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Coaches pick Rockets to win MAC West Division

The University of Toledo football team was picked to finish in first place in the Mid-American Conference’s West Division in a ballot of the league’s head coaches that was released Aug. 28 by the conference office.

The Rockets received seven first-place votes and a total of 66 points in the annual poll, eight points ahead of second-place Western Michigan.

Senior quarterback Logan Woodside is back to the lead Rockets offense. Last season, he completed 45 touchdown passes, tops in the nation.

Ohio was picked to repeat as MAC East Division champion, followed by Miami.

Last month, the Rockets also were picked by the league’s media to win the West Division crown, as well as the 2017 MAC Championship Game.

Toledo was 9-4 in Head Coach Jason Candle’s debut in 2016, earning a berth into the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl.

UT returns one of the nation’s most explosive offenses. Led by senior quarterback Logan Woodside, Toledo averaged 38.0 points per game and led the Mid-American Conference in total offense with a school-record 517.8 yards per game in 2016. Woodside paced the nation with 45 touchdown passes and was named a Heisman contender by the Heisman Trophy Trust. Two of his favorite targets are back — Cody Thompson (64 receptions, 11 TDs, 19.8 yards per catch) and Jon’Vea Johnson (40 reception, 10 TDs and 19.3 yards per catch) — as is 2015 second-team All-MAC running back Terry Swanson. On defense, the Rockets return seven starters, including All-MAC linebacker Ja’Wuan Woodley.

The Rockets open their season at home vs. Elon Thursday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m.

Individual and season tickets are available at the UT Ticket Office, online at utrockets.com, or by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653). Tickets are half-off for UT employees and retirees, and UT students are admitted free to home games with ID.