Kehres spearheaded a complete turnaround of the Toledo defense when he arrived in 2020. So far this season, Toledo’s defense ranks first in the MAC and 29th in the nation in total defense (340.8) and second in the MAC points allowed (26.3). The Rockets lead the MAC in passing yards allowed (179.9) and defensive passing efficiency (108.26 – also sixth in nation). Toledo was second in the MAC in total defense (362.2) after ranking last in the league in total defense (475.7) in 2019. The Rockets, who allowed just 24.3 points per game in 2020, also led the MAC in opponent third-down conversions (27.4%) and were second in rushing defense (129.2). The Rocket defense took an ever bigger step in 2021, leading the league in scoring defense (21.8) and defensive pass efficiency (118.8), and ranking second in the MAC in total defense (349.7) and third in passing defense (198.2).
Three Toledo defenders made First-Team All-MAC in 2021: senior defensive backs Tycen Anderson and Samuel Womack, and junior outside linebacker Jamal Hines made up the first Toledo trio of MAC defensive first-teamers since 1997. Anderson and Womack were both selected in the third round of last season’s NFL Draft.