By AF, Toledo Alum
Tis the season to yell “TOL!” and have random people yell back at you “EDO!” But then again, isn’t it always? Toledo football season is finally here and the Rockets’ first victim was the Elon Phoenix. Side note, phoenix (phoeni?) are sweet. I’m shocked there aren’t more phoenix mascots in sports. I mean, Dumbledore even had one. Anyway, Elon was not a worthy adversary last night. It’s definitely a good feeling knowing Toledo is at that level of scheduling the first game of the year against some lowly D-II school just to beat the piss out of them. Most power conference schools don’t want Toledo on their schedules anymore because all they do is shock the world (looking at you, Arkansas and Michigan).
Anyway, the Elon Phoenix weren’t able to rise out of the ashes the Rockets beat them into early on. Toledo took an early 19-7 lead into halftime, then turned it on in the second half scoring 21 unanswered points in the third quarter. The Rockets defense mercifully let Elon score one touchdown per half, but there was never any doubt who the superior squad was. The final score was 47-13 and I’m not even sure the game was as close as the score would suggest.
The Rockets took down the Phoenix with a well-balanced attack from start to finish. Logan Woodside had 19 completions on 31 attempts for 314 yards. Surprisingly, no touchdowns but also no interceptions (take the not that bad with the really good). I guess you really don’t need to throw touchdowns when your committee of running backs is in the endzone as often as they were last night though. Collectively, the Toledo backfield had 41 carries for 239 yards and FOUR touchdowns. Terry (not Mary) Swanson had 11 carries for 36 yards and two scores, while freshman stud Shakif Seymour added 11 more carries for 102 yards and a score himself. With Kareem Hunt now in the NFL probably carrying the Chiefs this year, someone will have to step up. It appears Seymour wants to be that guy. Jon’Vea Johnson and Cody Thompson, both Biletnikoff Award (given to nation’s top receiver) Watch List players this year, contributed to the offensive showcase against Elon as well. Thompson had 5 receptions for 112 yards and Johnson had 4 receptions for 51 yards. Dionte Johnson added 4 catches for another 102 yards as well as a 99-yard kick return for a touchdown. Long story short, the Rockets LIT IT UP last night. This offense is potent and lightning quick. Don’t blink or you might miss somethin’!
Coach Candle has his men ready to compete for a MAC championship this year. They look hungry and poised to make some noise. Keep their game against the Miami Hurricanes circled on your calendar (September 23rd). Big time upset alert for The U.
As for next week, the Rockets head to Reno, Nevada to take on the Nevada Wolf Pack. The Wolf Pack have switched from the pistol offense to an air raid attack under new offensive coordinator Matt Mumme, so look for this game to be Jimmy John’s level FREAKY FAST. Defensively, Nevada lost their leading tackler but has just about everyone else back. They are experienced, but their experience is in being really, really bad. We’ll see how new look Nevada looks against Northwestern this weekend, but I don’t see the Wolf Pack slowing down the Rockets in week 2.
There is plenty to be excited about for the Toledo faithful this season. Here’s to hoping they have the year we’re all expecting them to have! TOL!