Posted by Gerry Meskill
UTEP Miners (5-3, 8-3) Conference USA vs.
Toledo Rockets (6-2, 8-3) Mid-American Conference
Smile if you like offense. Both UTEP and Toledo rank in the top 25 in total yards and scoring. UTEP attacks through the air (5th in NCAA in passing), while Toledo grinds it out on the ground (12th). That's not to say either of these offenses is one-sided. Toledo QB Bruce Gradkowski amassed 2171 yards this season, throwing 24 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Meanwhile, Marcus Thomas and Tyler Ebell split halfback duties for the Miners, combining for 1256 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Defense is another story. UTEP ranks 53rd in the country, allowing 365 yards/game, while Toledo boasts the 22nd best total defense, allowing roughly 40 less yards/game. The Rockets have held their opponents this season to under 200 yards/game through the air, a statistic that favors them in this matchup.
With all of that said, I'm going to go against the numbers. I'm impressed with UTEP coach Mike Price, and I think he'll be the difference in this game.
Post-game commentary: The moral of the story, boys and girls, is don't go against the facts.
Prediction: UTEP 38 - Toledo 34
Confidence score: 4
Final: Toledo 45 - UTEP 13
My 2005-06 Record: 1-1 28 pts.