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Published: Monday, 9/20/2010

UT expects big things from Molls

BY ZACH SILKA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

As college students often do, Austin Dantin and Ethan Kagy spent a good portion of last week poking fun at their roommate, who just happened to be the

Mid-American Conference West Division player of the week.

University of Toledo sophomore linebacker Danny Molls had 11 tackles and two interceptions in the Rockets' 20-13 win Sept. 11 at Ohio, but his buddies on the team didn't let him rest on his laurels.

"We were joking with him all week that we expect a pick or a [forced] fumble every game now," Dantin said.

How about an interception and a forced fumble every week?

Molls did just that in UT's 37-24 win Saturday over Western Michigan at Waldo Stadium, one that distinguished the Rockets as the only 2-0 team in the MAC right now.

Molls' forced fumble on the Broncos' first drive led to Dantin's nine-yard touchdown pass to Eric Page, which gave the Rockets a lead they would never relinquish.

Molls later added an interception midway through the fourth quarter that sealed the victory for UT - a week after his sack on fourth down sealed the win at Ohio.

"Danny's doing a great job for us," Dantin said, "and I expect nothing less. He's worked extremely hard to get to the point where he's at and he's a great athlete."

Senior defensive end Alex Johnson was released yesterday from Bronson Methodist Hospital in Kalamazoo, Mich., after suffering a facial fracture, according to UT coach Tim Beckman.

Johnson will undergo surgery Thursday and is out indefinitely, Beckman said.

He was injured during the fourth quarter against Western Michigan and was taken from the locker room on a stretcher by paramedics.

After diving into MAC play for the last two weeks, the Rockets turn their focus to the remaining nonconference matchups on their schedule for the next three weeks.

UT plays at Purdue this Saturday, then returns for homecoming at the Glass Bowl against Wyoming the week after before traveling to play Boise State on

Oct. 9.

The Rockets will jump back into MAC competition Oct. 16 against Kent State at home, where four of their final six conference games will be played.

"It's good we have four at home, but these next three [games] will be pretty tough ones for us," Beckman said.

Senior defensive end Douglas Westbrook returned from a two-game suspension (for an unspecified violation of team rules) and didn't show any rust against Western Michigan.

Westbrook finished with two sacks and proved to be a disruptive force throughout the game while subbing for sophomore T.J. Fatinikun and Johnson.

"It was great to see Doug back," Beckman said. "Doug understands that there's team policies that we're going to abide by. This is all about the family and all about the team. He understands that he made a mistake, and it was good to see number 58 there rushing the passer."

Contact Zach Silka at:

zsilka@theblade.com

or 419-724-6084.



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