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Woodside, UT show tenacity in late defeat

10/02/2016, 12:03am EDT
By By BRIAN BUCKEY BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Quarterback gets conversion before BYU rallies

Woodside, UT show tenacity in late defeat

PROVO, Utah — On the biggest play of the game, University of Toledo junior quarterback Logan Woodside was not ready for the snap.

With UT trailing Brigham Young University 52-51 on Friday night at LaVell Edwards Stadium, Woodside calmly picked up the bad snap off the ground, didn’t panic, looked up and somehow found tight end Mike Roberts for a 2-point conversion with just over a minute left in the game.

“They snapped the ball when we weren’t ready for it, and I just picked it up and tried to make a play,” Woodside said. “I saw Mike [Roberts] and I just tried to get it to him.”

IN PICTURES: Brigham Young 55, Toledo 53

The UT defense, however, was unable to make one last stop, as BYU marched down the field on an eight-play, 71-yard drive that led to a 19-yard field goal by Rhett Almond as time expired for a 55-53 BYU win.

The 2-point conversion was the signature play of what was a record-setting night for Woodside. The junior quarterback completed 30 of 38 passes for a school-record 505 yards and five touchdowns. Woodside broke the previous UT single-game passing record, which was set by Bruce Gradkowski. In 2003, Gradkowski threw for 461 yards against Pittsburgh.

Woodside, whose five touchdowns tied his career-high, picked apart the BYU defense all game. He found Jon’Vea Johnson on three touchdowns (79, 12, and 15 yards), Cody Thompson on one (78 yards) and Corey Jones on another (26 yards).

As good as Woodside was, he had two interceptions that proved costly. A first-half interception by Dayan Lake led to a Jamaal Williams touchdown and a 21-7 Cougars lead.

His fourth-quarter interception looked like it might have given BYU the game, after Kai Nacua returned the pick 20 yards and Williams punched in his fifth touchdown of the game for a 52-45 lead with three minutes left.

“I thought he played really well tonight,” UT coach Jason Candle said of Woodside. “He had 30 of 38 completions. That’s playing at a high level. I know there were a couple [throws] he would like to have back. The interception at the end appeared to be a forced throw but, for the most part, he was outstanding.”

Woodside quickly responded from the late interception and led an eight-play, 79-yard scoring drive, capped off with a 7-yard TD run from Kareem Hunt. On the drive, Woodside completed 4 of 4 passes for 61 yards, leading to the improbable 2-point conversion.

“He did a great job leading our team, coming from behind a lot tonight and keeping his composure like a quarterback should,” Candle said. “I’m proud of his effort. He is growing up fast, and he’s done a really great job. He’s played four great games in a row now.”

Woodside summed up his historic night in simple terms.

“I just thought we had a bunch of good play calls,” he said. “I tried to read what the defense was doing and I just took what they gave me.”

Despite coming up on the short end of a wild back-and-forth game that featured 1,278 yards of total offense and eight lead changes, Woodside praised his team’s effort and resolve.

“I thought we played hard for 60 minutes — we fought for 60 minutes, and that’s all I can say about that,” Woodside said. “We didn’t come out victorious on the scoreboard, but there’s no other group of guys I would rather go with each day.”

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

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Tag(s): College  Toledo