Thursday, Sep 29, 2016
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End Zone: UT Rockets

Rockets are better than last year, though record may not reflect it

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I probably could not have gotten away with writing this a year ago, so I suppose I'll cop out and write it now. Toledo — even with its eight-game win streak, its upset victory over Cincinnati, and its ascent into the Top 25 for the first time in more than a decade — was just OK.

Dregs of the MAC too often pushed Toledo to the brink of defeat, with the Rockets required to rally late to avoid embarrassment. The 2012 squad was a 9-4 team trapped in a 7-5 body, a recognition to their outpacing of their talent level.

This year's 3-3 team has work to do to match last season's win total. However, the Rockets are better, which is the biggest takeaway from last week's whitewashing of Western Michigan.

The Rockets in rolling to a 40-point lead after three quarters demonstrated a degree of superiority they never showed a year ago living on the edge. The gentleman who coined the phrase, "A win is a win," probably won on a field goal as time expired. Winning big is fun. It can be therapeutic. Upcoming opponents take notice.

The final examination of this season will hinge on outcomes against Navy, Bowling Green, and Northern Illinois. It's comforting to know Toledo doesn't have to sweat minor tests.

Contact Ryan Autullo at: rautullo@theblade.com, 419-724-6160 or on Twitter @AutulloBlade.

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