In the Battle of I-75 the Toledo Rockets avenged last year’s loss to their rivals, the Bowling Green State Falcons and in the process took the all-time series lead 41-40-4 against BGSU with a 38-3 victory at the Glass Bowl.
Playing one of the MAC’s premier rivalry’s in an empty stadium added a chapter to the series most would have never expected.
The Rockets started fast with senior QB Eli Peters connecting with running back Bryant Koback with jut under 11 minutes to lay in the first. The ensuing Falcon drive ended on an interception by Nate Bauer and it wouldn’t take long for Peters to find Devin Maddox from nine yards out with 8:05 to go in the first to cap a six play, 25 yard drive in 1:53.
The next drive meant more trouble for the Falcons. Quarterback Matt McDonald completed a pass to Tyrone Broden Jr. (one of just eight completions). Broden fumbled it away to Toledo, who would march down the field, taking seven plays to go 75 yards in 2:58. Peters would find JerJaun Newton from 18 yards out for the touchdown and then connect on the two point conversion to go up by 21.
The Falcons defense would settle in, even if the Falcons offense couldn’t.
Toledo wouldn’t strike again until late in the third quarter when Peters found all-league receiver Bryce Mitchell for 42 yards to extend their lead to 28-0.
The Falcons would finally answer with Kicker Nate Needham capping off a 6 play, 62 yard drive by nailing a 25 yard field goal but that would be all of their scoring on the night.
Shakif Seymore would punch it in from six yards out with 10:40 to play to go up 35-3 and Thomas Cluckey would knock home a 19 yard field goal with 2:32 to play to give us our 38-3 final score.
The Rockets dominated the game, out-gaining the Falcons 524 to 267 offensively as the Falcon defense showed similar problems to last year.
The Falcons turned the ball over three times on the night, including two on their first three drives which resulted in Rocket scores to bury the Falcons early.
Peters had a banner day, throwing for four touchdown and 214 yards on 20 of 32 passing. Not bad when it was questioned if he would start or not.
Ballyhooed transfer Matt McDonald struggled to an 8 for 30 night and 128 yards with two picks in his first game action in over two years. He did rush for 41 yards to pace the Falcons.
Seymour carried 13 times for 93 yards and a touchdown, good enough for a 7.2 average. Koback went for 74 yards on 21 carries while even Peters added 67 rush yards as the Rockets totaled 310 yards on the ground total.
The return to the lineup for Andrew Clair left much to be desired as Clair rushed for just 37 yards on 12 carries, third best on the Falcons behind McDonald and freshman Trevon Raymore, who went for 41 yards. With the quarterbacking struggles, star tight end Quintin Morris had just two catches for 19 yards.
Eight Rockets had receptions with four catching touchdowns. Bryce Mitchell had 58 yards on three catches while Koback was second with four for 50 yards.
Darren Anders and Jerry Roberts added double digit stops for BGSU while Dyontae Johnson had seven tackles to pace UT.
The victory gives Jason Candle his first career victory against Scot Loeffler.