TE Andrew Clarke

2002 Statistics

Coach: Tom Amstutz
19-7, 2 years
2002 Record: 9-5
at Eastern Michigan WON 65-13
at Minnesota LOST 21-31
UNLV WON 38-21
at Pittsburgh LOST 19-37
at UCF WON 27-24
at Western Michigan WON 42-21
at Northern Illinois WON 33-30
Marshall LOST 45-49
Boston College LOST 25-51

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

This squad has their work well cut out for themselves. The team is transparent in its shortcomings, as is evident in the results from 2002. The Rockets lost to teams even an amateur prognosticator could have predicted, and they won against lesser opponents similarly. In this game like many, teams with qualified defenses often pull off upsets; without one, a team will usually fall in line quality-wise, as per Toledo. This year's schedule is more favorable for success, much softer than 2002's. Only Big East remnants Pittsburgh and Syracuse pose possible road bumps in Toledo's quest.

The huge amount of offensive power means that facet can carry the team to victory in shootouts. But the defense….oh, but the defense. The trends coming in from 2002 look bad. They allowed 20 or more points in seven of the last eight tilts, 49 and 51 respectively to Marshall and Boston College in the last two. MAC opponents will also again be offensively minded, so, if improved, this side of the ball becomes the variable most likely to improve the team's win total. It may increase just due to the schedule's ease, but most likely won't be by more than a game or two if the defense doesn't show up each and every week. A repeat of allowing 213 yards per contest in the air will marginally due, but allowing over 150 per game on the ground won't.

A conference title is looming for them, but will Toledo heed the needed calls to take the next step nationally? The individuals and talent are in place. But all the talent in the country doesn't make a team come together - that takes chemistry. Amstutz will surely have his troops focused going in, good for taking on those two Big Easter's and (at) Marshall within the first five games. If through this beginning meat with only two losses or less, Toledo can then see the light in the form of a Top 25 ranking at the season ending tunnel. Nothing less will due for the Rockets - both lines are decimated after this season, so now is the time for any next steps. It seems clear, but can the players see what is needed and perform accordingly? Ah, those 18-22 year olds and their unpredictability.

Projected 2003 record: 8-4
QB - 2.5 DL - 3.5
RB - 3.5 LB - 3
WR - 2 DB - 2.5
OL - 3.5 ..

Passing: Cedric Stevens, 14-9-0, 112 yds., 2 TD

Rushing: Astin Martin, 135 att., 785 yds., 6 TD

Receiving: Andrew Clarke, 37 rec., 407 yds., 7 TD

Scoring: Jason Robbins, 13-16 FG, 54-62 PAT, 93 pts.

Punting: Jason Cox, 30 punts, 36.5 avg.

Kicking: Jason Robbins, 13-16 FG, 54-62 PAT, 93 pts.

Tackles: Brock Dodrill, 89 tot., 61 solo

Sacks: Frank Ofili, 4 sacks

Interceptions: Brandon Hefflin, 6 for 18 yds.

Kickoff returns: Astin Martin, 7 ret., 14.7 avg.

Punt returns: Paul Dye, 1 ret., 18.0 avg.


LB Brock Dodrill
OFFENSE: Carl Ford-WR, Donta Greene-WR, Manny Johnson-WR, Brian Jones-QB, Noah Swartz-OL, Chris Tuminello-C, Jason Robbins-K
DEFENSE: Jehu Anderson-CB, David Gardner-LB, Tom Ward-LB

written by Dave Hershorin

What do you do to improve an offense that averaged 5.1 rushing yards per attempt and ranked 5th nationally in total offense? In Toledo's case (as in most), nothing. Even with stellar QB Brian Jones' stone rolling on, the talent at this position continues. Junior Cedric Stevens has the prerequisite accolades to shine as (possibly more than) Jones did. Bruce Gradkowki will be ready for his instantaneous call-up if/when Stevens struggles. Either is capable of producing the same balanced attack as we've seen now for the two years of OC Rob Spense's tenure. Improvement here could be seen in a larger passing-TD total - 25 six-pointers in 2002 didn't reflect the air superiority demonstrated otherwise.

But often the endzone was ultimately reached; they just handed the ball to then-freshmen Trinity Dawson (12 TDs) or William Bratton (10 TDs). Classmate Astin Martin returns as the team's leading ground gainer. The trio represents an approach often conceived, but rarely pulled off well - they rotate each in for whatever given strength is needed at the time. All return, so look for little change in the Rocket's red-zone philosophies. With no fullback, Toledo still runs the ball regularly. Look for this area to be leaned on more as the air attack develops during season's start.

Their top four receivers all left, so the Rockets revamp here. With a new passer, too, the progress here has to compensate for any shortcomings of the backfield general. The junior trio of starters will get open and supply targets, but accordingly, with the passing game's immaturity, look for shorter routes to be run until everyone involved is on the same page. All-MAC first-team junior TE Andrew Clarke grounds the group as the Rocket's leading returning snarler. DC's had best account for him or get scorched in turn.

Upper classmen are all you will find along the Rocket's front line. Junior Nick Kaczur is the LT all right-handed QBs wish had their back. With senior Erik Fassen bookending this crew, DEs will be hard pressed to succeed to the passer. Interior size and experience assures the Rocket's sophomore running trio of inside yards to be had. This group has to improve only marginally to make this offense again be one of the nation's top 11 scoring units.


OT Nick Kaczur


Returning Starters in bold
QB Cedric Stevens-Jr Bruce Gradkowski-So
RB Trinity Dawson-So Astin Martin-So
WR Terrance Hudson-Jr Charles Searcy-Fr
WR Lance Moore-Jr Pete Lepley-Jr
WR Chris Charleton-Jr Frederick Wilson-Fr
TE Andrew Clarke-Jr Chris Holmes-r
OT Nick Kaczur-Jr Nate Jones-Sr
OG Darric Randolph-Sr Chris Wakeman-So
C David Odenthal-Jr Hassan Adebesin-Fr
OG Tim Dirksen-Sr Jesse Anderson-Fr
OT Erik Faasen-Sr Wael Jarbou-Jr
K Jason Robbins-So ..



written by Dave Hershorin

The unusual 4-4-3 defensive alignment Toledo employs means offenses have to inconsistently account for an eighth floater in the box. Often it is even the safety, so this variable affords the Rockets a really confusing TO (27 in 2002) formula. But defensive impact seems real hit-or-miss (no pun intended) - allowing 27 points per tilt while ranking 58th in total defense are red flags needing improvement if the team is to reach any next levels. It will be criminal if the

The line needs to improve on letting opponents get 4.2 yards per run. All starters return, so, with three of them being seniors, look for improvement, accordingly. DE Frank Ofiliz will be the key to increasing the unit's sack total of 23. Look for the line to be an overall barometer for measuring the Rocket's team success.

The Toledo linebackers are going to be hard-pressed to replace the contributions of all-conference talents David Gardner and Tom Ward. But OLBs Brock Dodrill (top returning tackler) and sophomore Keon Jackson seem ready for any task. Anthony Jordan moves back to an inside, upright position after spending 2002 on the line. His ability to bump up to the front - along with their 4-4-3 approach - will trip many OCs up. Watch to see if Jordan and/or others repositioning impacts opposing offenses. The LBs have the athleticism to improve this area considerably.

Ranking 54th against the pass means this facet needs as much improvement as the others if winning is to increase in Rocket Town. Wisconsin-transfer Michael Broussard has the physical package to make him a shutdown corner. His influx will raise the secondary's confidence level, with returning starters Brandon Hefflin (other corner) and junior free safety Patrick Body applying invaluable experience for improved results. Team-interception totals only have to rise above 18 to beat 2002's mark. That stat cries for attention, but allowing 12 yards per catch represents a more focused need Toledo better tweak.


LB Keon Jackson


Returning Starters in bold
DE Phil Alexander-Jr Ray Turner-Sr
DT Chaz Williams-Sr R.J. Cameron-Jr
DT Lantz Jeudy-Sr Robert Menefee-Sr
DE Frank Ofili-Sr Melvin Butler-Jr
OLB Brock Dodrill-Jr Tariq Goode-Fr
ILB Anthony Jordan-So Jered Kingsborough-Fr
ILB David Thomas-Jr Seth Thitoff-Fr
OLB Keon Jackson-So Paul Dye-Sr
CB Michael Broussard-Jr Antonio Malone-So
CB Brandon Hefflin-Sr Bo Martin-Fr
FS Patrick Body-Jr Jamar Landrum-So
P Brandon Hannum-Sr Jason Cox-So




The vehicular Astin Martin will drive the Rocket's field-position further down field when he steps in to return kicks. Another new (punt) returner means HC Tom Amstutz has his decision-cap on for any permanence at either position - new faces rotating in shouldn't surprise early on. Senior Brandon Hannum will acquire the punting chores - he is unproven at this level, but has the leg to improve on 2002's paltry average of 35 yards per punt. Sophomore kicker Jason Robbins will be even better than his 13-for-16 totals, so special teams looks like an advantage for the Rockets.