Battle of I-75 2020: Key players to watch for both teams


Bryson Denley (12) followed by Austin Dorris (83) kneels in the endzone after scoring a touchdown last season against Toledo.

Hayden Kincaid and Hayden Kincaid

Matt McDonald – Quarterback, Bowling Green

In last season’s entry of the Battle of I-75, the Falcons were able to pull off the upset and took home the Peace Pipe Trophy for the first time in a decade. Despite the win, the Falcons’ passing game was far from spectacular, and relied heavily on Grant Loy’s ability to run to win the game. Loy was sub-200 passing yards, at the 185 mark, with one passing touchdown and one interception, posting a 47.0 passer rating. In this season’s bout, The Falcons look to Matt McDonald to step in and have a much better game than Loy did last year. The Falcons success depends on Matt McDonald’s success in this game, and if McDonald struggles, the Falcons most likely will as well.

Andrew Clair – Running back, Bowling Green

Andrew Clair missed last season’s matchup with Toledo due to a foot injury. The leading rusher for the team was quarterback Grant Loy with 19 carries for 137 yards. Next closest was Davon Jones with 64 yards on 17 carries. The 

rushing attack was the only aspect of the Falcons’ offense that was clicking on all cylinders and helped propel them to victory. With Loy off to Auburn and Jones now graduated, the rushing attack will flow through Clair, and much like McDonald, Clair’s success will have a major impact on the Falcons’ success.

Darren Anders – Linebacker, Bowling Green

Last year, Kholbe Coleman and Brandon Perce patrolled the middle of the field for the Falcons and helped stifle the Toledo run game. Coleman finished with 14 total tackles and Perce ended with 10. Coleman returns and is looking to repeat his performance from last year, while sophomore Darren Anders steps into Perce’s role. Anders looks to become the soul of this Falcons defense for the next three seasons, and this game could be a statement game and help catapult him into that role.

Carter Bradley/Dequan Finn/Eli Peters – Quarterback, Toledo

As of Nov.3, Toledo has yet to name their starting quarterback. Between these three players, who gets the nod will want to improve on the performance of Mitchell Guadagni from last season. Guadagni posted 194 yards and one touchdown against Bowling Green. The Rockets couldn’t muster many yards against a porous Bowling Green defense last season and fell because of it. Toledo will need whoever they name their starter to put up big numbers against a young and inexperienced Bowling Green defense.

Bryant Koback – Running Back, Toledo

Last season, Bryant Koback posted 60 rushing yards on 14 carries for a total of 4.3 yards per carry against the Falcons. With more experience under his belt, and a younger Bowling Green defense, Koback should put up bigger numbers than he did a year ago. With uncertainty at quarterback, Koback will be the driving force for the Rockets this week against their rival, and Toledo will try to use Koback’s success to set up their quarterback for success.

Daniel Bolden – Linebacker, Toledo

Bolden had six total tackles last season against Bowling Green, and since then has stepped into the starting linebacker role. Bolden will be the key at stopping the rushing attack by the Falcons and will try to force McDonald to beat Toledo through the air in his first start for Bowling Green. Bolden is a leader for this Rocket defense, and his leadership will determine how well the Falcons’ offense operates.