By AF, Toledo Football Beat Writer
Before we get into the Dollar General Bowl, there’s a very important announcement to make. THE TOLEDO ROCKETS ARE YOUR 2017 MAC FOOTBALL CHAMPS BAYBAY!!!! That’s right, folks. We – er, they did it. The Toledo Rockets opened up a can of whoop ass on the MAC this year and layeth the smacketh down on the Akron Zips (for the second time this year) to bring home the MAC Championship for the first time since 2004.
Akron played four different quarterbacks in the game because none of them knew how to beat the Rockets’ defense. Toledo only had to play one quarterback to win. You know his name. That’s right. It’s Logan Woodside. But before we talk about Woodside lighting up Akron like a Christmas tree, let’s recognize the other shining stars of this championship performance. Terry Swanson had himself a DAY. With 21 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns, Swanson ran wild like Hulkamania, brother. Johnson & Johnson caught everything thrown their way with Diontae hauling in 9 catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns and Jon’Vea catching 6 passes for 103 yards and a score of his own. Shakif Seymour added a receiving touchdown as well. The defense also stepped up for Toledo in this one. Ola Adeniyi was creating havoc all over the field until the refs decided to hit him with a laughable targeting call. (Adeniyi will have to sit for the first half of the Dollar General Bowl as a result of the penalty). The defense smothered Akron shutting the Zips out in the first half, then allowing 28 sympathy points in the second half. After all, when will those Zips players ever even smell a MAC Championship again? Probably never.
Also, just before the Heisman trophy was awarded to that sack grabber, Baker Mayfield, Logan Woodside showed out in the MAC Championship game. Woodside went 23 of 37 for 307 yards and 4 touchdowns. He even threw a couple interceptions so scouts could see his closing speed and pursuit angles defensively. He’s a both sides of the ball kind of player. Can’t say that about Baker. All jokes aside, Logan Woodside has had an illustrious career for the Rockets. He will end his career with over 10,400 passing yards and close to 100 touchdowns. He will leave Toledo as the leading passer in school history as well. He ended the season with 2 more TDs, more yards, 5 less INTs, and a better completion percentage than the projected #1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft, Josh Rosen. Woodside also has 269 more yards, 1 less INT, and 3 more TDs than Heisman finalist and last year’s Heisman winner, Lamar Jackson (Jackson is also highly touted as an NFL prospect). My point is Woodside has next level talent and leadership skills. It’ll be curious to see which team selects him in the draft. Might as well get it started now – #WoodsideForROY.
Some monstrous news off the field for the Rockets as well. Jason Candle almost broke our hearts like Fredo and left Toledo for UCF. Instead, he pulled a GOTCHA! and went on a recruiting trip rather than visiting UCF to talk contract with the Florida big wigs. Candle actually signed an extension to remain the Rockets head coach through 2023. That’s great news for Rocket Nation. I’m sick of these schools swooping in and stealing coaches from the football factory that is Toledo. That being said, expect Candle’s name to pop up every year for as long as he’s coaching Toledo any time a head coaching gig opens up.
Now to the Dollar General Bowl. With all due respect, Toledo has zero business being in the damn Dollar General Bowl. They are an 11-win team. You know who the other teams with at least 11 wins are? Clemson, Oklahoma, Georgia, Alabama, Ohio State, Wisconsin, USC, and UCF. THAT’S IT. Those teams all have New Year’s Day and/or Playoff games. Just saying. Anyway, Toledo ended up drawing a bowl against Appalachian State, which is a rematch of last year’s Camellia Bowl. Toledo will look to avenge the loss suffered at the hands of the Mountaineers of Appalachian State. The difference is this year, the Rockets are a year older and a year wiser. Woodside is going to carve up that Mountaineer defense like a holiday ham. It’s the last game of his career. He’s going to bring the heat. Appalachian State still clings to their upset of Michigan a bazillion years ago. Newsflash: EVERYONE beats Michigan, including Toledo. Get over yourselves.
It makes me sad that the Rockets’ season is coming to an end. It’s been a fun ride this year. I hope you all enjoyed Rocket Power this season. It’ll be back and better than ever next year!