Rockets running back Kareem Hunt is brought down by Eastern Michigan's Ikie Calderon on Saturday in in Ypsilanti, Mich. Hunt is among the UT seniors who could go 4-0 against Bowling Green. BLADE/NICK THOMAS
The seniors on the University of Toledo football team have a chance to go a perfect 4-0 against Bowling Green with a win in the rivalry game on Saturday at the Glass Bowl, something that is not too common in the series.
Other than the current six-game win streak by Toledo, the Rockets have won four straight games in the series only one other time (1995-1998). Bowling Green won four straight from 1991-1994 and 1975-1978, and 12 straight from 1955-1966
“It’s definitely special,” UT senior safety DeJuan Rogers said. “For the last three years, I’ve seen the seniors being able to hold that trophy and celebrate it. Me now being a senior, I just hope it’s my turn and I want to be able to hold that trophy at the end of the day.”
UT coach Jason Candle said he is counting on his seniors this season, as they have experienced the intensity of the rivalry and have come out on the winning side of some tight games.
“Some of the seniors have been through it and some of those games have been really close,” Candle said. “Last year, Bowling Green was on top of our league and they were an exciting team playing at a high level. and we were able to knock them off and sing that fight song in the locker room. That’s a special deal.”
Rogers said the game his freshman year in 2013 stood out to him, when Toledo won 28-25 at Bowling Green.
“I remember my freshman year when I saw Alonzo Russell catch the game-winning touchdown,” Rogers said. “That was a game I started as a freshman, so it was really big for me and it was big for the team just having to step up and fill that role.”
UT senior running back Kareem Hunt has played a big part of the current win streak that Toledo holds over Bowling Green.
In his first taste of the rivalry, Hunt rushed for 114 yards and a touchdown as a freshman in 2013. As a sophomore, Hunt exploded for 265 yards and two touchdowns as Toledo won 27-20. His junior year, he torched BG for 159 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-28 UT win.
“It’s been a lot of games against them for me,” Hunt said. “I had a pretty good game my freshman year against them and then followed that up my sophomore year and junior year we won, so I’m excited about the game. It’s always a great environment and people love it in the community. I just remember just going down after a big win and cheering and just how excited we were.”
Now, after having three huge games against Bowling Green, Hunt wants to make it seven straight in the series and his fourth win over his rival.
“That’s very special,” Hunt said. “I feel like any Toledo Rocket would want to beat their rival, or anybody would want to beat their rival, every year they are in high school or college. It’s just a great experience. I actually did that with my rival school in high school.”
Contact Brian Buckey at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6110.