Rocket Power – Week 9

By AF, Toledo Football Beat Writer

Plenty of great things have come out of Akron including Lebron James and The Black Keys. You know what hasn’t come out of Akron lately? A football team that can beat the Toledo Rockets. Toledo took on Akron Saturday in a MAC battle of division leaders. Akron was boasting a 3-0 conference record after a victory of Western Michigan the week before. Toledo, well, you know what they’ve done this year. They’ve been a head above anyone else in the MAC and hung tough with the current #8 team in the country for 3.5 quarters. This game was a close game for all of maybe five minutes. It was nice of Akron to make the trip, but Toledo would have been better off having an intra-squad scrimmage.

With Kareem Hunt in attendance, Toledo came out guns a-blazin’ in the first quarter. The opening drive was masterful. Akron’s defense looked flat and confused. From basically the opening kickoff on, Toledo never looked back. It was an well-balanced victory for the Rockets in all facets of the game. The defense was stout as usual. Although they gave up some decent numbers to Akron’s quarterback, it was very quiet. You got the idea that Akron couldn’t do anything offensively the entire game. Akron only had 42 yards rushing total. The Toledo offense was firing on all cylinders. Terry Swanson had 123 yards on 20 carries and looked like he couldn’t be stopped for the entire contest. Shakif Seymour, Toledo’s next big time running back, added 7 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown, and Art Thompkins had 10 carries for 50 yards. It didn’t matter who carried the ball. The offensive line put on a clinic. As far as receiving goes, the wideouts for the Rockets had themselves a feast on the Akron DBs. No Cody Thompson, no problem. Jon’Vea Johnson had two touchdowns on 102 yards receiving and 5 catches. Desmond Phillips, Diontae Johnson, and Danzel McKinley-Lewis added touchdowns as well. This Toledo team is an embarrassment of riches on both sides of the football, and that was evident against Akron in a 48-21 beatdown.

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A little note as well – Toledo is already bowl eligible this season. If they keep playing the way they have all season, a New Year’s Day bowl similar to what Western Michigan had last year isn’t out of reach. And if they keep smacking teams around like this, they should be in the top 25 in no time.

Now for everyone’s favorite part of the blog, the #WoodsideForHeisman update. You want to talk about a surgical dismantling of the Akron Zips? Woodside was 17 of 24 passing for 304 yards and 5 touchdowns. That brings his season stats to 2028 yards passing with 16 TDs and just 2 INTs, For some perspective, Tom Brady has 2208 yards and 15 touchdowns this season through 7 games. Not far off from arguably the best quarterback of all time. Woodside left the game in the 3rd quarter because Coach Candle wanted to show some mercy to the lowly Zips, but the best quarterback in the MAC only needed 3 quarters to pick apart Akron’s defense. You know who didn’t have 5 touchdowns against Akron? Penn State’s Trace McSorley and alleged Heisman frontrunner, Saquon Barkley, COMBINED. Just saying. Woodside connected with 10 different receivers in the game. Nobody had more than 5 catches which shows that Woodside does an excellent job distributing the football and finding the open man. It doesn’t matter who you are, Woodside is gonna deliver you the football. His QBR was 93.2 out of 100 as well. And again, he did all of this in less than 3 full quarters of work. I can’t stress enough that this kid is the real deal. He’s shattering all of Bruce Gradkowski’s records at Toledo. If Jordan Lynch got an invite to New York for the Heisman, then Woodside should be there too. Except the difference is that Woodside should WIN.

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Toledo has a short week of practice as they travel to Muncie, IN to take on Ball State on Thursday. There are plenty of jokes to make about the school being named after a testicle, but I’ll try to refrain. Ball State is straight up trash. Their starting quarterback has less than 1000 yards on the season and ZERO touchdowns. Seriously, none. They have only two wins on the year against UAB who didn’t even have a program last year and Tennessee Tech which I didn’t even know was a real school. They got embarrassed by Central Michigan on Saturday 56-9. That’s like first game of the year schedule a dog ass team to beat the piss out of bad. I almost feel bad making fun of them because it’s just such low hanging fruit. Woodside and Swanson are going to cut through that defense like a hot knife through butter. If you want to see a four quarter long vasectomy, tune in to the game Thursday night to see Toledo clip Ball State.

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