GoDaddy Bowl preview: Toledo vs. Arkansas State

Previewing the GoDaddy Bowl between Toledo and Arkansas State

Toledo (8-4) vs. Arkansas State (7-5)

Date: Sunday, 6p.m.

Location: Mobile, Ala.

TV: ESPN.

The Buzz

Toledo and Arkansas State face off in the final bowl before the College Football Playoff title game and it could involve a lot of rushing touchdowns. Toledo ranks No. 17 nationally in rushing yards per game (247.3) and No. 30 in points per contest (34.4). Kareem Hunt, who boasts a dynamic mix of power and speed, anchors the rushing attack and has recorded at least 100 rushing yards every game he has played in this season. Despite suffering a high ankle sprain that sidelined him for three games, Hunt ranks third nationally with 151.1 yards per carry.

Alabama transfer Phillip Ely was Toledo's starting quarterback in the season opener but tore his ACL the second week against Missouri. Logan Woodside stepped into the starting role, passing for 2,096 yards and 19 touchdowns. The Rockets won four of their final five games ahead of the bowl and are seeking their first postseason win since 2011.

Arkansas State is making its fourth consecutive GoDaddy Bowl appearance, winning its past two trips to the game. The Red Wolves have delivered winning seasons despite constant coaching changes, with Hugh Freeze (Ole Miss), Gus Malzahn (Auburn) and Bryan Harsin (Boise State) all spending one season apiece at the school. Current coach Blake Anderson is leading the Arkansas State in the bowl and poised to return for a second season.

The Red Wolves have relied on the run game to propel them to wins, ranking No. 24 nationally in rushing yards per game (229). The team also ranks No. 22 in points per game (36.1). Dual-threat quarterback Fredi Knighten, who earned first team All-Sun Belt honors, has passed for 2,874 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed for 775 yards and another 11 touchdowns, ranking second on the team in rushing. Michael Gordon (1,064 yards and 13 touchdowns) is the team's rushing leader.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
59°