Meet the Toledo Rockets, Ohio State football's Week 3 opponent in 2022
The annual Mid-American Conference game has been an easy win for Ohio State over the years. The Buckeyes are 27-0 against MAC teams since 1992.
That includes a 59-7 throttling of lowly Akron last season.
Heck, the Buckeyes haven't even lost to a team from Ohio since 1921 when Oberlin had a 7-6 win.
Suffice to say, history is not on the side of the Toledo Rockets, who land on Week 3 of Ohio State's schedule in 2022. The Sept. 17 game takes place at Ohio Stadium in Columbus.
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Toledo enters the season as arguably the best team in the MAC with nearly all of last year's starters returning and a quarterback on the rise.
Here's what to know about the Toledo Rockets in 2022:
Meet Dequan Finn, Toledo’s budding star quarterback
Move over, Bruce Gradkowski. Toledo’s Dequan Finn is on pace to be a special quarterback for Toledo. In his first year starting, Finn threw for 2,071 yards and 18 touchdowns to just two interceptions in 2021.
The sophomore also ran for 505 yards and nine more touchdowns.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Finn was named Mr. Football in Michigan in 2018 and picked for the preseason MAC third team by Athlon for 2022.
He was among the college football quarterbacks invited to participate in the Manning Passing Academy this year.
Ohio State vs. Toledo all-time record
Ohio State has played Toledo just three times. The Buckeyes beat the Rockets 49-0 in 1998 and 38-0 in 2009. Things were a little different in 2011. Ohio State won, but the score was much closer at 27-22.
In that game, Toledo actually held a 15-7 lead after the first quarter. It could have been a loss for the Buckeyes. It took an interception thrown by Toledo backup quarterback Terrance Owens with 48 seconds left to seal the game for the Buckeyes.
Not only did the Rockets lose starting quarterback Austin Dantin that game, but they had 102 yards in penalties, and missed two field goals.
What did Toledo football do in 2021?
The best way to describe Toledo's 2021 season is short. As in, the Rockets came up just short in several games en route to a 7-6 season. The Rockets lost four games by combined 11 points.
That includes a narrow 32-29 loss to Notre Dame on Sept. 11. In that game, Toledo held a lead with 1:09 remaining.
After three consecutive wins to finish the regular season, Toledo lost to Middle Tennessee State 31-24 in the Bahamas Bowl.
The Rockets averaged 33.4 points per game in 2021, good for 27th in the nation. They gave up 21.8 points per game, which was 28th out of 130 teams.
Toledo football has plenty of Mount Union connections
The coaching tree at Division III Mount Union in small town Alliance, Ohio is growing and the branches extend well into Toledo.
Rockets head coach Jason Candle is a Mount Union alum and began his coaching career there before joining the Toledo staff in 2009. Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, who preceded Candle at Toledo, is also a Purple Raider.
Toledo defensive coordinator Vince Kehres was the head coach for Mount Union until joining Candle's staff in 2020. His father, Larry Kehres, was the longtime head coach of the Division III powerhouse.
Co-offensive coordinator Mike Hallett and co-defensive coordinator Ross Watson also played and coached at Mount Union.
Peny Boone could be Toledo's secret weapon
On offense, Toledo returns eight of its starters from last season. One of the open spots is running back after Bryant Koback left for the NFL early.
There are a few players who can fill in, including sophomores Micah Kelly and Jacquez Stuart.
But the secret weapon may be transfer Peny Boone. The 6-1, 245-pound bruiser joins Toledo after starting his college career at Maryland.
The former four-star recruit ran for 258 yards and two touchdowns for the Terrapins last season. He and Finn were high school teammates at Detroit Martin Luther King High School.
Who are the best 2023 NFL Draft prospects for Toledo?
The NFL has been kind to Toledo in recent years. Since 2017, eight Rockets have been taken in the NFL draft. That includes defensive backs Tycoon Anderson and Samuel Womack getting taken in the fifth round this year.
Toledo might have more defensive players taken in the 2023 draft.
Pass rusher Jamal Hines could join them. Hines comes into his senior season with 37 career tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks.
What does the 2022 Toledo football schedule look like?
Other than Ohio State, Toledo's non-conference schedule this season is fairly light. The The Rockets welcome Long Island and Massachusetts into the Glass Bowl and travel San Diego State to play the Aztecs.
Here's Toledo's schedule:
- Sept. 3: Long Island
- Sept. 10: Massachusetts
- Sept. 17: at Ohio State
- Sept. 24: at San Diego State
- Oct. 1: Central Michigan
- Oct. 15: Kent State
- Oct. 22: at Buffalo
- Oct. 29: at Eastern Michigan
- Nov. 8: Ball State
- Nov. 15: Bowling Green
- Nov. 25: at Western Michigan
Ohio State football schedule 2022
- Week 1: Ohio State vs. Notre Dame, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3, in Columbus, Ohio
- Week 2: Ohio State vs. Arkansas State, Sept. 10, in Columbus, Ohio
- Week 3: Ohio State vs. Toledo, Sept. 17, in Columbus, Ohio
- Week 4: Ohio State vs. Wisconsin, Sept. 24, Columbus, Ohio
- Week 5: Ohio State vs. Rutgers, Oct. 1, Columbus Ohio
- Week 6: Ohio State vs. Michigan State, Oct. 8, East Lansing, Mich.
- Week 7: Ohio State vs. Iowa, Oct. 22, Columbus, Ohio
- Week 8: Ohio State vs. Penn State, Oct. 29, State College, Pa.
- Week 9: Ohio State vs. Northwestern, Nov. 5, Evanston, Ill.
- Week 10: Ohio State vs Indiana, Nov. 12, Columbus, Ohio
- Week 11: Ohio State vs. Maryland, Nov. 19, College Park, MD.
- Week 12: Ohio State vs. Michigan, at noon Nov. 26, Columbus, Ohio