The University of Toledo struggled in a driving, cold rain in Buffalo. The Rockets were down 14-7 at halftime, but prevailed behind an impressive performance from junior running back David Fluellen for a 25-20 victory over the Buffalo Bulls. With the win the Rockets improved to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the Mid-American Conference.
David Fluellen rushed for 228 yards and two touchdowns for the Rockets.
After not scoring an offensive touchdown in a 29-23 victory over Cincinnati last week, Toledo's explosive offense mis-fired once again in the first half against Buffalo. Toledo's only points of the half were on a 13 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by Toledo linebacker Dan Molls. Then David Fluellen took over.
Fluellen rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the 3rd quarter alone. After scoring on an 8 yard run that pulled the Rockets within one point at 14-13, Fluellen rushed for 17, 49 and 19 yards on consecutive carries before scoring from one yard out to give Toledo a 19-14 lead. Fluellen continued to be the workhorse throughout the rest of the 3rd quarter and the 4th quarter for Toledo.
Fluellen continued a trend this season of getting stronger as the game goes on. He rushed for just 50 yards in the first half, but then gained 178 yards and scored two touchdowns in the 2nd half. He carried the ball 35 times and averaged 6.5 yards per carry. The 228 yards rushing were a career high for the New York native.
With the 228 yards, Fluellen passed the 1,000 yard mark for the season. He now has 1,181 yards rushing with 11 touchdowns for the season. He's averaging 6.0 yards per carry and 131.2 yards rushing per game.
On the defensive side of the ball, Dan Molls continued his impressive play. Molls led all tacklers with 14 tackles, bring his NCAA leading mark to an impressive 116 tackles through nine games.
Toledo now turns their focus to Ball State. The Rockets host the Ball State Cardinals on Election Night, next Tuesday. The game will air on ESPN2 at 8:00pm. Ball State is 6-3 overall and 3-2 in the MAC. They have defeated two BCS schools in South Florida and Indiana. Their two MAC losses were to Northern Illinois (8-1 record) by a score of 35-23 and to Kent State (8-1 record) by a score of 45-43.
After the Ball State game Toledo has two more regular season games remaining, one at Northern Illinois in a battle that is likely to decide the winner of the MAC West Division, and then a home game against Akron.