The month of November hasn’t always been kind to the University of Toledo football team.
Last season, two November losses to Northern Illinois and Western Michigan prevented Toledo from making the Mid-American Conference championship game. In 2014, a key loss to Northern Illinois again destroyed the opportunity for a MAC West title.
This year, Toledo is right where it wants to be late in the season. With a game to play in the regular season, the Rockets control their own destiny if they knock off undefeated Western Michigan.
The Rockets are off to a 3-0 start this November with wins at Akron and against Northern Illinois at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago before Wednesday’s win at the Glass Bowl vs. Ball State.
“That’s what you work for all offseason is to be set up in this position,” UT coach Jason Candle said. “The team we just played [NIU], their record in the month of November is like 15-1 or something crazy like that. That’s why they have been able to make it to Detroit and win the [MAC] West each year, because they were able to control their own destiny in this month. It’s certainly cool to be in that position, but handling it and finishing it, that’s a whole other hurdle to jump over. We have to do it each and every day and stay together and keep working.”
At a crucial part in the season, a time when the real contenders separate themselves from the competition, Toledo is hoping to learn its lesson from past November disappointments.
“It’s one week at a time,” UT quarterback Logan Woodside said. “We’ve been in this situation the past couple of years, and we’ve come up short. We’re just taking it one day at a time. We have a good one this week with Ball State, a really good football team, coming in, so it’s going to be a big challenge.”
Toledo has used a game-to-game approach this season to help them to a 9-2 record and a 6-1 mark in the MAC.
“We’re just taking it one step at a time,” DeJuan Rogers said. “We’re not looking ahead. We’re not looking over anybody.
“Whoever we have that week, that is our main focus. After that game, we ditch it and move on to the next.”
Contact Brian Buckey at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6110.