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5 games to watch for Toledo football in 2018

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    The University of Toledo football team has a tough schedule this season.

    Blade/Amy E. Voigt

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    University of Miami Hurricanes quarterback, Malik Rosier, left, performs short pass drills as fellow quarterbacks - Jarren Williams (15) N'Kosi Perry (5) and Cade Weldon (17) look on during practice Monday.

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The University of Toledo football team has a tough schedule this season.

Blade/Amy E. Voigt Enlarge

The University of Toledo has a challenging nonconference schedule this season before the Rockets enter the Mid-American Conference portion of the schedule. The Rockets will try to repeat as MAC champions, and that will begin with a opener against VMI on Sept. 1 at the Glass Bowl. Here is a look at the top five games of the season for Toledo:

1) Miami (Fla.) (Sept. 15) – It’s not very often you see a big-time program like Miami agree to a road contest against a MAC team. After hanging with the Hurricanes for a half last season in Miami (the Rockets ended up losing 52-30), Toledo has its sights set on a major upset in front of what should be a capacity crowd. Miami is ranked eighth in the preseason coaches’ poll.

2) Bowling Green (Oct. 6) – Normally the Battle of I-75 would be at the top of the list, but with the Miami game, this is bumped to No. 2. The rivalry game is back on a Saturday with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff. It should be a great crowd just as it was two years ago at the Glass Bowl when the Rockets needed a late Kareem Hunt TD rush to hold off the Falcons.

3) At Northern Illinois (Nov. 7) – This game could end up deciding the MAC West. The Huskies are the preseason pick to win the division, while Toledo was picked second. The Rockets broke a long losing streak to Northern Illinois two years ago at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago. This year it will be a true road contest in DeKalb.

4) Buffalo (Oct. 20) – The Bulls are a sneaky pick to challenge Ohio in the MAC East. With the combination of quarterback Tyree Jackson and wide receiver Anthony Johnson, Buffalo could challenge Toledo at the Glass Bowl.

5) At Fresno State (Sept. 29) – The Rockets head to the west coast to battle the Bulldogs. Two years ago, Toledo blew out a bad Fresno State team at the Glass Bowl. With Jeff Tedford as coach, Fresno State completed a major turnaround last season, winning 10 games. As the only nonconference road game for Toledo, the Bulldogs present a significant challenge.

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