Friday, December 14, 2001

Diverse Toledo awaits Bearcats


Rockets spread offense, but RB still threat

The Associated Press

        PONTIAC, Mich. — Marshall's absence from the Motor City Bowl shouldn't affect the scoreboard, where the Thundering Herd made their greatest impression during four trips to the Silverdome.

        This year's contest Dec. 29 features Toledo and Cincinnati, two teams with spread offenses capable of covering chunks of yards in single plays and scoring in a hurry.

        “This is going to be a high-scoring game,” said Cincinnati coach Rick Minter. “Well, I know they will score a lot. I just hope we are able to keep up.”

        Marshall went 3-1 in the Motor City Bowl and put up more than 30 points each time. But the Herd had trouble with the Rockets (9-2) in the MAC title game, losing 41-36 to end a four-year run as league champ.

        Toledo's offensive attack made the difference. The Rockets no longer are built around two-time All-MAC back Chester Taylor.

        Yet Taylor loves the new, more spread-out attack. He was named a third-team All-American after rushing for 1,430 yards and 20 touchdowns this season.

        “It has been great for me, because it has given me a chance to show off some new skills,” Taylor said. “It has let me catch passes and get isolated against linebackers, and when I'm running the ball, there aren't as many guys in the box. Instead of making three linebackers miss me, I only have to get by one or two.”

        The Bearcats (7-4) want to make amends for last year's 25-14 loss to Marshall in the Motor City Bowl.

        “Last year, we came up here to play a great team, and we didn't play a great game,” Minter said. “This year, we hope that the experience from last season will help us.”

        Minter said his offense is similar to Toledo's attack, but lacks a strong running game.

        “They average over 200 yards a game on the ground, and that's where we want to be, too,” he said. “But we haven't gotten that done.”

       



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