The day started off cloudy, though not particularly cool. The Toledo Rockets offense started in much the same fashion. The Rockets defense was stout in the first half, save for a handful of plays. However, Miami was able to creep out to a 21-0 lead. As the clouds lifted, so did the lid on the Rockets offense, and they were able to get on the score board, pulling to 21-0.
With the sun out and crowd now more into the game, I was optimistic at the half, even though it was still a 2 score game. The Rockets only trailed by a few total yards, and the offense seemed ready to break out.
After stuffing Miami on the opening drive of the second half, the Rockets brought it to a one touchdown game, thanks in large part to a 31 yard Mitchell Guadagni pass to Art Tompkins. Miami quickly answered, and then Toledo quickly answered. Miami answered again, but this time not so quickly. They converted multiple long third downs, and a short fourth down, which started to deflate the Rockets a bit. After a Rockets field goal, the Hurricanes quickly scored, this time thanks to a 37 yard Malik Rosier run. For most of the game, Miami was pretty much just straight handing the ball off on option runs. Lulled to sleep, when Rosier kept it, the Rockets were out of position.
A Guadagni interception the following drive pretty much ended the game with 12:05 to go. Miami used 6 consecutive runs to score a few minutes later, giving us the final score of 49-24.
Other than the interception, Guadagni played a good game against a talented Miami defense. He completed 13 of 21 for 222 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also did a good job rushing when no receivers were open. He led the Rockets with 47 yards rushing.
Diontae Johnson caught 6 of those passes for 119 yards and both TDs.
The killer team stat was Miami was 7-15 on third down. They converted 2-2 on fourth, meaning after 15 third downs, they managed nine first downs. Several were big gains, too. Toledo managed 2-11 third down conversions. The Hurricanes out-gained the Rockets 473 to 334, and held time of possession 35:29 to 24:31. Most of that can be attributed to third down performance by both teams.
Miami’s only penalty was at the end of the game for delay of game. I am not sure if it was declined and they officially ended with 0 penalties. Toledo was only called for 5 and it seemed like the refs were intent on keeping the flags in their pocket. However, it was a relatively cleanly played games, as there were only a couple of bad no calls.
The fans did well for both teams, as there was a sellout of 28117. Miami had a decent amount of fans in attendance, taking up a couple of sections.