Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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UT overcomes injury issues

BOWLING GREEN -- Another chapter was added to the recurring storyline of the University of Toledo dealing with a cornucopia of injuries this season.

The Rockets were without three defensive starters Saturday -- not including safety Mark Singer who was lost for the season in preseason camp with a torn labrum -- in addition to two starters from the offensive side of the ball.

Junior defensive end T.J. Fatinikun, junior strong safety Jermaine Robinson, and junior middle linebacker Danny Molls were on the sideline in street clothes against Bowling Green, along with senior tight end Danny Noble.

Junior running back Adonis Thomas was in uniform Saturday, but did not play while continuing to recover from a broken arm suffered Sept. 24 at Syracuse.

Fatinikun dislocated his right elbow last week against Eastern Michigan and did not practice this past week. Molls and Robinson managed to practice but did so in non-contact jerseys. Molls has been out since suffering a stress fracture in his left leg in early September, and Robinson left last week's game with an unspecified hand/wrist injury.

"Heck, we looked like a M.A.S.H. unit on the sideline," UT coach Tim Beckman joked.

The Rockets also sustained another injury Thursday in practice when backup strong safety Ethan Kagy went down with an undisclosed injury. He was seen on the sidelines Saturday with his arm in a sling.

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"We've gone through a lot," Beckman said. "People don't know how many injuries we have. ... The resiliency of this football team is unmatched."

Sophomore Jayrone Elliott registered four tackles in place of Fatinikun against the Falcons.

Senior Diauntae Morrow moved from free safety to strong safety to replace Robinson in the lineup, and sophomore Ross Madison took Morrow's spot at free safety. Morrow and Madison combined for 13 tackles.

"There's somebody always ready to fill in," UT cornerback Taikwon Paige said.

"Here at UT, we have a two-deep [depth chart], so with people being injured, we already knew the next guy will be ready to step in and take advantage of the opportunity to play."

THE OTHER PAIGE: A senior from Aiken, S.C., Paige came away with one of the biggest plays of the afternoon for the UT defense.

Early in the fourth quarter, Paige intercepted a pass thrown by Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz, setting up Toledo's go-ahead score from senior running back Morgan Williams on a 13-yard run with 10:43 remaining.

"[The coaches] had been giving me that play all week and beating it into my head that it was coming," Paige said. "[Schilz] just threw it straight to me and the d-line gave a good rush, so it was really easy."

GAME CAPTAINS: Serving as team captains for UT were senior offensive tackle Mike VanDerMeulen, junior wide receiver Eric Page, Elliott, and cornerback Desmond Marrow.

The Rockets name their captains on a game-by-game basis to reward hard work and dedication in the previous week of practice.

POOCH PUNTS: Marrow recorded 10 tackles, the second time this season he's led the Rockets in that category. ... Williams has scored a touchdown in four straight contests and leads the team with seven touchdowns this season ... UT was held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this year. ... The Rockets are 15-5 when scoring at least 28 points during Beckman's three-year tenure. ... Toledo has won two in a row in the series with Bowling Green. ... The Falcons lead the all-time series 39-33-4.

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