The Eastern Washington University football team will play its first 12-game regular season in school history when it visits the University of Toledo next season on Sept. 14, 2013. The game will take place at the UT Glass Bowl in Toledo, Ohio, and is tentatively scheduled for 4 p.m. Pacific time (7 p.m. Eastern time).
"The opportunity to play 12 games gives us the chance to play a team such as Toledo,” said Eastern athletic director Bill Chaves, who made the announcement jointly with his counterpart at Toledo, Mike O'Brien. “In the way the Big Sky Conference schedule broke for us we had a number of open dates in September, and when this game presented itself, we took advantage of it."
Eastern will open the season at Oregon State on Aug. 31, then will host Western Oregon at Roos Field on Sept. 7. Following the game against the Rockets, Eastern will play its final non-league game at Sam Houston State on Sept. 28 before opening league play versus Weber State on Oct. 5. Eastern has never played its Big Sky opener later than Oct. 5, having also opened on that date in 2002.
The Eagles have never played UT, and, in fact, have never played a team from the Mid-American Conference. Eastern, which has played just four times in school history in the Eastern time zone, is 7-20 all-time versus members of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.
Toledo is coming off a 9-4 season in 2011 under first-year head coach Matt Campbell, including a 42-41 victory over Air Force in the Military Bowl. The Rockets finished 7-1 and as co-champions in the MAC West Division, but suffered a 63-60 shootout loss to fellow co-champ Northern Illinois, which advanced to the MAC title game.
The Rockets finished the 2011 season ranked eighth in the FBS with an average of 42.2 points per game, including a six-game stretch in which they averaged 51.5. They also ranked 10th nationally in total offense with an average of 481.3 yards per game.
When the Eagles and Rockets meet in 2013, UT will still be loaded on offense. Terrance Owens will be a junior this season, and as a sophomore he ranked sixth in the FBS in passing efficiency rating (169.2). He completed a MAC record 72.2 percent of his passes and finished with 2,022 yards, 18 touchdowns and only three interceptions.
Other standouts on offense who should be back in 2013 are wide receiver Bernard Reedy, the 2011 Military Bowl MVP who caught 40 passes last year; David Fluellen, who has rushed for more than 700 yards in two seasons; Zac Kerin, a second-team All-MAC center; and Greg Mancz, who earned Freshman All-America honors at guard.
In 2013, Toledo will play at Florida and at Missouri prior to hosting the Eagles.