HomeOhio Sports Betting NewsNCAA Football: Can the Toledo Rockets Repeat as MAC Champions?

NCAA Football: Can the Toledo Rockets Repeat as MAC Champions?

The Toledo Rockets are the favorites to repeat as Mid-American Conference (MAC) Champions in 2023. They return their starting quarterback, Dequan Finn, and return seven starters on both sides of the ball. They also have a favorable schedule, with only one game against a Power Five opponent.

Image: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire

Head Coach Frank Candle is entering his ninth season as the skipper of the Rockets. Toledo is 54-32 with six postseason bowl game appearances under his watch, and this could be his best team yet.

Toledo Rockets Season Preview

The Rockets have been tabbed by many to win the MAC, and rightly so; they return seven offensive starters for a team finishing second in scoring last season.

Only the Ohio Bobcats scored more points per game than Toledo, and the Bobcats will be the Rockets‘ main competition for the MAC title.

Toledo surrendered the third-fewest points per game and led the conference in total yards allowed per game last season.

The defense returns seven key defensive personnel, including its entire defensive backfield. The Rockets’ defense is a big play defense–they had a pair of pick-sixes and finished third in interceptions in 2022.

Key Players to Watch

  • Finn is one of the best quarterbacks in the MAC. He threw for 2260 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2022.
  • The Rockets also have a strong running game, led by last season’s leading rusher, junior RB Jacquez Stuart.
  • Junior WR Jerjuan Newton led Toledo in receiving yards and receiving TDs.
  • Senior WR Devin Maddox hauled in the second-most receiving yards in 2022.
  • Senior LB Dallas Gant led the Rockets in tackles in 2022.
  • Junior CB Quinyon Mitchell led Toledo with 5 sacks last season.

Rockets Favorable Schedule

The Rockets have one of the easiest schedules in the MAC. They’ll likely open with a loss against Big Ten opponent Illinois, but their toughest conference games are at home (Northern Illinois, Buffalo, and Eastern Michigan).

Toledo’s away schedule is winnable; they have a tough away game with Miami (Oct 21), but the rest of their road schedule should be victories.

We’ll find out who Toledo is when they hit the road for a rough three-week stretch that will make or break their season.

It begins October 21 against Miami, followed by consecutive home games against Buffalo and Eastern Michigan.

Betting Odds to Win the MAC Championship

As of July 5, 2023, DraftKings Ohio has these betting odds on the board to win the MAC Championship:

  • Toledo: +170
  • Ohio: +280
  • Buffalo: +650
  • Eastern Michigan +750
  • Miami of Ohio +900
  • Northern Illinois +1600
  • Central Michigan +1800
  • Bowling Green +2200
  • Ball State +3000
  • Akron +3500
  • Western Michigan +5000
  • Kent State +15000

Can Toledo Repeat as MAC Champions in 2023?

Yes, Toledo can repeat as MAC champions in 2023. They return seven key personnel on both sides of the ball and should roll through and repeat as MAC West champions.

Toledo boasted the No. 2 offense in the MAC and returns seven starters, including their quarterback, top running back, and their best two wideouts from 2022. They also boast three returning starters to the offensive line, including their starting center and both guards.

Finn can beat teams with his feet or his arm with capable wideouts who can make plays. Stuart could end up the top ground gainer in the MAC running behind his experienced offensive line, and Finn was Toledo’s second-leading rusher, so you know this offense will be trouble.

The Rockets defense allowed the third-fewest points in conference play in 2022 and returns seven key members from that unit. The defensive secondary is experienced and loaded, and the defense also returns its leading tackler and one of its best pass rushers.

Toledo has one of the easiest schedules in the MAC conference. They open the season at Illinois but, after that, could run the table and realistically could be undefeated in conference play when the MAC championship game takes place in December.

Finally, Candle always seems to get the players, and the 2023 season might be his most talented group yet. They’ll need to stay healthy, but this Toledo team has too much experience and talent to have a great season. Bet on Toledo winning the 2023 MAC championship.

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