DETROIT — The Mid-American Conference football coaches got together at Ford Field to kick-off the 2015 season. The Toledo Rockets and Bowling Green Falcons have been picked in the preseason poll to win the West and East Divisions respectfully. The championship will be Friday, December 4th at Ford Field and televised on ESPN2.
Toledo has a veteran team and welcomes back 46 letter winners and 17 starters from last year’s team that went 9-4 overall, 7-1 in conference play. The Rockets went on to an impressive 63-44 win over Arkansas State in last year’s GoDaddy Bowl.
The Rockets will have some offense fire power and will be paced by junior running back Kareem Hunt who rushed for 1,631 yards and 16 touchdowns in only 10 games last season. Wide receivers Corey Jones, with 842 yards and five touchdowns and Alonzo Russell, 770 yards receiving and eight touchdowns, provide the Rockets with receiving threats. Defensively, Toledo returns 10 starters including defensive end Trent Voss, who had 77 tackles and 15 tackles for loss in 2014, and defensive tackle Treyvon Hester, with 49 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss last season.
Western Michigan will be a threat. Third year coach P.J. Fleck has his team poised to showcase this season. Look for the season tipping point to be decided on November 27th when Toledo hosts WMU. The Broncos have Corey Davis, Jarvion Franklin and Zack Terrell as potent offensive threats.
Bowling Green returns a veteran squad also with 46 letter winners and 18 starters from last year’s 8-6 team that won the inaugural Raycom Media Camellia Bowl with a 33-28 win over South Alabama. Second-year head coach Dino Babers will look for quarterback Matt Johnson to lead the Falcons coming off a season missed by injury, while running back Travis Greene rushed for 949 yards and 12 scores and wide receiver Roger Lewis hauled in 73 receptions for 1,094 yards and seven touchdowns.
Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan will struggle to stay at the top of the standings. EMU head coach Chris Creighton has a much improved offensive line. Creighton has great expectations for Andrew Wylie, Darien Terrell, Jake Hurcombe and Matt Thornton. Creighton also plans for native Detroiter’s Ka’John Armstrong and Jeremy Hickey to be in the offensive line rotation.
New CMU coach John Bonamego has the experience and perseverance to move the Chips forward. They open at home, hosting Oklahoma State on Thursday, September 3rd at 7:00 p.m.