Four games into the 2004 season, the University of Toledo finally gets to play one at home in the Glass Bowl, where the Rockets have won 25 of their last 26.
Toledo faces a Temple team that is playing in its final season as a member of the Big East.
Some teams can come at you from a lot of different directions and keep you guessing as to whom the defense needs to focus on. Temple is not one of those teams.
Quarterback Walter Washington is the team's leading rusher, leading passer and leading scorer. The junior from Daytona Beach (6-2, 240 pounds) came to Temple in 2003 from Dodge City (Kan.) Community College, where he was the runner-up for national player of the year honors in the junior college ranks. He is one of 35 junior college transfers on the Temple roster.
"They've got a lot of good athletes," UT coach Tom Amstutz said. "They've recruited a lot of junior college kids, and usually when you bring them in you think they can probably help you right away." Washington averages 77 rushing yards and 180 passing yards per game, and has scored six touchdowns in three games. He received scholarship offers from Nebraska and Kansas State before signing with Temple. The Owls like to spread things out and let Washington get creative.
On defense the Owls are led by junior linebacker Rian "Goo" Wallace, whose 148 tackles in 2003 gave him the sixth best single-season in school history. The 6-4, 245-pound native of Pottstown, Pa., was second-team, all-Big East as a sophomore.
"This is a good football team that we're facing," Toledo quarterback Bruce Gradkowski said. "We're excited about finally getting to play in the Glass Bowl, and we know our fans will be fired up and pack the place, but we'll have our hands full with Temple."
The Rockets beat the Owls in the last meeting between the two teams, a 33-7 Toledo win at Franklin Field in 2001 in Amstutz's second game as head coach at UT.
- Matt Markey
t Time: 7 p.m.
t Radio: 1370
t Records: Toledo is 1-2; Temple is 1-2
t Last game: Toledo d. Eastern Michigan
42-32; Temple d. Florida A&M 38-7.
t Favorite: Toledo by 71/2
t Notable: The Rockets look to sustain the good feeling they had after winning their Mid-American Conference opener at Eastern Michigan last weekend. Toledo's highly touted offense finally emerged in that contest as the Rockets rolled up 542 yards of offense, the most they have had since they put together 685 against Buffalo last November. The UT defense will be tested by Temple's spread attack and its versatile quarterback, Walter Washington. As they did in a number of games last year, the Rockets' best game plan will likely be to simply outscore Temple.
t Time: 3:30 p.m.
t TV/radio: Ch. 13/760
t Records: Iowa is 2-1; Michigan is 2-1.
t Last game: Iowa lost at Arizona State 44-7; Michigan d. San Diego State 24-21.
t Favorite: Michigan by 13.
t Notable: These are two teams with proud running traditions, but until Michigan got a spark last week, neither was living up to its reputation. Five backs have tried to jump-start Michigan's running game, and the one that might just do it is Mike Hart, a 5-9, 185-pound freshman. Hart gained 121 yards on 25 carries in last week's win over San Diego State. He's the first Wolverine to run for 100 yards this season and the first Michigan freshman to reach the mark since Chris Perry in 2000. Iowa's starting running back, Jermelle Lewis, is averaging only 2.9 yards per carry. As a team Iowa ran for just 56 yards against Arizona State, a total close to the average Michigan is allowing on the ground.