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Published: Thursday, 9/10/2009

The End Zone: Toledo

UT commences its “Rocket Walk” 2 hours before its home opener against Colorado tomorrow night. If the Rockets keep playing down to their recent standards on defense, they better start wearing raincoats to fend off tomatoes.

In its season-opener at Purdue, UT allowed 52 points and 315 rushing yards — the most of any team in the Mid-American Conference last week. Even the Akron Zips didn’t give up that much real estate in Happy Valley against Penn State. The Rockets ranked as one of the worst defenses in the conference last year but vowed all preseason that would change. Apparently old trends die hard.

Tim Beckman has a long and distinguished background coaching great defenses and believes the Rockets can make the necessary fixes before the Buffaloes come to town. Obviously that’s coach-speak, and nobody could have expected UT to come out and play like the Steelers’ Iron Curtain to start the season. But when your offense scores 31 points and you’re playing against a middle-of-the-pack Big Ten team in rebuilding mode, you should expect better results.

And better results better come soon with Ohio State next week. Not to mention a homecoming contest on Oct. 10 against Western Michigan at the Glass Bowl where a Rocket Walk could be hazardous to their health.

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