No need to let Austin Dantin know the magnitude of getting to play against the highest-ranked team to ever play at the Glass Bowl.
The University of Toledo welcomes No. 4 Boise State to town for a marquee nonconference matchup tonight on national television, and the Rockets' junior quarterback understands well the significance of the Broncos' visit.
"I really take this as a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing," Dantin said earlier this week. "There's not many times that you get to have the fourth-ranked team in the nation come to your place to play. It's a little bigger and there's a little bit more excitement than just another game."
The previously highest-ranked team to play Toledo on its home field was No. 9 Pittsburgh in 2003, when the Rockets dispatched Larry Fitzgerald and the Panthers 35-31 for one of the most memorable victories in school history.
As was the case eight years ago, morale is high at UT, and the Rockets are planning for a special night.
Last week, Toledo came oh so close to defeating then-No. 15 Ohio State, and although the loss was gut-wrenching, the Rockets are ready for their second chance at history tonight.
"We have to approach this game the same way," UT cornerback Desmond Marrow said. "No one expects you to win, so it's pretty much just the team and those few believers who believe in you as a team when you play those bigger teams. I think the attitude around here is we can win that game."
With a bye last week and an extra seven days to prepare for the Rockets, Boise State won't be taking Toledo lightly. Many Bronco players said this week that they thought UT should have knocked off the Buckeyes.
Following his team's 57-14 rout of Toledo last year in Boise, coach Chris Petersen said he liked what he saw from the Rockets and knew they'd present a stiff challenge for his team this year.
"[The Ohio State game] didn't surprise me," Petersen said. "Even when we played Toledo last year, I remember walking off the field thinking, 'These guys are going to be good sooner than later, and it'll probably be this season but I know they're going to be good next year because they have all these guys coming back.'"
This home-and-home series with the Broncos was scheduled back in 2005, with the original agreement between the two schools calling for a contest at the Glass Bowl in 2009 and a return game in Boise in 2010. Those dates were later amended in 2009, with UT's home game with the Broncos moved to this year.
The contract also calls for the two schools to exchange $200,000 checks, with UT providing Boise State those funds this year after collecting that amount last season to defray travel costs.
"This is another opportunity to play a big-time opponent," UT left tackle Mike VanDerMeulen said. "They're coming into the Glass Bowl, and we're just excited to play the best. Obviously, we're disappointed we didn't capitalize on the Ohio State game, but this is another game for us to come out and be ready."
Contact Zach Silka at: firstname.lastname@example.org, 419-724-6084 or on Twitter @ZachSilka.