Toledo’s defense stood tall while Kent State’s fell flat. The No. 24 Rockets (5-0, 2-0 MAC) breezed through the football game Saturday afternoon with a 38-7 victory in the battle of the MAC’s top ranked defenses. Kent State falls to (2-4, 1-1 MAC) on the season.
Things seemed to be favoring Kent State early as their defense held Toledo to a 3-and-out, followed by a bad snap that scooted past Toledo punter Nick Ellis and was recovered in the end zone by Kent. Toledo’s next drive ended with a classic MAC kicking moment as Jameson Vest missed on a 42-yard field goal. Toledo came back with a Phillip Ely to Corey Jones connection for a 3-yard touchdown pass.
Ely threw for 205 yards, 19-for-32 with his passes and two scores. Toledo would later score another touchdown on a 23 yard scamper by backup running back Terry Swanson, who finished the game as Toledo’s leading rusher with 161 yards on 14 carries. Toledo’s star running back, Kareem Hunt, who saw his first action in three weeks failed to hit 100 yards for the first time since November of 2013 (85 yards and 2 TD).
One noticeable factor was Kent State’s ability, or lack thereof, on the offense. Starting QB Colin Reardon was yanked from the game towards the end of the 2nd quarter, where freshman George Bollas took over. That marks the third straight game the Rockets have faced off against a freshman opposing quarterback. Bollas failed to be the catalyst for the offense as he finished just 10-for-21 for 77 yards and an interception. Reardon ended his day 4-for-11 for 57 yards.
Toledo lit up Kent State’s defense for 518 total yards. That is over double what Kent State has averaged giving up per game (252 YPG). On the flip side, it was Toledo’s highest point total of the season and on the defensive side the second game the Rockets haven’t given up an offensive score this year.
Next up for Kent State is a road trip to UMass (1-4, 0-1 MAC), where the defense will fact another tough test. Toledo will play host to Eastern Michigan (1-5, 0-2 MAC).