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    [2022] Week 0 Preview

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    The #25 Toledo Rockets are the only team in action this week, but boy is a big game. The Rockets travel to #15 San Diego State in the the MAC's best Non-Conference game, and it should be a great game.


    Toledo is coached by @deathcpo who is in his 7th season as the Rockets Head Coach and is also the only coach in Toledo History. He has assembled a fantastic team, but it does have holes. They are going to be one-dimensional on offense with a completely new QB and they aren't great at Cornerback. But Gabe Ciamo is probably a Top-5 Running Back in the Country and the Toledo Front-7 is pretty darn good.


    San Diego State is coached by @pumph who is in his 4th full season, he came in halfway through the 2018 season. Like Coach Deathcpo, he has done a fantastic job assembling this team. And like Toledo, they have holes. The linebackers are inexperienced and the safeties can be taken advantage of. David Edmondson might be the best Junior QB in the country and his experience and talent will play a big impact.


    Toledo Key Players




    Gabe Ciamo has to get 125+ yards on 5 YPC for Toledo to win. SDSU's offense is just to good to let them stay on the field, so running the ball consistently and efficiently with Ciamo will be key for the Rockets.




    Briggs will need to get pressure early and often on Edmondson. SDSU will try to run as well, and Briggs needs to help disrupt A.J. Garrett in the backfield.




    Toledo's corners aren't very good. So Singleton has to play Centerfield behind them and help stop Edmondson and the Gang in the Air.


    San Diego State Key Players




    Edmondson has a huge role to play. As a Sophomore, he had an incredible season. He has to be that and more, Toledo's Defensive Line and Safeties are very good, he'll get pressured often and the Safeties will be hungry looking for turnovers.




    As a Contain guy, McKinney will have help keep Ciamo from getting to the outside. If Gabe gets out, he has the speed to run away from the 2nd and 3rd line of the defense.




    English will be key to stopping the run. Even though Ciamo likes busting it outside, he won't get there every time. So when he has to cut inside, English has to be there to make a sure tackle and limit big plays.



    How Toledo Can Win


    Run, Run, Run. QB Giovanni Baughman is making his first start in his career as a Senior, and he's only a 3.5/3.5. His receiving corps isn't very good either. Prince Malone is a big play guy, but they have 3.5s behind him and Nate Linsley is really a blocker who doesn't factor much in the passing game. Gabe Ciamo has most of the offensive weight on his shoulders. But he has a great OL in front of him, they average 3.7/4.9. They're a little green, but they are insanely talented. All 5 could start in the NFLHC someday. If they can create some holes or seal the edge, Ciamo should have a good game. SDSU's offense is very good, so Toledo needs to hold the ball as much as possible and rushing with Ciamo is the key to doing that. Toledo has a pair of 4.5/4.5 Blitz DEs who have to get after Edmondson. This defense can't let Edmondson sit back in the pocket and pick them apart, they'll lose that way. With Toledo's Corner situation (3.5/3.5, 3.5/3.5, 1/4), there is a big opportunity for SDSU to target Zion Payton. So, getting pressure on the Quarterback will be huge.


    How San Diego State Can Win


    Target the Cornerbacks. It seems doubtful to me that Toledo's Corners can stop the passing game if they're targeted often. Zion Payton (3/4.5) leads this Aztec Receiving Group, his backups are a little meh. They bring up Abdoul Arrington and Ahmed Dillard, both 3/3, but they should be able still get some traction on the Toledo's Corners. A.J. Garrett, in his first start, will likely play a limited role. Toledo has great DT's and a very good ILB, so running up the middle probably won't be a winning strategy. Garrett will have to challenge the OLBs (a weakness of Toledo) on the perimeter and provide a change of pace for the offense and keep the defense on its heals. SDSU comes in playing a 3-4, with a DT at one of the DE positions. Stopping Gabe Ciamo is really the defense's only goal. McKinney, highlighted earlier, and Graham Spear at DE will have to soak up blocks and try to force Ciamo inside. Waiting there will be DT Gunther Watkins and ILB Micah English and Otto Wyman who will have to collapse on the play and surround Ciamo. If they can stop the running game, they could run away with this one. This job won't be easy though, Toledo has a great Offensive Line protecting Ciamo.


    Final Prediction


    SDSU 35 Toledo 31


    I see a high scoring game even with both teams having solid defenses. I think Edmondson will go for 300+ with 3 Touchdowns. On the other side, I see Ciamo getting 130 Yards with 3 Touchdowns himself. The difference for me is that SDSU can bring in a running game to complement their main offensive strength while Toledo doesn't have that ability. SDSU can take advantage of Toledo's secondary, while I think Toledo can run on SDSU. Either way, this game should be insanely fun to watch.



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    I love seeing Edmondson's stats in bold, red, lettering.


    He was known last year for having 3 good games, then one meh one.  Let's hope he's matured and doesn't get off to a slow start.  But balance is the key for me.  I'm not just going to try and throw 40 times.  I've got two horses in the backfield and looking to find ways to get the ball into their hands.  I think this game comes down to my OL versus the Toledo DL.  My line is also chock full of NFL talent.  They are still a year away from really being good though.  Can they do enough to keep Edmondson clean and make some holes for the running game?  If so, we win.  If not, it's going to be a struggle.  Gabe is going to get his.  But I need to hold him to that 130.  Because I don't think Toledo gets 300 yards of total offense if he's not over that mark.  I like my chances if Gabe runs for 130 and they throw for about 170.  I don't like them if he rattles off 150+.


    Should be a great matchup.  Too bad one of us has to get knocked off so early.


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