The Toledo Rockets (9-2, 6-1 MAC) hosted the Western Michigan Broncos (6-5, 4-3 MAC) at the Glass Bowl with a lot on the line. Toledo needed a win (or at least a Northern Illinois loss) to earn the MAC West title and a trip to the MAC Championship Game. Western Michigan needed a win to guarantee a bowl appearance. Toledo ended up achieving their goal, beating Western Michigan 37-10.
Logan Woodside led yet another successful game under center for the Rockets. Woodside finished 19-for-29 with an even 300 passing yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Jon’Vea Johnson led the Rockets in receiving with four catches for 96 yards. Danzel McKinley-Lewis and Diontae Johnson each recorded a touchdown reception. Woodside’s excellent performance puts him over 10,000 passing yards in his career.
Toledo’s big running plays saw a slow start, due to the watchful eyes of Asantay Brown and Robert Spillane. As a team, Toledo picked up 155 rushing yards. Terry Swanson led the Rockets with 94 rushing yards and a touchdown on 21 carries. Shakif Seymour accounted for 14 additional carries for 54 yards.
Bailey Flint had the Rockets’ back as he punted only twice, including one punt rolling dead at the Broncos’ two-yard line. Jameson Vest came out for three field goal attempts, making all three of them and all four extra points. Vest made 33-, 40-, and 35-yard field goals.
Western Michigan’s freshman quarterback Reece Goddard could hardly get a pass off, thanks to very heavy pressure from Toledo’s defensive line. When Goddard was able to get the ball away, he completed 13 of his 29 passes for 180 yards, two interceptions, and a touchdown. The Broncos were led in receiving by Tyron Arnett , with 87 yards on six catches.
Despite a myriad of injuries, the Broncos still opted for a high-substitution rushing attack. Jarvion Franklin led the Broncos in rushing with 52 yards on 15 carries. Reece Goddard also ran a few times on read option plays, earning 38 yards on ten carries. A stout Rockets defense again played a huge factor in keeping the Broncos from running their offense.
Derrick Mitchell took care of the Broncos’ seven punts, averaging 46.7 yards per punt. Josh Grant made his only field goal attempt, good from 24 yards away. Grant the Broncos’ sole extra point attempt.
Jameson Vest put the first points on the board for the Rockets with a 33-yard field goal. A series of big plays gave Toledo room for a nine-yard touchdown run from Terry Swanson, extending the Rockets’ lead. Obbie Jackson slowed the Toledo momentum with a high-reaching interception off a Logan Woodside pass. Western Michigan took advantage with a 24-yard Josh Grant field goal. Shakif Seymour responded with a one-yard touchdown run to give Toledo a 17-3 lead, which would stand through halftime.
About halfway through the third quarter, Toledo kept scoring on a 20-yard pass from Logan Woodside to Danzel McKinley-Lewis. After going for it on fourth-and-long, Tyron Arnett found the end zone for the Broncos on a 26-yard pass from Reece Goddard. Logan Woodside launched another touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson, this one from 13 yards away. Reece Goddard ended the third quarter with an interception thrown to Toledo’s Kahlil Robinson, who was saved from a controversial targeting call earlier in the game.
Jameson Vest began the scoring in the fourth quarter as well, booting in a 40-yard field goal. With Toledo running the clock out on the Broncos, Jameson Vest hammered away a 35-yard field goal. The Rockets prevented a Bronco touchdown on a Ka’dar Hollman interception.
Toledo’s win give the Rockets (10-2, 7-1 MAC) a guaranteed appearance in the MAC Championship Game. That game will be a rematch against either the Ohio University Bobcats or the Akron Zips. Toledo will also appear in a bowl game this year. Western Michigan (6-6, 4-4 MAC), who is also bowl eligible, will next play in the Broncos’ bowl game.