Toledo’s much-anticipated home showdown with five-time national champion Miami (Fla.) ended with a 49-24 loss. The Rockets gave the sold-out Glass Bowl reasons to cheer, but the No. 21 Hurricanes also showed where UT needs to get better. Here are three things we learned from the game.
1. Toledo’s defense still has work to do: Against the most talented offense they will face all season, the Rockets’ defense showed that there are still improvements that must be made. The Miami offensive line controlled the Toledo defensive front as the game went on. The Rockets did not have a sack of Hurricanes QB Malik Rosier in the game and the Miami rushed for 284 yards as a team. There were also several breakdowns in coverage that helped Miami pick up key first downs.
2. Mitch Guadagni showed poise in his second career start: Guadagni proved against a good opponent that he has the makeup necessary to be a successful QB for Toledo and lead the offense. He finished the game with 222 passing yards and two TDs. His ability to run the football and extend plays was on display as he led the Rockets in rushing with 47 yards. Toledo hasn’t had a dynamic rushing QB for a while, and UT coach Jason Candle said Guadagni adds another dimension to the offense that opposing teams will have to prepare for.
3. There will be better days for UT’s rushing game: But Guadagni being the team’s leading rusher probably is not the best-case scenario for Toledo going forward as the Rockets would like to get their traditional run game going. Shakif Seymour, Art Thompkins, and Bryant Koback could not get going against Miami’s strong front seven. While the offensive line is a bit of a work in progress, the trio of running backs was shut down by the best defense they will play all season. That shouldn’t be the case moving forward.
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