1970 Toledo Rockets football team

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1970 Toledo Rockets football
MAC champion
ConferenceMid-American Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 17
APNo. 12
1970 record12–0 (5–0 MAC)
Head coachFrank Lauterbur (8th season)
Captains
  • Tom Duncan
  • Tony Harris
Home stadiumGlass Bowl
Seasons
← 1969
1971 →
1970 Mid-American Conference football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 12 Toledo $ 5 0 0     12 0 0
Miami 3 2 0     7 3 0
Ohio 3 2 0     4 5 0
Western Michigan 2 3 0     7 3 0
Kent State 1 4 0     3 7 0
Bowling Green 1 4 0     2 6 1
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1970 Toledo Rockets football team was an American football team that represented the University of Toledo in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) during the 1970 college football season. In their eighth and final season under head coach Frank Lauterbur, the Rockets compiled a 12–0 record, outscored all opponents by a combined total of 384 to 88, and won the MAC championship. The season ended with a 40–12 victory over Southern Conference champion William & Mary in the 1970 Tangerine Bowl.[1][2] The Rockets were ranked No. 12 in the final AP Poll and No. 17 in the final UPI Poll.[3] After the Tangerine Bowl, William & Mary head coach Lou Holtz said, "Toledo can play football with anyone – that includes teams like Ohio State and Texas."[4]

The 1970 season was part of a 35-game winning streak that consisted of three consecutive seasons from 1969 through 1971. During the streak, Toledo won three consecutive MAC championships and three consecutive bowl games, led the nation in total defense all three years, and outscored opponents by a combined total of 1,152 to 344.[5] It remains the second longest winning streak in modern Division I-A college football history behind Oklahoma's 47-game streak in the 1950s.[6]

The defense led the way for the 1970 team, allowing 104.8 rushing yards, 185.8 total yards, 3.7 turnovers forced, and 7.3 points per game.[7] In a game against Dayton, Toledo allowed only 44 yards of total offense, zero rushing first downs, and zero passing yards, each of which remains a program record.[8] In a 52-3 victory over Marshall, the team forced seven turnovers.[9]

Defensive tackle Mel Long was selected as a first-team All-American by the Newspaper Enterprise Association.[10] Eleven Toledo players received first-team All-MAC honors: Mel Long, quarterback Chuck Ealey, fullback Charlie Cole, end Don Fair, offensive guard Bob Caverly, offensive tackle Ken Wilson, defensive end Bob Rose, linebacker John Niezgoda, middle guard Steve Schnitkey, and defensive backs Tom Duncan and Gary Hinkson.[11]

For the second consecutive year, Chuck Ealey was named MAC Back of the Year, and Frank Lauterbur was named MAC Coach of the Year. Mel Long was also named MAC Lineman of the Year.[12] Ken Crots, who converted six of 18 field goal attempts,[13] Ealey also won the Jim Nicholson Award as the player contributing the most to the team's success.[14] The team captains were Tom Duncan and Tony Harris.[15]

The team's statistical leaders included Chuck Ealey with 2,026 passing yards, Charles Cole with 774 rushing yards, Don Fair with 949 receiving yards, Tom Duncan with 76 points scored, Steve Schnitkey with 178 tackles, and Gary Hinkson with seven interceptions.[16]

The Rockets played their home game in the Glass Bowl. The attendance at six home games was 93,120, an average of 15,520 per game.[17]

One day before the Rockets' appearance in the Tangerine Bowl, Frank Lauterbur confirmed a leak that he was leaving the program to become the head football coach at Iowa.[4] Lauterbur compiled a 48–32–2 record in eight seasons at Toledo.

Schedule[edit]

DateOpponentSiteResult
September 12East Carolina*W 35–2
September 19at Buffalo*Buffalo, NYW 27-6
September 26Marshall
  • Glass Bowl
  • Toledo, OH
W 52–3
October 3at OhioW 42-7
October 10Bowling Green
  • Glass Bowl
  • Toledo, OH
W 20–0
October 17at Western MichiganW 20-0
  • *Non-conference game

Roster[edit]

1970 Toledo Rockets football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
QB 16 Chuck Ealey Jr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DT 77 Mel Long Jr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1970 Toledo Rockets Schedule and Results". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
  2. ^ "Toledo Football 2015 Media Guide" (PDF). University of Toledo. 2015. p. 190.
  3. ^ 2015 Media Guide, p. 196.
  4. ^ a b "Lauterbur Quits Toledo for Iowa". Evening Journal, Wilminton, Delaware. December 29, 1970. p. 36.
  5. ^ 2015 Media Guide, p. 138.
  6. ^ Ron Musselman (October 4, 2001). "Toledo to celebrate 30th anniversary of 35-0 football streak". The Blade (Toledo).
  7. ^ 2015 Media Guide, pp. 200-201.
  8. ^ 2015 Media Guide, p. 202.
  9. ^ 2015 Media Guide, p. 203.
  10. ^ "3 Buckeyes on NEA All-American". The Times-Recorder. November 29, 1970.
  11. ^ 2015 Media Guide, p. 147.
  12. ^ 2015 Media Guide, p. 148.
  13. ^ 2015 Media Guide, p. 224.
  14. ^ 2015 Media Guide, p. 160.
  15. ^ 2015 Media Guide, p. 164.
  16. ^ 2015 Media Guide, pp. 213, 218-222.
  17. ^ 2015 Media Guide, p. 199.