By AF, Toledo Football Beat Writer
This week, the Toledo Rockets football team was on the road against the Chippewas of Central Michigan. It was homecoming at Central Michigan, but the Rockets definitely spoiled the party. I’d say the Rockets had a game, but it really wasn’t much of one from the beginning. In fact, the Rockets got more of a fight out of the weather than they did the Chips. In the words of American hero, Forrest Gump, there was “little bitty stingin’ rain, and big ol’ fat rain, rain that flew in sideways, and sometimes rain even seemed to come straight up from underneath.” The rain didn’t stop Toledo from demolishing Central Michigan though. The Rockets showed up on Saturday determined to send a message to everyone in the MAC (and the country), and that’s exactly what they did.
Many were curious to see how Toledo’s high octane offense would look in their first game without wide receiver standout Cody Thompson. How would the Rockets recover from losing one of their best playmakers? Simple. They decided to showcase their rushing attack instead. With the Toledo offensive line opening up holes that semi trucks could drive through, Terry Swanson had himself a DAY. On 23 rushes, Swanson racked up 145 yards and two touchdowns. The freshman sensation, Shakif Seymour, showed signs of possibly being the next Kareem Hunt with a 15 rush, 119 yard, one touchdown performance of his own. Art Thompkins added 11 more carries for 36 yards. The depth at running back for the Rockets is unparalleled. It’s basically the deepest running back committee in the nation.
The #WoodsideForHeisman campaign marched on as well. The inclement weather made it difficult to move the ball through the air, but Woodside went 10 for 18 for 89 yards. Considering the Rockets were running the ball at will against CMU, there was little need to pass the ball that much. Woodside did run the ball four times for 11 yards and a touchdown, though, showing off his dual-threat capabilities. You simply cannot stop Logan Woodside from beating you one way or another. If it’s not his arm, it’s his legs. Just an absolute beast. Eat your heart out, Lamar Jackson.
Central Michigan tried to use Michigan Wolverines transfer, Shane Morris, to vanquish the dominant Toledo defense. It didn’t work. Morris was 17 of 37 for 182 yards. He threw two interceptions and had a QBR of 8.1. Seriously, 8.1 out of 100. The Rockets defense made Morris look like Less-is and probably have him thinking about transferring again. The Rockets also held the Chippewas to just 62 yards rushing as a team. This Rockets defense is stingy, folks. Defensive Coordinator Brian George has done an excellent job getting the best play possible out of this defense, and it absolutely showed on Saturday. Toledo won 30-10.
This saturday, Toledo welcomes the Akron Zips to the Glass Bowl for a matchup of MAC division leaders. Granted, the other division of the MAC is an absolute embarrassment. Akron’s game Saturday against Western Michigan was postponed to Sunday, and Akron pulled out a 14-13 win against Western Michigan. This isn’t the Akron team of old that used to get beaten down and demoralized every time they stepped on the field. Sure, they got the doors blown off of them by Penn State and Iowa State (shoutout to Coach Campbell), but they hung tough against a Troy team that beat LSU.
Thomas Woodson, the Zips’ QB1, has 9 TDs and 6 INTs on the year. By comparison, Woodside has 11 TDs and only 1 INT. But then again, is it fair to compare Woodson to the Heisman frontrunner? As if you weren’t sick of athletes with the last name “Ball” already, Warren Ball is the Zips’ leading rusher at just 332 total yards. Akron’s defense also gives up over 400 yards per game. Woodside, Swanson, and co. should have a field day against the Zips’ defense. With Akron also only putting up 23 points per game themselves, I think the Toledo defense is going to make short work of the Zips offense. Time for another easy W for the Rockets.