Saturday, September 16, 2006

Turnovers no problem for Rockets


— Toledo junior running back Jalen Parmele ran for the winning touchdown in the second overtime period to give his team a 37-31 victory over Kansas University.

Afterward, Parmele was asked to compare the two Big 12 opponents the Rockets have played this season. Toledo opened its season losing a triple overtime game at Iowa State.

"They're both good teams," Parmele said. "But our offense was a little shaky in the second half tonight. We couldn't get much started, but we just kept fighting. Overtime came and we collected ourselves. We got it together and produced a touchdown."

It wasn't difficult to pinpoint the decisive statistic of the game. Toledo didn't have a turnover and KU had five.

"It's something that coach (Tom) Amstutz stresses every week," Toledo quarterback Clint Cochran said. "The team that wins the turnover battle more often than not wins the game."

It's something KU coach Mark Mangino stresses every week, and he made it an even greater point of emphasis in preparation for playing a Toledo team that was undone by turnovers the previous week against Western Michigan.

Amstutz called it, "a great college football game. You can't ask for a better game than that." It was the 35th victory in the last 37 home games for Toledo (1-2), which was playing its 2006 home opener.

"We played a really good football team from the Big 12," Amstutz said. "The game's not over until it's over and we had the last big play on the run by Jalen Parmele to win the game. I was proud of our whole football team and how we battled all night long. We played as hard as we could play after starting the season with two losses. We still believed in each other and stayed together and made the plays."

Audio clip

Mark Mangino talks about the Jayhawks' 37-31 double overtime loss to Toledo

Of the decisive turnovers, Amstutz said: "There were a lot of big plays in tonight's game. Takeaways were the name of the game tonight and our defense came up with big play after big play. Turnovers give the ball back and help you end up on the winning side of the game. We needed those big plays and we've been hungry for them and working for them. You have to play well on both sides of the ball to win and that's what we did."

And that's what KU didn't do. The defense limited Toledo to one first down in the second half, completely shutting down the Rockets. Yet, for the second consecutive week, KU did not force a turnover.

The Jayhawks' offense produced 391 total yards, but had five turnovers.


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