The trademark of the Toledo defense is to be physical and make plays.
“We are a team that as you watch them play, you will see 11 hats run to the ball and play physical,” Toledo head coach Jason Candle said. “Hopefully, we can find a way to get a couple of turnovers because we will need some of those in this game.”
The Rockets are a blue-collar team with sound fundamentals on the defensive side of the football.
“We are not a huge pressure team but we are a team that wants to be gap sound and play in our base packages,” Candle said. “We will challenge receivers at the line sometimes.
Junior defensive end John Stepec is one of the Rockets top defenders this season. He was named first-team All-MAC this season after leading the Rockets with 14 tackles for loss (-46 yards) and 13 quarterback pressures. He ranks second on the team with 4.5 sacks (-20 yards) and third with 66 tackles.
Senior defensive tackle Treyvon Hester was named second-team All-MAC despite missing two games this season. Hester led the team with five sacks (-28 yards) and finished third with eight tackles for loss (-33 yards). He also added 39 tackles and seven quarterback hurries.
Senior free safety DeJuan Rogers was a second-team All-MAC selection. He led the team with 82 tackles and finished second with seven passes defended.
Junior inside linebacker Ja’Wuan Woodley was named third-team All-MAC. He was second on the team with 71 tackles and 11.5 tackles for loss (-66 yards).
- Toledo leads the MAC in opponents third down conversions this year. Toledo opponents have converted 58-of-171 (.339) third downs this season.
- Toledo ranks third in the MAC in scoring defense. The Rockets have allowed 25.3 points per game this season. Toledo won all seven games when holding the opposition to 20 points or less this season.