Rockets prepare for Hurricanes’ visit

Mark Znidar
Lucas Maynard from Teays Valley is a regular on the defensive line for Toledo. [Courtesy University of Toledo]

University of Miami

at Toledo


Records: Miami 1-1, Toledo 1-0

Series: Hurricanes lead 2-0.

Last meeting: Miami won 52-30 on Sept. 23, 2017, in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Toledo coach Matt Campbell did not sit in Lucas Maynard’s living room when he was a senior at Teays Valley telling his family and him that the university had contracted to play home games against teams from Power 5 conferences such as Iowa State and the University of Miami.

There were no selling points because Maynard was not recruited by major colleges and appeared to be headed to Notre Dame College, a Division II university in suburban Cleveland.

Maynard never made it there, daring to be great in walking on at Toledo. He witnessed the Rockets’ 30-23 upset of Iowa State in 2015 at home as a redshirt freshman.

But when Toledo plays the 21st-ranked Hurricanes before a sellout crowd of more than 26,000 at the Glass Bowl, he will be in the defensive line rotation at end as a full scholarship player.

“This is a good opportunity to go out there and show what Toledo is made of and how we’re coached,’’ Maynard said. “Miami is a great team and it’s going to be a great atmosphere. I hear they are bringing in extra seats.’’

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The Rockets know all about Miami. Last season, they led 16-10 at halftime but lost 52-30.

Maynard respects the Hurricanes but won’t bow down before them.

“I was on the sideline for that Iowa State game, and that was awesome — amazing,’’ he said “The team believed in itself and executed. We were excited, but it wasn’t a shock. There are great players everywhere. MAC teams can get great players. My grandpa always says not everyone can go to a big school. Where I come from, you get underrecruited. I understood that.’’

One needs only to look as far as Toledo to see that. Former tailback Kareem Hunt ran for 1,201 yards and was voted to the Pro Bowl as a rookie for the Kansas City Chiefs.

Toledo coach Jason Candle put Maynard on scholarship last spring. He is majoring in pre-physical therapy with plans to become a chiropractor.

“I came here knowing I was taking a chance, but I did know I could play Division I football,’’ he said. “I tried to make a name for myself. I did start the opener (four tackles in a 66-3 victory over VMI), but each week you have to pay your rent in practice. I have to go out hard and solidify my spot and earn my role.’’

Maynard played in eight games as a backup last season, including a 45-28 victory over Akron in the Mid-American Conference championship game.

Ohio vs. Virginia


Hurricane Florence prompted the athletic directors of both schools to move the game to Vanderbilt Stadium from Charlottesville, Virginia. It’s about the same travel time for the Bobcats (1-0). “Oh, yeah, we want to play — we need to play,’’ Ohio quarterback Nathan Rourke said. “This could have been three weeks without a game and no one wants that.’’

Alabama A&M at Cincinnati


Cincinnati (2-0) passed a big test by defeating Miami University 21-0 in a rivalry game a week after an upset of UCLA in the Rose Bowl. There’s another test against Alabama A&M (1-1), an FCS team the Bearcats are supposed to beat.

Mount Union at Baldwin-Wallace


The last regular-season road game Mount Union lost came in 1991 to BW (1-1). The streak is 130 straight games. The Raiders (1-0) have the nation’s longest winning streak in Division III at 16 straight.

Mark Znidar