2010 was a big step in the right direction for the Toledo Rockets. Following years of sanctions and poor play, the team returned to postseason play with an 8-4 regular season record (7-1 MAC) that earned them a spot in the Little Caesar’s Pizza (Motor City) Bowl. The Rockets were led by a ball-hawking defense that finished eighth in the FBS with 20 interceptions and a balanced offense that gained over 2000 yards both passing and rushing.
Rhode Island has reason to be optimistic heading into the 2011 season. Despite finishing 5-6 (4-4 CAA) last season, the Rams return a veteran group of players on offense, including a solid offensive line, and weapons across the running back and wide receiver position. Although the defense has been decimated by graduation, Rams head coach Joe Trainer has a talented group of players ready to contribute.
Wake Forest is coming off a brutal season, as the Demon Deacons lost nine in a row at one point, finishing the season 3-9, including 1-7 in the ACC. Seven times, Wake Forest allowed 30 points or more, as it finished 110th in the NCAA in points against (35.8). Worse yet, the offense struggled, scoring just 22.8 points per game. But there is optimism in Winston-Salem heading into the upcoming season, with a maturing nucleus of stars.