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2017 Week 4 Recap: Toledo crumbles in second half to Miami (FL), 52-30

Rockets led 16-10 at half, but Miami rallied in dominant fashion

Toledo v Miami Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Football is a game of runs. This was evident in Toledo's 52-30 loss at Miami (FL) on Saturday evening.

The Hurricanes jumped out to a 10-0 lead, the Rockets followed with 16-straight points to close the first half, and Miami scored 28 in a row to seemingly put the game out of reach at Hard Rock Stadium. But then, Toledo rallied with 14 points of its own, but Miami closed the deal on a 14-0 run. Every run of the evening was a double-digit scoring burst.

In their first football game since Week 1 due to Hurricane Irma cancellations, the Miami Hurricanes impressed their home fans by jumping out to a 10-0 lead within the game's first 12 minutes.

Running back Mark Walton struck first on a 44-yard sprint to the end zone. The junior tailback achieved 204 yards on only 11 carries in a breathtaking performance. Walton suffered a minor injury in the first half but returned in full force later on in the third quarter, continuing his domination on the ground.

After Toledo's second-straight punt to open the contest, Miami responded with a field goal, but the double-digit deficit didn't discourage the Rockets.

Under the offense's lead engineer, Logan Woodside, Toledo marched down the field after the senior quarterback found his favorite target Cody Thompson wide open and deep down the right sideline for a 38-yard gain. Thompson appeared to break the plane of the end zone before stepping out of bounds, but the play was never challenged, and he was called out at the 2-yard line. As a result of Miami's defense stuffing Art Thompkins and Terry Swanson at the goal line, Toledo settled for a chip shot Jameson Vest field goal to get on the scoreboard.

Toledo cut Miami's lead to 10-6 after Vest connected on an impressive 49-yarder down the center of the uprights, and the Rocket defense held its own on the following Hurricane possession.

Miami experienced a four-drive punting streak, where the Rockets' passing defense stepped up with relentless coverage on third downs. The Toledo offense captured its first lead of the contest when Woodside connected with Jon'Vea Johnson on a 37-yard streak, just one play after Swanson earned a 26-yard gain on the ground.

The Rockets extended their lead right before halftime. Thompson broke free for a 30-yard gain after a short catch on 3rd-and-8. At midfield, Thompson carried Toledo deeper into Miami territory with an impressive 18-yard reception. Several plays later, Woodside nearly completed a touchdown pass to an open Danzel McKinley-Lewis in the front, center portion of the end zone, but the receiver couldn't hang on. Vest settled for a 32-yard field goal and converted, after missing a 37-yard attempt in which Miami was called for an offsides penalty.

Toledo entered halftime in Miami with a 16-10 advantage, but that was the peak of the day for the Rockets. Mark Richt's Hurricane squad came out with fire in the second half, shifting into a new, stronger gear.

Led by quarterback Malik Rosier, Miami drove down the field on a series of 20-yard gains. Toledo struggled covering Rosier's receivers, and Miami eventually waltzed into the end zone on a 12-yard Travis Homer run to lead 17-16.

After a Toledo punt, Miami wide receiver Braxton Berrios boosted the Hurricanes' offense with a 55-yard catch and run. On the ensuing play, Rosier found Dayall Harris in the back of the end zone to lead 24-16.

Although a one possession game, Toledo failed to recover from the adversity on offense. On third down, Woodside was blindsided and fumbled the ball after failing to find an open receiver. Miami recovered in Toledo territory and benefitted from the first turnover of the day.

Walton beat Toledo defenders to the sideline for a 17-yard run on his first carry since the injury to continue Miami's offensive barrage. Then, Berrios caught a touchdown pass from Brosier from 19 yards out to lead 31-16 over Toledo.

The second half offensive woes continued for the Rockets. The MAC program punted for the third time in four possessions to begin the half and Miami continued to capitalize with its offensive momentum. The Hurricanes would gain a 38-16 lead to cap off a 28-0 run.

Toledo briefly threw itself back into contention, scoring 14 consecutive points off Diontae Johnson touchdown passes from Woodside. The second score occurred just one play after Toledo picked off Rosier — the lone interception of the game.

Down eight points once again, Toledo never earned the opportunity to tie the game. On a critical possession, Miami's Rosier navigated down the left side of the field to complete a 23-yard touchdown scamper to lead 45-30. The Hurricanes would score once more and finish off Toledo with a 52-30 victory at home.

Despite the loss, Woodside posted impressive stats. The star MAC quarterback didn't quite earn the 458 passing yards and six touchdowns he achieved last week, but Woodside finished with 342 yards and three touchdowns through the air. His accuracy was on point and he excelled on several deep throws, but his receivers struggled to hang on to the pigskin throughout the game.

The running game did not achieve the same success. Swanson led the way with 79 of the team's 85 rushing yards in the 22-point loss. But the game wasn't exactly lost on offense, as the Rockets' defense allowed an alarming 52 points to the 2-0 Hurricanes.

The unit yielded 51 to Tulsa in the previous week, but the Toledo offense also looked as good as ever in the 54-51 triumph. This week, Toledo's defense could not replicate its early success in the second half, and the offense failed to match Miami's for the bulk of the third quarter.

With the loss, Toledo — the last standing undefeated MAC team — falls to 3-1 on the season. The Rockets look to regroup at Eastern Michigan on October 7 after a bye week next Saturday.