No. 24 Toledo to host Western Michigan Nov. 27 with share of MAC West Division Crown on line

November 24, 2015 | Athletics, Events
By Paul Helgren

It’s Senior Day for the Toledo Rockets, and the 2015 senior class would like nothing better than to cap its legacy with a victory in its final game in the Glass Bowl over Western Michigan Friday, Nov. 27, at noon.

A win over the Broncos would mean at least a share of the Mid-American Conference West Division crown for UT, and pending the outcome of Tuesday’s Northern Illinois-Ohio game, could mean the opportunity to play East Division champ Bowling Green in the MAC Championship Game at Detroit’s Ford Field Friday, Dec. 4.

Junior running back Kareem Hunt ran for two touchdowns in Toledo's victory over Bowling Green.

Junior running back Kareem Hunt ran for two touchdowns in Toledo’s victory over Bowling Green.

Toledo (9-1, 6-1 MAC) enters the WMU game tied with NIU for first place in the MAC West. Because the Huskies defeated UT Nov. 3, they control the tiebreaker that would determine which team advances to the MAC title game. Thus, Toledo needs Ohio to defeat NIU Nov. 24 to have a chance to play for a championship.

The Rockets, who are ranked No. 24 in the latest Associated Press media poll, are coming off a 44-28 victory at  Bowling Green Nov. 17. UT scored on its first six possessions to race out to a 30-7 lead and then staved off a BGSU rally to claim the Battle of I-75 Trophy for the sixth consecutive year.

Junior running back Kareem Hunt rushed for a season-high 153 yards and two touchdowns; it was his third straight game and 19th career game over the century mark. For his efforts, he was named Mid-American Conference West Division Offensive Player of the Week. And he moved up to No. 5 on Toledo’s all-time rushing list with 3,252 career yards, surpassing Jalen Parmelee, who had 3,119 yards from 2004 to 2007.

The Rocket defense forced five Falcon turnovers, and Toledo’s defense held Bowling Green to 368 yards of total offense, 216 below its average of 584.

Western Michigan (6-5, 5-2 MAC) is coming off a 27-19 loss to Northern Illinois Nov. 18 that knocked it out of the MAC West Division race. The Broncos feature the No. 2 offense in the MAC, averaging 486.5 yards per game.

UT ranks No. 1 in the MAC in scoring defense (19.7), and is second in rushing offense (214.4) and rushing defense (112.3).

Toledo has not appeared in the MAC Championship Game since 2004, but has been West Division co-champs three times since then (2005, 2011, 2014), losing out on tiebreakers each time.

The game will be carried by CBS Sports Network.

The UT Athletic Ticket Office will have extended hours this week in preparation for Friday’s game. The ticket office will stay open until 7 p.m. Tuesday, until 5 p.m. Wednesday, and reopen at 8:30 a.m. at the Glass Bowl Friday. The office will be closed Thanksgiving Day.

UT is teaming up with Kroger to offer $12 Black Friday tickets for the game. Fans may purchase up to six tickets. For every ticket purchase, UT and Kroger will donate $2 to the Toledo Northwestern Ohio Food Bank. Tickets may be purchased online here, by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653) or in person at the UT Athletic Ticket Office in Savage Arena. Online orders should use promo code “KROGER.” Tickets must be purchased prior to Friday.

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