GoDaddy Bowl Preview

Expect this year's GoDaddy Bowl to be heavy on offense. Photo Courtesy: GoDaddy Bowl Facebook page
Expect this year’s GoDaddy Bowl to be heavy on offense. Photo Courtesy: GoDaddy Bowl Facebook page

By Frank LaCosta

Game Info
Toledo Rockets vs. Arkansas State Red Wolves
Sunday – January 4 – 8:00 pm
Ladd-Peebles Stadium – Mobile

How They Got Here
The Red Wolves are hoping that “the third time is the charm” for this year’s GoDaddy Bowl having won the last two. This makes their fourth consecutive appearance and the fan base is quite familiar with the bowl. Arkansas State comes in with a 7-5 overall (5-3 Sun Belt) record. The overtime win against Utah State was the highlight victory of the season. They lost to Tennessee and Miami (FL) in their out of conference games. The Red Wolves put a spanking on New Mexico State to end the season 68-35 to head into their bowl game with some momentum.

The Toledo Rockets are making their second appearance in the GoDaddy Bowl. They won it back in 2005 with a 45-13 victory over UTEP. They won a close one in overtime against Western Michigan 20-19 to string three victories in a row in the middle of the season. However against non-conference competition they took some pretty big losses against Missouri 49-24 and to Cincinnati 58-34. They too closed out the season with a win defeating Eastern Michigan 52-16.

Arkansas State Red Wolves
Starting quarterback Junior Fredi Knighten is a dual threat helmsman putting up impressive numbers with his arm 2,874 for passing yardage with 19 touchdowns and on the ground with 11 TDs and 775 yards. The ground game is usually handled by RB Michael Gordon who is a shifty 5’9″, 187 lb. rusher. For the season he’s rushed for 1,064 and 13 TDs. Knighten will look to receivers Dijon Paschal and Tres Houston. Both have over 600 yards receiving on the season. Paschal seems to be more the deep threat. The Red Wolves defense is pretty much a sieve being ranked #76 in the country. Nothing to write home about.

Toledo Rockets
The Rockets are led by Sophomore Logan Woodside. The pride of Frankfort, KY. is a pocket passer putting up 2,096 yards through the air with 19 TDs. Toledo brings two quality running backs to this bowl match up with Kareem Hunt and Terry Swanson. Hunt is the featured back with 1,360 yards on the ground and 11 touchdowns. It appears that Swanson gets the scraps. Corey Jones is definitely the wide out of choice for Woodside as evidenced by his team leading 67 receptions for 821 yards, but Alonzo Russell is the target in the redzone reeling in eight TDs on the year. If the Red Wolves defense is a sieve, then the Rockets possess a gaping hole for a defense being ranked #86 nationally.

This game will be viewed strictly for the offensive fireworks that will be on display. The Rockets have a more balanced attack and will defeat the Red Wolves in a shootout. Rockets 41 – Red Wolves 34.