The Toledo Rockets have never beaten a top-20 team away from the Glass Bowl in school history. Now, they've beaten the No. 18 Arkansas Razorbacks on the road 16-12.
Arkansas threatened late in the game with a little over two minutes to go on a third and goal, but Toledo's defensive line had a great pass rush on Brandon Allen to force a bad throw for head coach Bret Beilma and offensive coordinator Dan Enos in a really bad spot. Burning their first timeout instead of just taking the points with a field goal, they decide to go for it, but Allen's pass was overthrown, resulting in a turnover on downs.
Arkansas continued to burn their timeouts with Toledo not being able to make any headway, so the Rockets lined up to punt on fourth down, but ran the clock out as much as possible before being forced to run out of the end zone, resulting in a safety: not something most fans are acclimated to seeing, especially on purpose.
That was actually a strong piece of coaching on Matt Campbell's part.
Giving Arkansas two points, still with a 16-12 lead, Arkansas offense had the chance to have a last-minute comeback. A pair of pass breakups from Cheatham Norrils kept the Rockets in it, but Allen kept battling, driving Arkansas all the way to the 16-yard line. With six seconds left, Allen had no choice but to go to the end zone, and his pass over the middle was a bullet but was too high. There was a second opportunity with the clock stopping at one, but the defense, as it has been all day, was too disciplined for Arkansas to score on.
The Rockets, without Kareem Hunt and Allen Covington, beat Arkansas.
Arkansas was able to move and control the ball the ball with 30 first downs, 515 total yards and nearly 38 minutes worth of possession, but none of that was able to directly reflect on the scoreboard, scoring only on a 21-yard run in the second quarter, a field goal in the fourth quarter and Toledo's granted safety.
Their offense was in large part due to a good passing attack from Allen. Though without a touchdown, Allen was 32-for-53 for 412 yards. He did have an interception that was thrown to DeJuan Rogers in the third quarter when they were just seven yards away from taking the lead. The Rocket scored on their very next drive.
Alex Collins rushed for 1,100 yards last season, but was very limited against the Rockets. With the one 21-yard rushing score, Collins was held to 54 yards on 20 carries.
Without Kareem Hunt, Damion Jones-Moore and Marc Remy carried the load out of the backfield with 19 combined carries and one score out of Jones-Moore in the third quarter.
Phillip Ely didn't light up the scoreboard, but he was efficient and effective in the passing game. He found Corey Jones for a five-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter to give the Rockets a 6-0 lead, but they couldn't convert on the 2-point conversion. Ely was 21-for-37 through the air for 237 passing yards. His biggest target was Jones who caught the ball eight times for 61 yards, also distributing the ball to seven other players.