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Five Things Learned: Miami (FL) 52, Toledo 30

Toledo's first loss comes at the hands of a respectable opponent

Toledo v Miami Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

After entering halftime with a 16-10 lead, Toledo yielded 28 consecutive points to the Miami (FL) Hurricanes. The 52-30 loss would be the first of the year for Jason Candle and the Rockets.

Here are five takeaways from Saturday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium:

Logan Woodside will be the best QB in every matchup this year

Senior quarterback Logan Woodside starred in Toledo's 54-51 victory over Tulsa at the Glass Bowl in Week 3 with 458 yards and three touchdowns. His numbers slightly decreased against a tougher Miami team, but Woodside still finished with 342 passing yards and three touchdowns, complemented with zero interceptions.

Woodside was the primary factor that kept Toledo in the game during the first half. He fired beautiful deep balls to Cody Thompson and Jon'Vea Johnson to set up scoring opportunities. His throws constantly tore up the Miami secondary and Toledo finished with an impressive 30 points on the day.

Miami quarterback Malik Rosier performed well with 333 yards and three passing touchdowns, but Woodside was the star passer on Saturday. He was not subsidized with as great as an offensive line or running game as Rosier and had to create his own offense to keep Toledo competitive. Going forth on the schedule, Toledo will have the quarterback edge over every conference opponent it faces this year. Woodside burst onto the scene by leading the nation in touchdown passes last season and he is starting to enter his groove once again as the season picks up steam.

Walton and Berrios are big-time playmakers

Senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios never played such a large role in the Hurricanes' offense during his collegiate career. After a coming out party at last year's Russell Athletic Bowl, Berrios looks to be a focal point of Miami's passing game. The receiver constantly turned receptions into impressive gains, collecting five catches for 105 yards on Saturday. He added a 19-yard touchdown reception in the early fourth quarter to extend Miami's lead to 31-16. Berrios showed great ability to create yards for himself after catches, leading Miami's offense down the field for scoring opportunities.

Junior running back Mark Walton rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns in Miami's opener and continued to excel against Toledo's rushing defense. Walton followed up with a career-high 204 yards on just 11 carries on the ground. The running back experienced a minor ankle injury in the first half, returned, and still did damage to the Rockets' defense after getting checked back into the game. Walton is a phenomenal running back and earned nearly 20 yards per carry yesterday. Considering Miami is undefeated and climbing toward the top 10, Walton could embroil himself in Heisman talks if he continues his 176.0 yards per game rushing average.

Toledo's defense is starting to become a concern

For the second time in two weeks, Toledo's defense allowed the opponent to eclipse the half-century mark. Against Tulsa, the offense managed to make up for the defense's ineptness by scoring 54 points. But in the Miami game, although Toledo's offense performed well, it could not compete with the Hurricanes' offensive firepower in the second half, where Miami scored 42 points.

The Hurricanes gained a total of 587 yards, damaging the Rockets with a balanced run-pass attack. Toledo nearly allowed a first down per play — Miami averaged 9.3 yards per pass and 9.8 per run, which is concerning statistic for the MAC West favorites. Open-field tackling was no simple task for the team and the Miami offensive line paved open pathways for Walton and breathing room for Rosier in the pocket.

The defense was sturdy in the first half but became gassed after Miami made big play after big play. The turning point in the game occurred when Woodside fumbled on third down, trailing 24-16. After allowing two quick touchdowns, the tired defense once again had to contest Miami's offense and had no answer.

Jameson Vest is at his best

The previous Saturday night, Vest sprinted across the field swarmed by teammates after connecting on a game-winning 33-yard field goal attempt. Against Miami, Vest was a reliable 3-of-3 in the kicking game. All three of his field goals occurred in the second quarter from a variety of ranges.

He nailed a chip shot 24-yarder to put the Rockets on the scoreboard. Then, he followed up with a challenging 49-yarder from the left hash — a challenging range for most college kickers. This long attempt sailed through the center of the uprights and was a near-perfect kick by Vest. At the end of the half, Vest missed a 37-yard field goal as time expired, but Miami's defense was called for an offsides penalty that may have affected Vest's timing.

Vest succeeded on his makeup attempt from 32 yards out. His nine points helped Toledo's scoring effort immensely in the first half, placing the Rockets in front 16-10 as the teams headed for the locker rooms. The junior kicker has kicked a game-winning field goal and is 11-of-12 this season. Kicking over 90% is incredible for a collegiate kicker and Vest looks much improved from his 13-of-19 mark a year ago. If Toledo competes in a close contest later in the season, Jason Candle knows he can rely on his kicker's leg to win or tie a game in crunch time.

Not the end of the world for Toledo, but it needs a quality win

Through four weeks of action, Toledo sits atop of the MAC with a 3-1 overall record. Winning 75% of games in non-conference is a respectable mark, but Toledo has yet to beat a strong opponent.

The comeback effort against Tulsa (a Power 6 opponent, 10-3 in 2016) in Week 3 looked like quality win, but the Golden Hurricane look like a shell of the team they were last season, especially after falling at home to New Mexico in Week 4. Toledo beat Tulsa 54-51 in a bizarre offensive showdown, trailing by as much as 21 at one moment in the game.

Toledo's 37-24 win at Nevada is beginning to look worse as Nevada is beginning to establish itself as one of the FBS's worst program. The 0-4 Wolf Pack fell to FCS's Idaho State and then looked uncompetitive in a 45-7 rout at Washington State.

It's not Toledo's fault it didn't schedule a team in between the caliber of Miami and Tulsa in non-conference play, but it is difficult to tell how good this Toledo team actually is and if it is the MAC's powerhouse this season. The Rockets did looked poised and confident for a half against a ranked Hurricanes team, similar to Western Michigan's decent performance at USC in Week 1. However, both teams' defenses collapsed at the end, creating more lopsided final scores than the games indicated.

Toledo will rest with a bye week next Saturday before traveling back home to face 2-1 Eastern Michigan for a matchup in the Glass Bowl.