Senior quarterback Mitchell Guadagni threw for a career-high 266 yards and three touchdowns as the Rockets cruised to a 45-0 victory over Murray State before a home-opening crowd of 25,361 at the Glass Bowl Saturday night.
The victory was the first shutout for the Rockets in 19 years, a span of 228 games going back to a 42-0 Toledo win over Marshall Oct. 14, 2000. It also was the first time Murray State had been shut out since 2005.Guadagni, who suffered a concussion in Toledo’s 38-24 loss at Kentucky two weeks ago, completed passes to nine different players and threw for touchdowns of 8, 11 and 43 yards. Guadagni’s favorite target was junior tight end Drew Rosi, who caught a career-best five passes for 84 yards and one touchdown. Toledo’s offense racked up 538 yards, 348 in the air and 190 on the ground.
Toledo’s defense kept the Racers in check all night, forcing two turnovers and holding them to 331 total yards, just 93 of which came in the second half. The Rockets’ defense came up big when it counted, too, holding Murray State to 4 of 15 on third down and 0 of 3 on fourth down.In the first quarter, Murray State drove down to the Toledo 28-yard line on its first possession, but was stopped on downs when Jordan Fisher halted a short pass for no gain on a fourth and six. Moments later, MSU had a chance to get on the scoreboard, but Zaden Webber’s 45-yard field goal attempt hit the left upright.
The Rockets got on the board first when freshman Evan Davis nailed a 40-yard field goal with 3:21 left in the first quarter.Toledo struck on the first play of the second quarter on an eight-yard pass from Guadagni to redshirt freshman Devin Maddox to give Toledo a 10-0 lead. Moments later, Guadagni hit Rosi for an 11-yard strike to increase the lead to 17-0. The drive was set up by a 66-yard bomb from Guadagni to Bryce Mitchell to the MSU 11-yard line.
In the third quarter, Toledo took advantage of a Samuel Womack interception, extending the lead to 24-0 on a 43-yard TD pass from Guadagni to Desmond Phillips.
Murray State missed another chance to score when a 45-yard field goal attempt was blocked by David Hood.
On the very next play, the Rockets made it 38-0 on a 55-yard bomb from Carter Bradley to Danzel McKinley-Lewis.
Toledo added to its lead with a 42-yard TD run by freshman Micah Kelly to make it a 45-0 game in the fourth quarter.
The Rockets travel to Colorado State Saturday, Sept. 21. The game is slated to start at 10:15 Eastern Time and will be broadcast on ESPN2.