years ago, is no longer with the program, EMU coach Jeff Genyk said.

TV TIME: ESPN Regional Television has announced that it will air nine MAC games over a six-week period as part of its syndicated package. Games scheduled to be shown include Miami at BG on Oct. 18, Central Michigan at Toledo on Oct. 25 and BG at Ohio on Nov. 8. All games will begin at noon.

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