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Toledo tops 300 yards in air, on ground in rout of Fresno State

09/18/2016, 1:17am EDT
By By BRIAN BUCKEY BLADE STAFF WRITER
A balanced diet for Rockets

Toledo's Logan Woodside and Jon'Vea Johnson celebrate connecting for a touchdown against Fresno State. BLADE/ANDY MORRISON

With a balanced offensive attack and a dominant defensive performance, the University of Toledo routed Fresno State 52-17 on Saturday at the Glass Bowl.

Logan Woodside was sharp again, completing 15 of 26 passes for 239 yards and four touchdowns, while Kareem Hunt added 19 carries for 126 yards and a touchdown.

The Rockets moved to 3-0 this season after rushing for 318 yards and passing for 301 against the Bulldogs (1-2).

“That’s who we are and what we strive to be,” UT coach Jason Candle said. “We want to be balanced and be able to keep you on your heels. The last couple weeks, we’ve been able to hit some plays over the top, because the line of scrimmage was getting crunched down. A couple times today our backs got free and made the extra guy miss. We’re certainly glad to see those rushing yards back up where they should be.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Toledo 52, Fresno State 17

UT NOTEBOOK: Rout, injury allow Rockets to flaunt running back depth

Woodside found Cody Thompson on a 36-yard touchdown pass, hit tight end Michael Roberts on touchdown strikes of 9 and 6 yards, and also connected with Jon’Vea Johnson on an 18-yard score.

“The offensive line gave me all kinds of time back there, so it’s all a credit to them,” Woodside said. “It’s great seniors and a great group of leaders, so I just sit back there and try to execute what I’ve been taught to do.”

Hunt was dominant on the ground, going over 100 yards for the first time this season. He scored a 7-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.

“It was a good feeling,” Hunt said. “It’s been looking easier and a lot of the load has been taken off of me with Logan having great games. I was always falling forward, I take pride in that. If I fall backward I kind of get a little ticked.

“The offensive line did a great job, and they were out there blocking their tails off today, and I appreciate them for that.”

Redshirt freshman Art Thompkins also broke the 100-yard rushing barrier with 15 carries for 103 yards and a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Backup quarterback Michael Julian found Zach Yousey for a 62-yard touchdown pass to complete the scoring for Toledo.

Fresno State managed just 73 yards of total offense in the first half and recorded just three first downs in the half.

“We just came out and we were ready to play,” senior defensive end John Stepec said. “It didn’t matter if it was raining, snowing, it didn’t matter. We wanted to come out there and fly around and make some plays, and I think we did that.” 

The Rockets’ defense limited dual-threat quarterback Chason Virgil to just 190 passing yards and 39 rushing yards, and it held the Bulldogs to 254 yards.

“It was just a great team win today,” senior defensive tackle Treyvon Hester said. “The defense did step up a lot, but it was just a great team win.”

Fresno State didn’t score until 2 minutes, 2 seconds remaining in the third quarter, when Virgil found KeeSean Johnson on a 9-yard touchdown. Kody Kroening added a field goal early in the fourth quarter, and Virgil added a 85-yard touchdown pass to Jamire Jordan late in the game.

Toledo was able to control the game, limiting Fresno State to an 0-for-13 mark on third-down conversions.

“Defensively, 0 for 13 on third downs, holding a team to that, that’s really impressive defense and a really good job of getting off the field, which we preach around here,” Candle said.

Candle is 4-0 as the head coach of Toledo, dating back to a win over Temple in last year’s Boca Raton Bowl.

“I haven’t even really even thought about it,” Candle said. “I think our team continues to get better each day.

“One thing I really appreciate about this group is they go to work, and they practice hard, and I think some of the rewards and the benefits we are seeing right now is a product of that and I hope that continues.”

Contact Brian Buckey at: bbuckey@theblade.com or 419-724-6110.

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Rockets running back Art Thompkins cuts between Fresno State defenders DeShawn Potts, left, and Stratton Brown on Saturday. The red­shirt fresh­man finished with 15 car­ries for 103 yards and a touchdown. BLADE/ANDY MORRISON


UT running back Kareem Hunt is tackled by Fresno State’s Robert Stanley. He had 19 carries for 126 yards and a touchdown. THE BLADE/ANDY MORRISON

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Tag(s): College  Toledo