This offseason, University of Toledo senior tight end Michael Roberts said he wanted to be more involved in the passing game and as a red zone threat this season.
So far, so good after one week. Roberts caught two touchdown passes against Arkansas State in the Rockets’ 31-10 road victory.
“It was a great experience, my first multi-touchdown game since high school,” Roberts said. “It was fun.”
IN PICTURES: Toledo 45, Maine 3
GAME STORY: Woodside leads Rockets over Maine 45-3
Roberts had a good overall game with four catches for 41 yards but excelled in the red zone or near the red zone. He hauled in the first touchdown of the game for UT on a five-yard pass from quarterback Logan Woodside. He added a 22-yard TD catch in the third quarter.
“I try to view myself as a threat at any place on the field, but especially in the red zone,” Roberts said. “We do a big emphasis with me in the red zone, and who wouldn’t want to be down there scoring touchdowns?”
Last season Roberts had the best season of his career with 21 catches for 234 yards and four touchdowns. He scored touchdowns in games against Ball State, Eastern Michigan, UMass, and Central Michigan.
With threats on the outside this season in receivers Cody Thompson and Corey Jones, Roberts expects Toledo to have success in the passing game.
Arkansas State was a good example of that as the Rockets passed for 371 yards.
“It was the product of a great process,” Roberts said. “We work really hard with our timing and our chemistry. It was really just rewarding seeing all the hard work pay off.”
With what should be a good running game, the passing attack for UT will help the offense stay balanced and take advantage of mismatches.
“We are a very balanced team,” Roberts said. “We knew we were going to run it, and we knew we were going to pass it. We do a lot of different things and we stay balanced. Depending week-to-week, what is working at the time, the run game opens up the pass game and it complements each other, so it really goes hand in hand.”
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