« Little Caesars Pizza Bowl: FIU vs. Toledo -- TONIGHT! | Main | Live blog from sort of warm Miami »

Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Edges



Both sides have the same strength: Controlling the line of scrimmage, and by extension, the running game. The Golden Panthers' rush offense is ranked 28th nationally, gaining 189.2 yards per game. Toledo's run defense? It's also the 28th-best, surrendering just 130.6. The game may hinge on FIU's ability to block senior Archie Donald, Toledo's second-team all-conference linebacker.



With all due respect to T.Y. Hilton, Toledo's Eric Page is probably the best player on the field. But the Rockets' offense has a problem. It doesn't have much anything else. Page has accounted for 26.6 percent of Toledo's 4,314 yards of offensive output. Expect FIU, statistically the Sun Belt's top defense, to stick all-conference corner Anthony Gaitor on Page, and then pressure freshman quarterback Terrance Owens into making bad decisions.



In the return game, Page - named first-team All-American by several publications - and Hilton, the Sun Belt player of the year, are essentially a wash. Both are outstanding. But if it comes down to a game-winning field goal, the Panthers have to like their chances. FIU kicker Jack Griffin has made 15 of 18 FG attempts this year, with a long of 50 yards. Toledo's combination of Bill Claus and Ryan Casano has missed 8 of 13 tries.



For FIU coach Mario Cristobal and Toledo's Tim Beckman, this is all brand new. Both are bowl newbies, at least in the top job. Combined, they have just six seasons of head coaching experience after spending decades as assistants. Cristobal is an offensive guy, while Beckman's specialty is defense. He was a three-time nominee for the Frank Broyles Award, which goes to the nation's top assistant coach, while the defensive coordinator at Bowling Green.



With Ford Field just 63 miles from campus, the Rockets could only have more of a homefield advantage if the game were played at the Glass Bowl. Expect Toledo fans to outnumber FIU partisans by 10-to-1, at least. And while none of the current Rockets were around for Toledo's last bowl appearance, at least the school has some postseason history. Toledo is 7-3 all-time in bowl games, and played in Detroit three times between 2001 and 2004. This is a first for FIU.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Little Caesars Pizza Bowl Edges:


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Eric Page is not better than hilton, and today he will prove it. Hilton always rises to the occasion when he's on the spotlight. The reason Page's stats are ridiculous is because the offense has nothing else and runs directly through him.

Viscosity your reasoning makes no sense. What other reason would make his stats ridiculous? Flying Unicorns carry him into the endzone for touchdowns? Come on.

This Page guy worries me a bit. We've done a great job of keeping opposing receivers in check, but I dont think we've faced a WR like Page yet. The guy from Troy may have been the closest.

We just need to make sure we play solid. Execute the fundamentals. Dont drop passes, hold on to the ball, block and grind out every inch. The offense will click. I know it will. The main thing that FIU has to do is come out ready to play. We cannot show up flat in this game. We have to win 40-3, not lose 40-3.

thanks Alt787..i am not an FIU fan, dolphin or a UM fan but i keep up with south florida college sports in general. i often read comments from fans and very few are bright and only see as far as their own noses..panther viscosity is a perfect example of an idiot fan who know nothing about the sport and only can see things through his fiu glass..both ty and page are great players and it will be good to see them play..if he has paid any attention to fiu football he would know every passing and some running plays that fiu runs TY is either the 1st option, a decoy or is used to get the next wr open either by clearing out the middle or running short to mid range in patterns to open up the deep ball. so for him to say toledo's offense in ran through page and can't see fiu's offense is run through ty is an IDIOT.
Thanks for bringing so common sense to this blog.

LOL. Well I wasn't calling anyone an idiot. We're all FIU fans on here. I like everyone. I was just pointing out that saying a player's stats aren't commendable because his teams offense runs mainly though him makes no sense.

I'm just so excited for this game!!! I need to find a way to kill the next 7 hours.


Actually I think kcsmith has to stop calling people out because that statement regarding using TY Hilton alot as a decoy to distract the defense is not a stat and just shows how much every defense respects him. Unless you can tell me who Toledo has on the opposite side for receiver you have no argument because FIU also has Greg Elligson a big 6'4 SENIOR who has high stats and has a good chance of signing with an NFL team when this is over. Therfore Eric Page is the No.1 and No. 2 option to pass in a (not to call conferences out, not saying ours is any beter) Conference that doesn't have very strong secondaries. and as for Alt7787, im not calling you out either, but Troy's receiver Jerrell Jernigan (at least right now) is a better receiver and a bigger threat than Eric Page. He is also a top 5 receiver on Todd Mcshay's board leading to the NFL draft. and we shut him down. If our team comes out with the same urgency like we did against Troy, then the same result will be followed.

"Viscosity your reasoning makes no sense. What other reason would make his stats ridiculous? Flying Unicorns carry him into the endzone for touchdowns? Come on."

Well if all your passes are to one particular receiver of course he's going to build ridiculous stats if they have no other threats at receiver. I never said Page is mediocre receiver but he's not better than TY either. Page has 94 receptions to 56 by TY, of course he's going to account for more yards. He averages 11.5 yards per catch, TY averages 14.6.

Great article Adam. Its a very good analysis of each teams weaknesses and strengths. Keep it up!!!

it's nice blog..... i like it..
pleased to meet your blog...
COME VISIT ME...OK...thank you very much

The comments to this entry are closed.