On Thursday, the University of Toledo football team cruised to a 58-17 victory over Ball State in Muncie, Indiana. The win improves the Rockets’ record to 7-1 overall and 4-0 in Mid-American Conference play.
“We have fast guys that can make good coaches out of people,” UT coach Jason Candle said. “They can score the ball a lot of different ways and from wherever they touch it on the field. When you have a senior quarterback that is a fifth-year guy, that is really comfortable in the offense, and really knows the scheme, he has the ability to help guys be in position to be successful and make those plays. Once you get it in your hands, it’s about what you can do with it. I’d love to say I taught them all that, but that is just raw, natural ability.
Second year wide receiver Diontae Johnson led the offense as he scored three touchdowns. Johnson caught TD passes of 88 and 67 yards, and added on a score on an 87-yard punt return. He had a career-high 170 senior quarterback
“Diontae has made plays for us all year, and he is going to have to continue to make big plays for us down the stretch,” Fourth year quarterback Logan Woodside said.
Woodside threw for 267 yards and three touchdowns. One of those touchdowns being a 35-yard TD connection to second year receiver Desmond Phillips.
Fourth year running back Terry Swanson paced the rushing attack with 105 yards and one touchdown, while first year running backs Shakif Seymour (69 yards and two scores) and Nevone Mccrimmon (73 yards) came in relief in the second half. For the game, Toledo collected 602 yards of total offense in just 52 plays, 267 through the air and 335 on the ground, for an average of 11.6 yards per play.
Toledo’s defense shut down the Cardinals throughout most of the game, holding BSU to 309 total yards. Third year defensive end Olasukanami Adenyi was a force on the line, tying his career high with three tackles for loss.
Toledo started off the scoring on a 32-yard field goal by third year kicker Jameson Vest. Ball State answered scoring on a 41-yard run by Malik Dunner to give the Cardinals a 7-3 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter.
After that, it was all Toledo, as the Rockets surged in the second quarter, scoring two touchdowns in a span of less than three minutes. Swanson charged up the middle for a 71-yard touchdown run and Phillips snagged a 35-yard Woodside pass to make the score 17-7 with 8:20 to play in the first half. Two possessions later, Johnson came back to a Woodside pass, then zoomed up the sidelines for a 67-yard TD to give UT a 24-7 edge. Ball State kicked a 43-yard field goal on the final play of the half to cut into the lead at 24-10.
The Rockets came out firing in the second half, as Woodside hit Johnson for an 88-yard score on UT’s first play from scrimmage to extend the lead to 30-10. After a three-and-out by the Cardinals, Johnson scored again, returning a punt 87 yards for a touchdown to give the Rockets a 37-10 lead. After that, redshirt freshman Shakif Seymour put the game on ice with touchdown runs of one and 63 yards to give the Rockets a 51-10 margin with 3:55 left in the third quarter.
Ball State took advantage of a fumbled Rocket punt late in the third quarter to score its second touchdown of the game. The Cardinals recovered on the UT four-yard line, and cashed in a on a four-yard run on fourth down by quarterback Drew Plitt.
First year running back Nevone McCrimmon scored Toledo’s next touchdown on a 73-yard run to the Ball State two-yard line. Fourth year quarterback Michael Julian capped the game off with a two-yard TD run.
“He made a couple great plays on 50-50 balls that were competitive catches,” Candle said. “That’s good to see. His quarterback trusted him and was putting it out there for him. We have to win our one-on-one battles no matter who we are playing, and he was able to do that tonight.”
The Rockets will play in a MAC West Division showdown with rival Northern Illinois in the Glass Bowl next Thursday. The game will be broadcast on ESPNU.