2022 Boca Raton Bowl – Toledo vs Liberty
posted December 11
GET CHO POCPONE!
The MACtion champs of 2022 are heading to the great state of Florida to battle the Liberty Flames in the Boca Raton Bowl. Toledo took care of Ohio in the MAC title game whilst the Flames ended their regular season with an unexpected DEBACLE getting blown to bits by New Mexico St (L 49-14). Can Liberty rebound after losing that game AND their excellent HC Hugh Freeze?
Toledo -5 Liberty (53.5)
MEGALOCKS LINE – Toledo -3
“Vegas” Implied Projected Score: Toledo 29.25 Liberty 24.25
Toledo offense vs Liberty defense
The Rockets didn’t exactly dominate offensively this season (#49 rush, #68 pass) but they were without starting QB D Finn for a number of games. He looked more like himself in the MAC title game win over Ohio (154 pass, 86 rush) and will certainly appreciate the time off before the bowl game to heal up a bit. They don’t have a devastating RB threat although J Stuart had a good game vs the Bobcats, and the THROW GAME is inconsistent but capable of hitting big plays once in a while. The Liberty defense took a step back this season (25 PPG; 21.5, 20.5 L2Y) but were still an above-average unit overall when the dust settled in the regular season (#34 FBS total defense). Liberty’s calling card on defense is PENETRATION as they rank #3 in the country (!) in sacks with 41. That could cause problems for a Toledo OL that’s allowed pressure from time-to-time. Finn’s improved mobility should help in that regard.
Liberty offense vs Toledo defense
The Flames have been inconsistent on offense this season (#58 total offense, #84 3rd down conversions) and that’s due in large part to the QB CAROUSEL they had to endure. J Bennett and K Salter had the majority of the work and there were even guest appearances from 18th-year senior C Brewer and something called a Nate Hampton. The rushing attack took a major hit late in the year with the season-ending injury to one of their most dynamic players in RB Dae Dae Hunter. The WR group has talent, particularly #1 D Douglas (977, 6 TD) but it’s been hard to get on the same page with the QBs. Toledo has been the best D in the MAC all season and they did an excellent job vs Oio last week. Liberty has more playmakers and explosiveness but they’ll find it tough sledding in this game. It’ll be all about their ability to hit some big plays. Grind-it-out drives will not be there.
Trends, Intangibles and More!
Toledo HC Jason Candle has a 1-4 SU record in bowl games and he’s dropped four in a row (!)…..The last win came back at the end of the 2015 season when they blew out Temple in the <wait for it> <don’t get impatient, yo>…..BOCA RATON BOWL…..Liberty’s former HC Hugh Freeze has left the program and they’ve hired former Coastal Carolina boss Jamey Chadwell to lead the team starting in 2023….Looks as tho interim HC Josh Aldridge will coach the bowl game……Toledo played the #125 schedule according to Sagarin…..Liberty was #120.
We prefer the favorite to GIT ER DONE but don’t see much value in the line. Note that Flames 2-deep has been hit hard by quitters in recent days so the Rockets will likely field a roster that’s more intact. Toledo has played in six straight games decided by 10 points or less so it may be tough to run and hide. And it’s never easy to back your boy Jason Candle. Taking a seat for now.
‘Official play’ implies we have played the game for our standard wager amount.
‘Lean’ implies we are comfortable suggesting ‘small potatoes’ on the game if you want to get down on some sweet action.
‘No leanage’ implies we won’t be involved in the game from a betting standpoint. In-game wagering possibilities only.