The Toledo Rockets earned bowl eligibility in 2018 thanks to a 56-34 walloping of the Kent State Golden Flashes at Dix Stadium on Thursday night. The Rockets pummeled an undersized KSU defense with its rushing attack with 384 rushing yards as Bryant Koback had 192 yards and two scores while Art Thompkins recorded 122 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Flashes had some success with 314 passing yards, but an interception and 12 failed conversions on third and fourth down doomed Kent State.
Kent State lived up to its #FLASHFAST billing as it capped off an opening four-play drive with a seven-yard run by Barrett Woody for the touchdown, but Toledo answered back on the following drive for a 31-yard scoring run from Thompkins. Toledo seeming took control of the game in the second quarter after a three-yard TD pass from Eli Peters to Reggie Gilliam and a 44-yard rush for a score from Koback. However, 27-yard field goal from the Flashes and a 19-yard scoring pass from Barrett to Isaiah McKoy made the score 21-17 in favor of UT.
Momentum swung back to the Rockets with an 83-yard punt return TD from Dionte Johnson to round out the scoring in the first half, and Toledo blew the game open in the third quarter with 15-yard rushing TD from Koback, a 31-yard pick-six from Tyler Taafe on the ensuing drive, and a 55-yard TD pass from Peters to Jon’Vea Johnson. KSU didn’t go quietly as a 76-yard scoring scamper from Jo-El Shaw and a 38-yard field shrunk the deficit to 49-27, but a back-breaking drive by Toledo ended with a one-yard plunge into the endzone by Thompkins. Kent State added a late score as quarterback Dustin Crum hit Mike Carrigan for a two-yard TD with 6:03 left in the game.
Peters had an efficient outing as he went 11-14 for 131 yards and two scores, while Barrett had an up-and-down game by going 17-33 for 198 yards, a touchdown, the pick-six, 36 rushing yards and a score on the ground. Shaw proved to be a hard running back to stop as he rushed 16 times for 116 yards and a score while Carrigan led all receivers with seven receptions for 110 yards and a score.
Toledo wraps up the season by hosting Central Michigan on Friday while Kent State takes on Eastern Michigan at home on the same day.