Tonight's game

December 21, 2005|By ORLANDO SENTINEL


Toledo (8-3) vs. UTEP (8-3)

Site: -- Ladd Peebles Stadium, Mobile, Ala.

Time -- 8


Line -- Toledo by 3

Key stats -- Toledo is No. 16 in total offense (445.2 ypg) and No. 22 in total defense (322.5 ypg). UTEP is No. 19 in total offense (438.0 ypg).

Toledo -- QB Bruce Gradkowski (24 TDs, 11 interceptions, 62.6 completion percentage) is the triggerman for an explosive and efficient offense (34.9 ppg). There's a nice tailback duo in Trinity Dawson and Quinton Broussard. The defense has been especially solid against the run.

UTEP -- QB Jordan Palmer has a big-time arm, but he makes too many mistakes (28 TD passes but also 18 interceptions). There is a deep and talented receiving corps, headed by Johnnie Lee Higgins and Chris Francies. The defense is nothing special, and the Miners are especially mediocre against the run.

The buzz -- There's a thought that these are the most talented teams in their respective leagues (UTEP in C-USA, Toledo in the MAC). UTEP has a minus-12 turnover margin.

The pick -- UTEP, 30-27.

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