CFN Take: Toledo Explodes On EMU
Posted Nov 28, 2014

Toledo Rockets 2014 ... Head coach: Matt Campbell

Toledo Rockets
2014 Schedule
Record: 8-4

Aug. 30 New Hampshire W 54-20
Sep. 6 Missouri L 49-24
Sep. 12 at Cincinnati L 58-34
Sep. 20 Ball State W 34-23
Sep. 27 Central Mich W 42-28
Oct. 4 at West Mich W 20-19 OT
Oct. 11 at Iowa State L 37-30
Oct. 25 UMass W 42-35
Nov. 4 at Kent State W 30-20
Nov. 11 at No  Illinois L 27-24
Nov. 19 Bowling Green W 27-20
Nov. 28 at Eastern Mich W 52-16

Nov. 28 Toledo 52, at Eastern Michigan 16
And You Care Because … Toledo did its part to take the MAC West title, but NIU beat Western Michigan to ruin the hopes. Even so, the Rockets took care of business early with 42 first half points. Logan Woodside threw five touchdown passes to five different receivers, highlighted by an 81-yard Kishon Wilcher score late in the first quarter and a 59-yarder to Alonzo Russell late in the second. Eastern Michigan got on the board in the second quarter with a ten-yard Kris Strange touchdown, but the game was never close.
What Else? Total yards: Toledo 513 – Eastern Michigan 215
- Toledo QB Logan Woodside completed 14-of-18 passes for 323 yards and five scores
- Eastern Michigan QB Reginald Ball completed 8-of-23 passes for 119 yards and two touchdowns with two picks
- Toledo RB Kareem Hunt ran 22 times for 110 yards and a touchdown
Game Rating: D

Nov. 19 at Toledo 27, Bowling Green 20
And You Care Because … Dwight Macon ran for a seven-yard score to finally break a 20-20 tie, and the Toledo defense held on for the win. In a back-and-forth game, Kareem Hunt started off the scoring for the Rockets with a two-yard run, and took off for a 91-yard touchdown, but Bowling Green kept pace helped by Ronnie Moore touchdown catches from ten and 31 yards out. The last Falcon drive stalled on a sack from Junior Sylvestre.
What Else? Toledo RB Kareem Hunt ran 30 times for 265 yards and two scores
- Bowling Green QBs combined to completed 12-of-37 passes for 167 yards and a score
- Time of possession: Toledo 34:21 – Bowling Green 25:39
- Turnovers: Toledo 3 – Bowling Green 0
Game Rating: B

Nov. 11 at Northern Illinois 27, Toledo 24
And You Care Because … Cameron Stingily ran for two touchdowns and Da’Ron Brown caught a 64-yard touchdown pass, but Toledo tied it up at ten early on with a 69-yard Corey Jones catch. NIU pulled away with a 17-7 scoring run – helped by Stingily’s two touchdowns – but the Rockets rallied late with a Macon three-yard catch to pull within three. NIU recovered the onside kick.
What Else? Northern Illinois RB Cameron Stingily ran 21 times for 81 yards and two scores
- Toledo QB Dwight Macon completed 8-of-11 passes for 140 yards and a score, and ran 18 times for 97 yards and two scores
- Toledo RB Kareem Hunt ran 18 times for 119 yards
- Total yards: Toledo 472 – NIU 416
Game Rating: B

Nov. 8 Toledo 30, at Kent State 20
And You Care Because … Toledo appeared to be cruising, up 23-0 on three Jeremiah Detmer field goals and two Logan Woodside touchdown passes, including one to Alonzo Russell from eight yards out early in the second half, but Kent State made it interesting with a 50-yard Nick Holley scoring run and 13 unanswered points on two short touchdown passes from Nathan Strock. But the Rocket defense came up with key stops when it had to and forced three turnovers.
What Else? Toledo RB Kareem Hunt ran 18 times for 141 yards
- Kent State RB Nick Holley ran 12 times for 95 yards and a score
- Toledo QB Logan Woodside completed 16-of-25 passes for 202 yards and three scores
- Time of possession: Toledo 37:15 – Kent State 22:45
Game Rating: C

Oct. 25 at Toledo 42, Massachusetts 35
And You Care Because … Toledo got a 19-yard touchdown run from Terry Swanson with just 34 seconds to play to put away a game UMass. Blake Frohnapfel threw five touchdown passes for the Minutemen including a 36-yarder to Tajae Sharpe and a 76-yard play to Jean Sifrin in the fourth. UMass got up 13-0 on first quarter touchdown catches from Jalen Williams from 15 and 35 yards out, but Toledo came back from down 20-7 on a 42-yard Corey Jones catch and a 36-yard Kareem Hunt run for the lead. In a wild fourth quarter, the two traded big play after big play, but Toledo had the ball last.
What Else? Total yards: Toledo 520 – UMass 497
- Massachusetts QB Blake Frohnapfel completed 28-of-55 passes for 438 yards and five touchdowns with two picks
- Toledo RB Kareem Hunt ran 26 times for 198 yards and a touchdown, and Terry Swanson ran 18 times for 97 yards and two touchdowns
- Massachusetts WR Jean Sifrin caught six passes for 185 yards and a score, Jean Williams caught six passes for 97 yards and two touchdowns
Game Rating: A

Oct. 11 at Iowa State 37, Toledo 30
And You Care Because … In a wild fourth quarter, Toledo pulled within seven on a four-yard Marc Remy touchdown catch in the final minute, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a huge day from Iowa State QB Sam B. Richardson, who threw three touchdown passes including short scores in the fourth quarter to E.J. Bibbs and Allen Lazard to pull away from a 23-23 tie. Cole Netten nailed three field goals for the Cyclones, and Jeremiah Detmer added three of his own for the Rockets, including a 41-yarder early in the fourth to tie it. Terry Swanson, in place of an injured Kareem Hunt, ran for two touchdowns for Toledo.
What Else? Iowa State QB Sam B. Richardson completed 37-of-53 passes for 351 yards and three touchdowns, and ran 13 times for 31 yards
- Toledo QB Logan Woodside completed 22-of-36 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown, and ran nine times for 42 yards
- Toledo WR Corey Jones caught 12 passes for 118 yards
- Rushing yards: Toledo 236 – Iowa State 103
Game Rating: B

Oct. 4 Toledo 20, at Western Michigan 19 OT
And You Care Because … Toledo forced overtime on a 37-yard Jeremiah Detmer field goal with no time left on the clock, and then came up with a 22-yard Alonzo Russell touchdown catch. Detmer nailed the extra point. Western Michigan answered with a 20-yard Darius Phillips touchdown catch, but Andrew Haldeman missed the extra point to seal the Toledo win. Haldeman hit two field goals and Jarvion Franklin ran for a two-yard score, while Toledo overcame three turnovers with two Detmer field goals and a two-yard Terry Swanson touchdown run.
What Else? Time of possession: Western Michigan 37:46 – Toledo 22:14
- WMU QB Zach Terrell completed 30-of-37 passes for 370 yards and a score
- Toledo RB Terry Swanson ran 19 times for 172 yards and a score
- WMU WR Corey Davis caught seven passes for 124 yards, and Darius Phillips caught ten passes for 121 yards and a touchdown
Game Rating: B+

Sept. 27 at Toledo 42, Central Michigan 28
And You Care Because … The Rockets took control in the first half helped by a six-yard Alonzo Russell touchdown catch with 27 seconds to play for a 20-7 lead, but Central Michigan stayed alive with a four-yard Jesse Kroll touchdown catch to open up the second half. Toledo took the game back with Russell making a 12-yard scoring grab and Damion Jones-Moore running for a three-yard score. CMU wouldn’t go away with Thomas Rawls running for two short scores to pull within six, but Toledo once again had an answer with an 80-yard drive finishing with a 12-yard Logan Woodside run.
What Else? Toledo QB Logan Woodside completed 23-of-34 passes for 339 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and ran six times for 20 yards and a score
- Central Michigan RB Thomas Rawls ran 17 times for 65 yards and two touchdowns, and Titus Davis caught six passes for 128 yards
- Central Michigan QB Cooper Rush completed 24-of-31 passes for 291 yards and two score with an interception.
- Toledo WR Alonzo Russell caught seven passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns
Game Rating: B+

Sept. 20 at Toledo 34, Ball State 23
And You Care Because … Logan Woodside threw a touchdown pass and ran for two, and Kareem Hunt and Damion Jones-Moore each ran for short scores as Toledo was in control early and never let up. Ball State pulled within nine in the fourth on the first of two Ozzie Mann’s touchdown passes, but the Jones-Moore run ended it.
What Else? Toledo RB Kareem Hunt ran 12 times for 142 yards and a score
- Toledo QB Logan Woodside completed 13-of-22 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown with a pick and ran seven times for 43 yards and two scores
- Ball State RB Jahwan Edwards ran 21 times for 125 yards
- Toledo outgained Ball State 470 yards to 351
Game Rating: C+

Sept. 12 At Cincinnati 58, Toledo 34
And You Care Because … Welcome to the Gunner Kiel era. The new Cincinnati quarterback threw six touchdown passes with three of them on the way to a 34-0 first half lead, but Toledo made this really, really interesting. Logan Woodside threw three touchdown passes and found Alonzo Russell twice to help get the Rockets within 41-34 in the fourth, but Kiel and the Bearcats took control again in the fourth on the way to 17 unanswered points, putting the game away with a 22-yard scoring play to Shaq Washington.
What Else? That’s exactly what you wanted to see out of the new quarterback – Cincinnati might really be that good if Gunner Kiel can keep doing this. He was fantastic, completing 25-of-37 passes for 418 yards and six touchdowns, but he had some help. The entire offense worked – Hosey Williams ran well, taking off for 103 yards on 14 carries.
- It took a little while for Toledo to wake up, but that offense is going to be terrific as the season keeps rolling. Logan Woodside completed 27-of-40 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns with Alonzo Russell catching five passes for 114 yards and two scores.
- It didn’t take much time for Cincinnati to come up with the explosion, cranking out 584 yards in 24:48. Toledo held the ball for 35:12.
- The Toledo running game was excellent, with Kareem Hunt running 12 times for 101 yards and a score and Marc Remy averaging 7.3 yards per carry with 80 yards on 11 carries. The line did a great job.
Game Rating: B  

Sept. 6 Missouri 49, at Toledo 24
And You Care Because … Maty Mauk blew open a tight game with five touchdown passes as Missouri took a 7-7 game and made it 35-7 in the middle of the third. Kareem Hunt ran for a 38-yard touchdown and two one-yard runs for Toledo, but Mauk put the game away with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Bud Sasser and a 12-yard throw to Jimmie Hunt.
What Else? Maty Mauk is still having an accuracy problem, completing 21-of-32 passes with two picks, but he threw for 325 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 36 yards and a score.
- Missouri didn’t have an answer for Kareem Hunt, who ran 15 times for 148 yards and three touchdowns and caught three passes for 12 yards, but the offense had to start throwing the ball after the floodgates opened.
- Tiger DE Markus Golden continues to show the speed and quickness off the ball that’s going to make him a star. He came up with six tackles with a sack and two tackles for loss, while Shane Ray made three tackles and two sacks.
- Toledo made too many mistakes. The secondary had problems, but the two turnovers and the nine penalties were a killer.
Game Rating: C+

Aug. 30 at Toledo 54, New Hampshire 20
And You Care Because … Down 14-3, Toledo roared with 27 straight points started out with a 64-yard Corey Jones touchdown catch. Alabama transfer Phillip Ely threw four touchdown passes and Kareem Hunt ran for 136 yards and two scores from two yards out. UNH tried to make it interesting, but 24-point Rocket run put it away with Ely finishing Terry Swanson for a 40-yard play and Justin Olack for an eight-yard touchdown. Toledo finished with 674 yards of total offense.
Game Rating: B-

2014 Preview 

After three straight bowl appearances and two nine-win seasons, going 7-5 might not seem like too massive a step back, but it was more than that. Toledo wasn’t considered cool enough to go to a bowl game.

It’s not like there were a ton of at-large bids, and the MAC only gets a few invites, but it was still a massive snub for a program that’s been among the league’s traditional powerhouses.

Bowling Green won the conference and Northern Illinois was a star, so those two getting bowl invites was okay. Ball State won ten regular season games, so that was cool, and even with the win over Buffalo, the Bulls did win one more game. However, Ohio got the fun trip to St. Petersburg to play East Carolina – and got all the sweet swag – after going 6-6 and losing four of its last five games. Toledo lost to Florida in the Swamp, at Missouri, at Ball State and to Northern Illinois – the last three combined to win 34 games – and managed to beat Bowling Green on the road, but a tight 31-29 loss at Akron in the regular season finale ended up being just enough to give Ohio the extra game.

And now Rocket head coach Matt Campbell has his motivation.

Besides not losing money like all schools do when they get bowl invites, getting ignored might have been the best thing to happen to the team going into 2014. Motivation all season long shouldn’t be a problem now, and Campbell can play the “nobody respects us” card, and actually mean it.

But that could all quickly change if the Rockets can build off what really was a strong season – they were among the four best teams in the MAC – and tweak things just enough to be in the hunt for the conference title.

Defense has been option over the last several years, but that’s where the star power and experience are, at least early on. The offensive line is always terrific, and now it should be loaded – especially at guard – and the kicking game will be among the best in America with all-star Jeremiah Detmer returning.

Combine it all with an attitude and a fire that needs to be there from the start, and all of a sudden, a third nine-win season in four years might seem a bit too low. Toledo has to be more ambitious and think bigger to become the star of MAC stars again.

Toledo has to be too good to blow off.

What to watch for on offense: All of the focus is on the quarterback situation after losing Terrance Owens, but the running game is what makes the offense go. When the ground attack rolled, so did Toledo going 7-0 when tearing off more than 230 yards and 0-5 when hitting the mark – like it did against Akron – or going under. In the seven wins, the Rockets ripped off 23 touchdowns and came up with just three in the losses. Leading rusher David Fluellen is gone, but the next three top backs were all freshmen and they’re all back working behind a terrific line that allowed just six sacks all year. Now the front five should be even better with five senior starters including all-stars at guard. The Rockets combined for 2,887 last year, and after averaging six yards per pop, they could end up cranking out a 3,000-yard season.

What to watch for on defense: Can the defense come up with a key stop? The Rockets didn’t hold up well game in and game out, getting bombed on a bit too easily and allowing teams to convert third downs without too much of a problem. Generating sacks wasn’t a problem – the Rockets came up with 34 – and the back seven could tackle, but offenses converted a whopping 45.5% of their third down tries and completed 61% of their throws chucking for 200 yards or more in every game but two. The two who didn’t were Navy, who never throws, and Florida, who didn’t need to throw but got a 17-of-22 day out of Jeff Driskel. With seven starters back and a strong front seven, the D should take a step forward.

The team will be far better if… the quarterback situation is settled in a hurry. It won’t be all that hard to turn around and hand the ball off to Kareem Hunt or any of the excellent options in the backfield, but considering the defense – experience and all – isn’t going to be a brick wall, the passing attack has to keep up the pace from time to time. That means either Logan Woodside, who has the most experience and is the odds-on favorite for the gig, or former Alabama prospect Phillip Ely or Michael Julian has to make the job his from the start. If there’s a rotation throughout the fall as the coaching staff looks for the right guy, kiss MAC title hopes goodbye.

The Schedule: As always, the Rockets take on a few big battles against BCS-conference teams, but outside of the Missouri game at home, they’re winnable. They have the offense and the talent to hang with Cincinnati, and they can certainly beat Iowa State on the road. Getting Ball State and an improved Central Michigan at home is a nice way to start out the MAC campaign, but the payback comes the rest of the way with four road games in the next five and five in the final seven dates. On the plus side, Western Michigan, Kent State and Eastern Michigan are three of those away dates, but the Northern Illinois showdown is also on the road. Getting UMass and Kent State from the East is good, having to deal with Bowling Green is very, very bad.

Best offensive player: Senior OG Greg Mancz. It's actually going to be RB Kareem Hunt, but he needs guys to pave the way starting with Mancz along with senior guard Jeff Myers. No, it's not sexy that the stars of a high-powered attack are guards, but they make life a whole bunch easier. With a young backfield full of underclassmen, the line should be a godsend. All five starters are seniors, but the veterans in the interior will be the ones paving away for the big season on the ground. Mancz and Myers were all-stars last year, and they might be the two best blockers in the MAC this season.

Best defensive player: Senior LB Junior Sylvestre. With Sylvestre combining with Chase Murdock and Trent Voss, Toledo has a loaded linebacking corps that should lead the conference for the most tackles by a linebacking trio. This isn't a huge group - they're built like safeties - but they can all run and they all get around the ball to swarm on a play. Sylvestre is the leader of the pack from his spot on the weakside, averaging close to ten stops per game, but Murdock isn't far behind and Voss is back after missing almost half the season. They make too many plays down the field and have to be stronger against the pass, but they're good. Sylvestre is the sure-thing all-star of the group.

Key players to a successful season: Sophomore CB Jordan Martin. Besides the quarterback situation, the biggest key is cornerback where Cheatham Norrils has a spot on one side, but another option has to emerge on the other. The Rockets were beaten way too easily last season, and while Cameron Cole will battle for his starting spot again - he could and should have it at some point this summer - it would be a major plus if the bigger Martin turned into a better option. At 6-2 and 192 pounds, Martin is built like a safety, can hit, and can run. Just a sophomore, he needs to establish himself as a playmaker when the ball is in the air.

The season will be a success if ... Toledo wins the MAC championship. Just getting to a bowl game would be nice after getting spurned last year, but there’s enough experience and firepower returning to not only get back to the title game for the first time since 2004, but win it. It’s not going to be easy with the rough second half of the schedule with five road games in the final seven, but the Rockets should be favored in every MAC game except for the road trip to …

Key game: Nov. 11 at Northern Illinois. Not only have the Rockets lost the last four games in the series and five in the last six, but they’ve had a few problems on defense. Things have improved since the 63-60 loss in 2011 and 65-30 in 2010, but the losses were still big in the MAC title hunt. The road to Detroit might not go through DeKalb, but it’s at the end of the run of four road games in five weeks and it’ll play a big role in the title chase. With Bowling Green to follow, the Rockets have to break the hex.

2013 Fun Stats:
- 1st Quarter Scoring: Toledo 115 – Opponents 69
- Sacks: Toledo 34 – Opponents 6
- Fumbles: Opponents 23 (lost 12) – Toledo 11 (lost 6)

- 2014 Toledo Preview - What You Need To Know & Top Players

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