Early in the season, the University of Toledo football team has its passing game rolling.
As opponents continue to provide extra defenders near the line of scrimmage in an effort to stop the Rockets’ running game, UT is exploiting one-on-one matchups on the outside.
For the second straight game, junior quarterback Logan Woodside passed for more than 300 yards — a 329-yard, four-touchdown effort in a 45-3 win over Maine on Saturday night at the Glass Bowl.
“We have some fast guys on the perimeter and some guys that have got some playmaking ability,” UT coach Jason Candle said. “The other thing is we have a very good tailback who draws a lot of attention. So safeties are near the line of scrimmage and live down there the last couple weeks and we’ve been able to hit some plays in the passing game. We had a couple guys that got behind the defense and got loose.”
After torching Arkansas State for 371 yards passing and three touchdowns in the season opener, Woodside continued to find his playmakers on the edge and they repeatedly made explosive plays.
“We were just in the film room,” senior wide receiver Corey Jones said. “That team that we played was a good team. They put it on UConn kind of, but we just took them very serious and paid attention to detail and just ran fast.”
Maine made the decision to try and slow down talented senior running back Kareem Hunt and the UT rushing attack, but they weren’t able to prevent the fireworks from the Rockets in the passing game.
Jones started off the UT scoring with an 85-yard TD reception, the longest of his career. Cody Thompson added a 64-yard TD catch, Jon'Vea Johnson got loose for an 89-yard TD grab, and tight end Michael Roberts hauled in a 21-yard TD.
“It’s a very challenging offense,” Maine coach Joe Harasymiak said. “We knew that coming in. We played UConn our first week which was a completely different style of attack. We knew coming in here it was going to be up-tempo. They have great wideouts on the outside. We had some one-on-one situations that we didn’t win. When that happens against a team like this, it’s probably going to go for a touchdown.”
As opponents continue to focus on stopping the run, Candle said Woodside and the UT receivers are capable of breaking games open just like they have in the first two games of the season.
“We have guys on the outside that can do that,” Candle said. “If teams want to stack the box and play that extra eighth and sometimes even ninth guy near the line of scrimmage, we have to be able to hit those kind of plays.”
Contact Brian Buckey at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6110.
Quarterback Logan Woodside has thrown for more than 300 yards in the Rockets’ first two victories. THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON