Back in Top 25, No. 23 Toledo hits road at Central Michigan with shot at playing in New Year's bowl

Wed, Nov 22, 2023
NCAAF News (AP)

Back in Top 25, No. 23 Toledo hits road at Central Michigan with shot at playing in New Year's bowl

No. 23 Toledo (10-1, 7-0 Mid-American) at Central Michigan (5-6, 3-4), Friday, 12 p.m. EST (ESPNU).

Line: Toledo by 10 1/2 according to FanDuel Sportsbook.

Series record: Toledo leads 28-20-3.

WHAT'S AT STAKE?

Other news No. 5 Florida State and rival Florida turn to backup QBs with plenty at stake in the Swamp No. 16 Arizona faces rival Arizona State with Pac-12 title game still within reach No. 19 K-State hopes it is playing Iowa State for spot in Big 12 title game Saturday night

Ranked in the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2015, Toledo has moved into consideration for a potential Group of 5 invitation to a New Year's Six bowl (Fiesta or Peach). A loss ends that possibility. The Rockets have won 10 straight games and have already clinched the MAC West title and a spot in the conference championship game on Dec. 2 against MAC East champion Miami (Ohio). The Chippewas need a win to become bowl eligible.

KEY MATCHUP

Toledo running back Peny Boone vs. Central Michigan's defense. The junior from Detroit has rushed for 1,173 yards and 13 TDs while being as dependable as any weapon for the Rockets, who are averaging 207 yards per game. Toledo knows it can lean on Boone, especially in a game it wants to control up front.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Toledo: Junior QB Dequan Finn. The MAC's leader in TD passes (20), completion percentage (65.9), and passing yards (2,287). He led a rally last week against Bowling Green, completing the comeback with a 59-yard TD pass to running back Jacquez Stuart with 1:45 left for a 32-31 win. Finn finished 20 of 30 for 279 yards and two TDs.

Central Michigan: Junior RB Marion Lukes. He's rushed for 424 yards in his last three games, including a 202-yard performance on Oct. 31 against Northern Illinois. Lukes is also a dangerous kick returner.

FACTS & FIGURES

Toledo has won 11 of the last 13 meetings between the schools. ... Toledo's only loss this season was on a last-second field goal in the opener at Illinois. ... When Toledo was last ranked, Matt Campbell, now at Iowa State, was the coach. ... Rockets coach Jason Candle has been linked to openings at Michigan State and Syracuse. ... Toledo cornerback Quinyon Mitchell is second in the nation in passes defensed (17). He was recently named a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award, the first MAC player so honored since 2017. ... Mount Pleasant hasn't been, well, pleasant lately for the Rockets, who have lost their last two games at Central Michigan. ... The Chippewas are 4-0 at home this season. ... Central Michigan has lost its last two games, both on the road.

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-football

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