University of Toledo FS Josh Teachey (8) celebrates returning a blocked PAT for a touchdown against Tulsa during the third quarter of a football game Saturday, September 16. BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH
This will be a unique week of preparation for the University of Toledo football team in that it is the fourth week of the college football season and its opponent, 14th-ranked Miami, Florida, has only played one game.
Because of Hurricane Irma, the Hurricanes were forced to cancel their game against Arkansas State and reschedule their contest with No. 12 Florida State. As the campus remains closed, the team has been practicing in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World.
“That’s a tough situation that you can’t predict for anybody,” UT coach Jason Candle said. “You certainly don’t want to wish that upon anybody. They’ve had some adversity that is way bigger than football. Hopefully all of their staff and their coaches’ families and players and players’ families are all safe and made it out of that ordeal unscathed. I’m sure they will be ready to get back on the field and play a football game. It’s unique that they have only played one game.”
Candle said the Rockets will look at film from Miami’s opening week win against Bethune-Cookman, but also must account for what the Hurricanes looked like last season.
“You have to pick apart that Week 1 film and certainly pay attention to what was on tape last year, and try to do the best that you can to put together a plan,” Candle said.
Despite Miami’s missed practice time and limited game-experience, Candle said they represent the toughest challenge yet for a Toledo team that enters 3-0.
“It will be a stiff task,” Candle said. “This is the Miami Hurricanes. They are ranked 14th in country right now and rightfully so. They have playmakers all over the field on offense, and are a really fast team on defense that flies to the football. We have a big challenge ahead of us. They are a unique situation because they haven’t practiced for some time and they have had not your typical, ideal situation of where things are right now. I’m sure they’ll be ready to go and get excited about getting out there and getting moving.”
After defeating Tulsa in a 54-51 thriller Saturday at the Glass Bowl, the Rockets have quickly moved on and shifted their focus.
“It’s just the next week,” UT senior quarterback Logan Woodside said. “Tulsa is over with and we are moving on to Miami. We are really looking forward to it and we are going to get a great game plan together and get ready to play.”
UT junior safety Josh Teachey said there is a sense of excitement among the players this week for a shot to play against a team with a national brand and show just how good this team is.
“It’s going to be on a bigger stage, so everything that happens is going to kind of be magnified,” Teachey said. “It’s a bigger platform for us.”
As one of the veterans on the team, UT senior receiver Cody Thompson said it is important for each player not to feel like they have to individually do too much.
“It’s a big game,” Thompson said. “I just try to kind of treat them all as the same. I preach that to the guys in our room, that it is just another game and you don’t need to step out of what you have done to prepare up to this moment. You don’t have to treat it any differently. You just have to make sure you understand the game plan and you go down there and you are ready to play and you are locked in. We know that we are going to get their best shot, and we know we are going to give them our best shot.”
WOODSIDE, VEST EARN MAC HONORS: Logan Woodside was named MAC West offensive player of the week after his 458-yard, six-touchdown performance in Toledo’s 54-51 comeback win over Tulsa. Woodside was 22-of-33 passing on the night.
Jameson Vest was named MAC West special teams player of the week after he kicked the game-winning, 33-yard field goal in the Tulsa win. He also was 5-for-5 on extra points.