Toledo can’t dwell on OSU, No. 4 Boise St. up next

Toledo coach Tim Beckman looked into his players’ eyes, trying

to see how they’d respond after coming within a play or two of

beating Ohio State. He came away thinking they’ll be ready for

another chance to make a statement on Friday when the Rockets host

No. 4 Boise State.

It’s not often a mid-major school gets a second shot against the

big boys.

”There was still some sorrow in their eyes,” Beckman said

about how his team looked a day after the 27-22 loss to the No. 17

Buckeyes.

But after watching tape of the game on Sunday, he said his

players realized how close they came to becoming the first in-state

opponent to beat Ohio State since 1921. They saw that too many

penalties and missed opportunities cost them dearly.

”Our players are resilient,” he said. ”In today’s game, the

way players are, they seem to bounce back faster than the

coaches.”

Boise State (1-0) didn’t play last week after an impressive

35-21 victory against Georgia in Atlanta. The Rockets (1-1) have

little time to get ready for the Broncos, who will be the

highest-ranked team ever to play in Toledo’s stadium.

”That’s the best part about it,” cornerback Desmond Marrow

said. ”You get to redeem yourself, pick up on some unfinished

business.”

The Rockets feel like they let the Ohio State game slip

away.

They allowed a touchdown on a punt return, missed a field goal

and botched another one. Despite the mistakes, they were 17 yards

away from a winning touchdown when an incompletion on fourth down

ended their chances.

”We almost pulled off a huge upset,” running back Adonis

Thomas said. ”To be in the same situation again with a

fourth-ranked opponent, we know what we have to do to get the

win.”

Beckman wouldn’t allow any talk about the difference in

penalties. Toledo was penalized 14 times for 102 yards while Ohio

State had just two for 13.

”That game,” he said, ”was not lost because of

officiating.”

Beckman said it was one of the toughest locker rooms he’s ever

been in after a game, and that he was watching closely to see how

long it would take to get over the loss. Offensive tackle Mike

VanDerMeulen said he gave himself 24 hours.

”We’ve got to move on,” he said.

Win or lose, Boise State coach Chris Petersen said he was

impressed by the Rockets.

”They played right with them,” he said. ”It’s not a fluke.

It’s a good football team.”

The Broncos had an easy time with Toledo a year ago in a 57-14

victory, scoring on four out of their first six possessions. Kellen

Moore threw three touchdowns in the first half.

Toledo kept it close for a while before giving up five

turnovers. The Rockets also lost quarterback Austin Dantin to a

concussion in the game.

The Broncos don’t know yet whether three players suspended by

the NCAA for undisclosed reasons will be allowed to return this

week. All three are practicing, including projected starting safety

Cedric Febis and receiver Geraldo Boldewijn who was expected to be

a big contributor on offense. They also might be without fullback

Dan Paul who has a groin injury.

Beckman, who is in his third season at Toledo, was an assistant

under Jim Tressel at Ohio State and Urban Meyer at Bowling Green

and counts them among his greatest influences in coaching.

He also said he’s tried to model some of the things he does

after Boise State, Utah and TCU – non-BCS programs that have set

the standard for success.

”They’re BCS busters,” he said. ”That’s what we’re looking

for.”

Marrow said Beckman doesn’t miss a chance to point out what

those other schools have done.

”He reminds us of where we should be, where we could be,”

Marrow said. ”It’s definitely getting close. We almost had a taste

of it Saturday.”