AKRON — The University of Toledo rode a balanced offensive attack and a good defensive effort to a 48-17 victory over Akron on Wednesday at InfoCision Stadium.
Senior running back Kareem Hunt had his best game of the season as he churned out 136 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries, while Toledo rushed for 290 yards as a team.
"Pretty much from the start our offensive line had a chip on their shoulder," Hunt said. "Those guys took it to heart and those guys just came out ready to ball. They opened up a lot of lanes for me and Terry [Swanson] and even Art [Thompkins]. I was more calm and relaxed out there and I was just trying to play my game. Those offensive lineman gave me the extra push and they helped me out and I did my best to help them out."
While the running game was effective, UT quarterback Logan Woodside and the passing game was efficient as well. Woodside completed 26-of-37 passes for 327 yards and three touchdowns. With the balance between the pass and the run game, Toledo finished with 622 yards of total offense.
"It's deadly," Hunt said of the offensive balance. "It's pretty scary, I'm not going to lie. Logan is a great quarterback. Everybody knows that now. Honestly as a defensive coordinator I don't know what I would do."
The Rockets bounced back well from a loss on Thursday to Ohio and gained a big road victory to move their record to 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the MAC. With the loss Akron falls to 5-5 overall and 3-3 in the MAC.
"I'm just proud of all the guys that came out and played sound football after a loss last week," junior linebacker Ja'Wuan Woodley said. "That was tough for us and it was nice to bounce back and get the win."
On Akron's first play from scrimmage Thomas Woodson hit Jerome Lane on a 91-yard TD pass as Lane ran uncontested down the middle of the field.
"They threw something at us on that first play that we haven't seen and they haven't put on film," Woodley said. "They hit us with it and they executed it well. I'm just glad that we came back and got a three-and-out. Adversity and overcoming adversity that's all you can do."
Toledo got on the board when Jameson Vest kicked a 21-yard field goal to cut Akron's lead to 7-3 with 8:47 left in the first quarter.
Akron answered with a 21-yard field goal by Tom O'Leary to give the Zips a 10-3 lead with 4:13 left in 1st quarter.
Terry Swanson scored on a nine-yard run on the opening play of the second quarter and Toledo tied the score 10-10.
Jameson Vest kicked his second field goal of the game, this one from 23 yards out to give Toledo a 13-10 lead with 3:58 left in the first half. The field goal capped a 16-play 89-yard drive that lasted more than seven minutes.
Woodside found Michael Roberts in the corner of the end zone on an 18-yard TD pass as time expired in the first half to give Toledo the 20-10 edge.
"It was big to get a touchdown going into the half knowing that they were going to get the ball coming out in the third quarter," UT coach Jason Candle said. "It gave us momentum going in and then we were able to score on almost all of our possessions in the second half."
On Toledo's opening drive of the second half, Hunt scored on a two-yard run to give the Rockets a 27-10 lead with 9:56 left in the third quarter.
Akron responded when Woodson found JoJo Natson on a 27-yard pass TD, cutting the Toledo lead to 27-17 with 6:48 left in third quarter.
Woodside hit Swanson on a 10-yard TD strike to give the Rockets a 34-17 lead with 1:24 left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Woodside threw a TD pass to Zach Yousey for 44 yards to give UT a 41-17 lead and Art Thompkins rushed in from 10 yards out to stretch the UT lead to 48-17.
Candle said he was glad to see his team play a solid football game and bounce back from the Ohio game and earn a conference win on the road.
"I thought our team played a great game tonight," Candle said. "It was 60 minutes of football and a good way to respond. It's a testament to our kids, getting of the mat and coming back and fighting for 60 minutes. We're striving to still play a complete football game I think and I think tonight was as close to that as we've been so far."
Contact Brian Buckey at: email@example.com or 419-724-6110.