TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) -- It would be easy to understand if the Toledo Rockets were still carrying a grudge about missing out on a bowl game after finishing last season at 10-1.
But there's been none of that -- no whining about respect or complaining about being ignored.
"We've just got to get over that," said quarterback Tavares Bolden.
The Rockets, with 18 starters returning, play host to Minnesota on Thursday night and are thinking that a second straight opening game victory over a Big Ten school could propel them to another big season.
"That's what happened last year," Bolden said about the 24-6 victory at Penn State. "It set the tone for the rest of the season.
Toledo's lone loss to Western Michigan last year cost it a spot in the Mid-American Conference title game last season and kept it out of a bowl game.
First-year coach Tom Amstutz, a longtime Toledo assistant, took over after Gary Pinkel left for Missouri. Amstutz has installed a fast-break offense that will feature no huddles and four wide receivers at times.
Learning the new offense hasn't been a problem, said Bolden, who compared it to sandlot ball.
"It should be fun," Bolden said. "I played a little flag football and we were playing shotgun on every down. I'll have more opportunities, more receivers to throw to."
Amstutz said everything will start and end with his quarterback.
"There's a lot of pressure of him in this style of offense," Amstutz said. "The mental part is the toughest."
Leave it to the team's former defensive coordinator to put in a high-flying offense.
"This was the offense that gave me nightmares," Amstutz said. "This was the offense that was most difficult to prepare for."
Minnesota coach Glen Mason said he would be surprised to see a dramatic difference in Toledo's offense.
"You've got to be sure to a certain extent -- to use the old adage -- if it ain't broke, don't fix it," Mason said. "I really can't believe they're going to change that much."
It's the Minnesota offense that is now giving Amstutz nightmares.
The Golden Gophers averaged 31 points per game last season and return nine starters on offense -- including all Big Ten receiver Ron Johnson.
Johnson passed up on entering the NFL draft and will likely set school records for career receptions and receiving years barring an injury. He already holds the record for most touchdowns.
He said a key to Thursday's game will be stopping Toledo from getting any momentum early.
"Whoever gets the ball first for us, offense or defense, has got to make some big plays and set the tempo right away," Johnson said. "I'll be ready to go deep right away. If we can do stuff like that to get them down and keep them down, it'll help a lot."
Minnesota also brings back running back Tellis Redmon who ran for 1,368 yards a year ago and quarterbacks Travis Cole and Asad Abdul-Khaliq. They split time at the position a year ago.
"We've approached Travis and Asad with the thinking that they're interchangeable," said Mason, who insisted that both quarterbacks have adapted to the system.
"We've been through a year of the so-called quarterback controversy," he said. "When all of a sudden I pull one guy out and put the other one in, the one guy isn't down because he knows he might go back in."
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