Rockets and Bobcats square off in nationally televised game on ESPN2

Oct. 31, 2005

Toledo, OH - The defending MAC champion Rockets travel to Ohio this Friday needing a victory to stay in the hunt for the West Division title of the Mid-American Conference. Toledo and Central Michigan are tied with 4-1 league records but CMU holds the tie-breaker thanks to its win over UT last Saturday. Coach Frank Solich's Bobcats (4-4, 3-2 MAC) are in a four-way logjam at the top of the East Division standings with Miami, Akron and Bowling Green.

Toledo (6-2, 4-1 MAC): Toledo lost its first MAC game of the year, a 21-17 heartbreaker at Central Michigan on Saturday. Toledo had a chance to win the game thanks to a stop by the Rocket defense on fourth-and-one at the 50-yard line with 1:35 to play. Bruce Gradkowski then moved the Rockets 46 yards to the CMU four to set up the final play with five seconds remaining, but a leaping Nick Moore could not corral a Gradkowski pass in the back of the end zone, giving CMU its first win over Toledo since 1994. Because Toledo no long controls its own destiny in the MAC West Division race, the Rockets cannot afford to lose another conference game and still hold onto any realistic hopes of returning to the MAC Championship Game. If CMU loses in any one of its final three games, Toledo can claim an outright MAC West title by winning its final three games. In any case, Toledo can earn a share of the title by winning three games no matter what CMU does. The Rockets have won at least a share of the MAC West crown six times in the last eight seasons, and have been to the MAC title game five times during that time period.

Ohio (4-4, 3-2 MAC): The Bobcats are in a four-way tie for first place in the MAC East, thanks to a 34-20 win over Buffalo last week. Sophomore Kalvin McRae ran for 224 yards and two touchdowns to lead Ohio. McRae is third in the MAC with 937 yards this season.

Quick Hitters
Bruce Gradkowski became the first Rocket and just the eighth MAC player to surpass the 8,000-yard passing mark...The Rockets surrendered a 17-yard TD pass in the first quarter, the first points the UT defense has allowed this season in the opening stanza...Nick Moore finished with a career-best nine receptions for 101 yards and a TD.