Senior Terry Swanson rushed for a career-high 192 yards, and redshirt freshman Shakif Seymour tied a school record with five touchdowns as Toledo beat Bowling Green, 66-37, Wednesday night in Doyt Perry Stadium.
It was the Rockets’ eighth consecutive win over BGSU and the most points Toledo has scored against its archrival since a 63-0 triumph in 1935.
The victory put Toledo (9-2, 6-1 MAC) in position to earn its first trip in 13 years to the Mid-American Conference Championship Game. With a win over Western Michigan at the Glass Bowl Friday, Nov. 24, the Rockets would clinch at least a tie with Northern Illinois (8-3, 6-1 MAC) for the MAC West Division title. Toledo would advance to the title game vs. the East Division champion by tiebreaker due its 27-17 victory over Northern Illinois Nov. 2.Bowling Green gave the Rockets a battle in the first half, trailing only by a field goal, 24-21, at intermission. But a four-touchdown barrage by Toledo in the third quarter gave the Midnight Blue and Gold a comfortable 52-28 edge heading into the fourth quarter.
Toledo outgained Bowling Green in total offense, 637 yards to 389 yards. While Swanson and company were racking up big chunks of yards on the ground, senior quarterback Logan Woodside efficiently piled up 232 yards on 13 of 18 passing. Woodside also threw for a pair of touchdowns, giving him 87 for his career and breaking the Toledo record of 85 previously held by Bruce Gradkowski (2002 to 2005).
The Falcons got on the scoreboard first when quarterback Jarret Doege hit Teo Redding over the middle for a 57-yard score. Toledo quickly tied the score on a seven-play drive that featured only running plays. Swanson gained 52 of the yards, but Seymour finished it off with a three-yard dash into the left corner. A short while later, Seymour finished off another drive with a two-yard TD run that capped a 12-play, 95-yard drive, giving Toledo a 14-7 lead with 1:51 left in the first quarter.
Bowling Green took advantage of a bad snap on a Toledo punt early in the second quarter, tackling punter Michael Julian on the UT 24-yard line. On the very next play, Doege connected with Andrew Clair, tying the score at 14-14. Toledo took back the lead, 21-14, moments later on Seymour’s third touchdown of the night, a 10-yarder that capped a four-play, 67-yard drive.Bowling Green’s defense set up its third touchdown, stopping UT on fourth-and-one from its own 35-yard line. Three plays later, the Falcons tied the score for the third time when Doege hooked up with Redding again, this time from 17 yards out.
The Rockets took a 24-21 edge into halftime when Jameson Vest kicked a 24-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the period.
UT upped the lead to 31-21 on its opening drive of the second half, moving 55 yards on four running plays. Seymour finished it off for the fourth time, this time from 23 yards out. Following a three-and-out by BGSU, Toledo struck again as Woodside hit Jon’Vea Johnson for a 45-yard TD pass to make the score 38-21 with 11:45 to play. The touchdown pass was Woodside’s 86th of his career, breaking the previous school record of 85 by Gradkowski.
Doege kept the Falcons in it with a 27-yard TD pass to Scott Miller, cutting the lead to 38-28 with 10:15 left in the third quarter, but Toledo scored two more times in the quarter to put the game on ice. Seymour scored his fifth touchdown of the game, a one-yard plunge that finished a 14-play, 72-yard drive. Two minutes later, Woodside hit Diontae Johnson on a 41-yard pass that he tipped two times before hauling it in for the score.
BGSU trimmed the lead to 52-31 with a 32-yard field goal by Jake Suder with 11:39 to play. Just seconds later, sophomore Art Thompkins tacked on another score on an 88-yard TD run to make the score 59-31.
Walk-on senior Brad Smith capped the Rockets’ offensive production with the first touchdown of his career, a four-yard score with 4:48 remaining. Bowling Green added a two-yard touchdown run on the last play of the game to bring the final score to 66-37.