One game after throwing the ball a season-low 18 times for just 89 yards in the driving rain at Central Michigan, University of Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside wasted little time taking to the air against Akron on Sunday.
Woodside completed four of five passes on the opening drive of the game, finishing with a perfect throw to Jon’Vea Johnson in the corner of the end zone for a 24-yard touchdown.
It was just the beginning of a huge day for Woodside as the Rockets (6-1, 3-0) cruised to a 48-21 win at the Glass Bowl.
IN PICTURES: Toledo 48, Akron 21
Woodside spread the ball all over the field, completing passes to 10 different players on the way to a 17-of-24 passing day with 304 yards and five touchdowns.
“I think we did a great job,” Woodside said. “The receivers did a great job of getting open for us today and our offensive line did a great job for us and we ran the ball really effectively, which opened up some of the passing game. I think whoever is open, that is who I’m going to throw it to and it doesn’t really matter. All credit to those guys, whether it’s the running backs, tight ends or receivers, they are all doing a great job and I’m going to continue to push them because we are going to need all of them down the stretch.”
Jon’Vea Johnson, who caught just two passes against Central Michigan, said Woodside and the receivers got right back to work after the game last Saturday to try to regain some rhythm in the passing game.
“I know after that game, that next Sunday, we went out and got warmed up and tried to get the ball in the air and get us back in condition because we didn’t get to catch that many balls that Saturday,” Johnson said.
Johnson was Woodside’s favorite target on Saturday, hauling in five catches for 102 yards and two touchdowns and said he enjoys being out there when Woodside is on top of his game.
“It’s like being at the park,” Johnson said. “It’s fun.”
In the first quarter, Woodside threw a short screen pass to Desmond Phillips, which Phillips took down the right sideline for a 40-yard touchdown, the first of his career. Then Woodside found Danzel McKinley-Lewis on a 13-yard strike in the end zone and it was a 21-0 first quarter edge.
Woodside later added a second TD pass to Jon’Vea Johnson on a 25-yard connection and finished off his prolific day with an 11-yard TD pass to Diontae Johnson.
Not to be lost in Woodside’s stellar play was the running game of Toledo, which saw senior running back Terry Swanson total 123 yards on 20 carries and redshirt freshman Shakif Seymour add 71 rushing yards and a late 15-yard touchdown run. Add in two field goals for UT kicker Jameson Vest and it was an offensive day to remember. The Rockets churned out 626 yards of total offense.
Defensively, Toledo was able to pressure Akron quarterback Thomas Woodson all game long. Woodson finished 18-of-33 for 205 yards and two touchdowns. Backup quarterback Robbie Kelley threw a touchdown pass for Akron’s other score.
“The coaches really emphasized that this past week,” defensive end Olasunkanmi Adeniyi said of the quarterback pressure. “We kept working on it practice, working on our pass rush. We just have to get to the quarterback and affect him and help our defensive backs out.”
For the third straight game, the Toledo defense held its opponent to fewer than 100 rushing yards as Akron managed just 42 yards rushing as a team. Couple that with two turnovers (a Justin Clark interception and a Ja’Wuan Woodley fumble recovery) and it was another good all-around performance from the defense.
“I think that the defense is coming together at the right time,” UT coach Jason Candle said. “They have been a cohesive group. We are playing a lot of guys in the front seven and there are three or four safeties that are rotating in quite a bit. So there’s a lot of guys that have played and played well. If you can continue to limit touchdowns in the red zone and you can continue to create turnovers, you are going to have success.”
The Zips (4-4, 3-1) came into the game with confidence after beating Western Michigan 14-13 last week and carrying a 3-0 conference record. But Toledo left little doubt which was the better team on Saturday.
“It was a really big win,” Woodside said “I think Akron is a really good football team and they are going to win a lot of games moving forward. It was great to ride it out in the Glass Bowl and have a great win.”
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