Toledo Rockets explode on VMI, 66-3

September 1, 2018 | Athletics, Events, News
By Paul Helgren

Junior Mitchell Guadagni completed 11 of 16 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns in his debut at quarterback as Toledo rolled to a 66-3 victory over Virginia Military Institute before 24,136 at the Glass Bowl Saturday night.

The 66 points is the second time the Rockets have scored at least 60 points in a contest under third-year Head Coach Jason Candle, and the sixth time UT has cracked the 50-point mark in his reign. It is the largest margin of victory since an 88-0 shellacking over Davis & Elkins in 1951.

Mitchell Guadagni had an impressive debut at quarterback, throwing for 265 yards and three touchdowns in UT’s big win over VMI.

Sophomore Shakif Seymour and redshirt freshman Bryant Koback rushed for two touchdowns apiece, while senior Cody Thompson caught one TD and recovered a blocked punt for another. The Rockets outgained VMI, 603-232, and led at halftime, 42-3.

Toledo’s defense came up with several big plays, forcing three turnovers and limiting the Keydets to 61 yards rushing on 31 attempts.

The Rockets opened the scoring with a big play by the special teams early in the first quarter when Thompson blocked a punt deep in VMI territory, taking it off the foot of the punter and strolling into the end zone for a touchdown. After the UT defense forced a three-and-out, the offense needed just five plays to find the end zone. Thompson caught a 21-yard pass to the VMI two-yard line, then sophomore Shakif Seymour finished it off with a one-yard TD plunge to make it 14-0 Toledo with 7:25 left in the opening quarter.

Moments later, junior Diontae Johnson made it 21-0 with a 48-yard TD catch from Guadagni. Johnson caught a short pass, made a cut to his right to elude a defender, then sprinted down the sideline for the score.

Cody Thompson scored two touchdowns in UT’s 66-3 victory over VMI.

Toledo upped its lead to 28-0 early in the second quarter on a one-yard run by Koback. His TD was set up by an interception by senior cornerback Ka’dar Hollman at the VMI 33-yard line. Following a 28-yard field goal that cut the lead to 28-3, Seymour scored his second TD of the game, this time from four yards out, to make it 35-3 with 4:58 left in the half.

On Toledo’s next possession, Thompson scored his second TD of the game on a 38-yard bomb from Guadagni to give the Rockets a 42-3 halftime edge.

The Rockets continued to pour it on in the second half, scoring on a 57-yard scoring strike from Guadagni to Jon’Vea Johnson, a 16-yard run by Koback and a 15-yard run by sophomore Nevone McCrimmon to push the margin to 63-3.

In the fourth quarter, playing with mostly reserves, Toledo’s defense kept VMI off the scoreboard. The Keydets moved the ball to the UT 28-yard line on its first possession before losing the ball on downs. Senior Jameson Vest finished off the scoring with a 29-yard field goal with 1:51 left.

The Rockets have a bye next week, giving them an extra week to prepare for No. 8 Miami (Fla.) in the Glass Bowl Saturday, Sept. 15.

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