Senior quarterback Phillip Ely threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns as No. 22 Toledo pounded Eastern Michigan, 63-20, at the Glass Bowl Saturday afternoon.
The 63-point output was a season high and the most since Toledo’s 63-44 victory over Arkansas State in the GoDaddy Bowl Jan. 4, 2015. It was the most in a regular-season game since a 66-63 Rocket win over Western Michigan in 2011.The Rockets trailed 6-0 after one quarter of play, but scored 56 unanswered points to roll to their sixth consecutive victory.
After being held scoreless in the first 15 minutes, Toledo (6-0, 3-0 Mid-American Conference) scored four touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 28-6 lead into the locker room. The Rockets then exploded for four more TDs in the third to put the game away.
Eastern Michigan (1-6, 0-3 MAC) was able to move the ball in the first half, racking up 234 yards of total offense by the break. But the Eagles could not penetrate Toledo’s end zone when they had the chance and had no answer for UT’s big plays on both sides of the ball.Toledo allowed a defensive touchdown for just the second time in the last four games, a 21-yard run by Darius Jackson in the fourth quarter long after the outcome had been decided. EMU added another score by Jackson late in the game.
The Rockets totaled 12 tackles behind the line of scrimmage and four sacks. Junior safety Delando Johnson paced the D with 11 tackles.
Toledo’s offense racked up a season high 611 yards, 373 in the air and 238 on the ground. Sophomore Cody Thompson (88 yards), junior Corey Jones (55 yards) and freshman Diontae Johnson (22 yards) all caught long TD passes from Ely in the third quarter. Junior Zach Yousey also caught a TD in the third quarter, a 14-yarder from sophomore quarterback Michael Julian. Junior tight end Michael Roberts caught a nine-yard TD in the second quarter.Sophomore Terry Swanson paced the running attack with 97 yards on four carries, junior Damion Jones-Moore added 82 yards, and junior Kareem Hunt chipped in with 45 yards on nine carries. All three running backs scored a touchdown.
EMU got on the board first on its opening drive thanks to a 51-yard field goal by Dylan Mulder with 11:01 left in the first quarter. The real blow to Toledo on that drive was the loss of junior linebacker Jaylen Coleman, who was carted off the field after suffering a leg injury.
Mulder made it 6-0 moments later, connecting on a 23-yarder after an 83-yard Eagle drive stalled at the six-yard line.Toledo took the lead early in the second quarter on a nine-yard run by Swanson. The 14-play, 76-yard drive was highlighted by several good runs by Hunt, one in which the 225-pound running back carried three tacklers for five extra yards before going down on a 14-yard gain.
The Rockets extended the lead to 14-6 when tight end Michael Robert reached across the goal line on a nine-yard pass from Ely. Roberts also hauled in a 15-yard reception on a third-and-10 play to keep the drive alive.
Swanson set up the next touchdown with a 90-yard run that put Toledo at the four-yard line. Hunt took it across on the next play to make it 21-6. Swanson’s run was the fourth longest in school history and the longest ever that did not result in a score.
The Rocket defense got into the act when Ju’Wuan Woodley blocked a 54-yard field goal attempt that was scooped up and taken 45 yards for the touchdown by Chase Murdock, making the score 28-6 with 1:11 left in the half.
Toledo wasted no time in the second half, scoring on the fourth play of the third quarter on a 55-yard bomb down the middle of the field from Ely to Jones to make the score 35-6. TD passes from Ely to Thompson and Diontae Johnson soon followed. Thompson’s 88-yard score was the fourth longest in UT history.
Julian entered the game at signal-caller with much the same results, connecting with Yousey on a 14-yard score with 15 seconds left in the third quarter to give Toledo a 56-6 lead entering the final period.
EMU finally reached the end zone early in the fourth quarter on the 21-yard run by Jackson, snapping a streak of seven quarters in which the Toledo defense did not relinquish a touchdown. It was only the second TD allowed by the Rocket D in the previous 16 quarters of regulation play.
Toledo answered that EMU score with a 21-yard TD run by Damion Jones-Moore with 9:25 left. Jackson closed out the scoring for EMU with a three-yard run with 4:20 remaining.
The Rockets hit the road next week, traveling to Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass., for a matchup with UMass.