Rockets to open up quest for MAC title at Ball State Oct. 3

September 30, 2015 | Athletics, Events, News
By Paul Helgren

With a perfect 3-0 record in non-conference play behind them, the Toledo Rockets now can focus their attention on their No. 1 goal — a Mid-American Conference Championship.

The first step in that process will begin Saturday, Oct. 3, when Toledo travels to Ball State. The 3 p.m. contest will be carried by American Sports Network and ESPN3.

Senior safety Rolan Milligan returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown in Toledo's win over Arkansas State Sept. 26.

Senior safety Rolan Milligan returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown in Toledo’s win over Arkansas State Sept. 26.

The Rockets (3-0, 0-0 MAC) are coming off a convincing 37-7 victory over Arkansas State Sept. 26. Toledo’s defense dominated the action, not allowing an offensive touchdown and holding the Red Wolves to minus-14 yards rushing on 24 attempts.

Senior safety Rolan Milligan returned an interception 36 yards for a touchdown, and Orion Jones added three sacks. Arkansas State, whose only score came on a 92-yard kickoff return, failed to score on two trips to the red zone.

Toledo opponents are 3 of 11 inside the red zone, with only one touchdown. That ranks No. 2 in the nation behind Appalachian State (no scores in five chances).

The Rockets also have not allowed a sack this season, one of only two teams in the country that can make that claim. The other is Air Force.

Ball State (2-2, 1-0 MAC) is coming off a 24-19 loss at No. 17 Northwestern last week. BSU led at halftime, 10-7, before the Wildcats rallied. The Cardinals’ other loss was to then-No. 16 Texas A&M, 53-26, Sept. 12.

BSU opened the season with a win over VMI and also knocked off MAC foe Eastern Michigan, 28-17. The Cardinals lead the MAC in rushing yards (232.0 per game) and are paced by the trio of sophomore running back Darian Green (402 yards, four TDs), freshman quarterback Riley Neal (217 yards, one TD) and freshman running back James Gilbert (212 yards, five TDs).

The Rockets won in Toledo last year, 34-23, and lead the series, 20-19-1. Toledo’s last win in Muncie was in 2011. The Rockets are 8-12 all-time in games played in Muncie.

Toledo has 68 points in the latest AP poll and 15 points in the USA Today coaches poll. The Rockets rank an unofficial 26th in the AP poll and 37th in the coaches poll.

Running back Kareem Hunt (hamstring) is questionable for the BSU game.

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