Sophomore quarterback Eli Peters came off the bench to replace the injured Mitchell Guadagni and lead Toledo to a 51-24 victory over Western Michigan in Kalamazoo Thursday night.
Guadagni had the Toledo offense rolling in the first half, pacing UT to a 23-17 advantage, but suffered an apparent injury on the next-to-last play of the half. Peters came in and took a roughing the passer penalty that set up a Jameson Vest field goal on the final play of the half.Peters kicked the offense into overdrive in the second half, driving the Rockets to three quick touchdowns to open up a 44-17 lead that proved too big a hole for the Broncos to climb out of. For the game, Peters was 8 of 14 for 107 yards and three touchdowns. Guadagni was 10 of 18 for 140 yards and two scores. Senior Cody Thompson led the receiving corps with six receptions and three TDs. Toledo’s offense racked up 515 yards of total offense, compared to 432 for WMU. Redshirt freshman Bryant Koback paced the rushing attack with 99 yards and one score.
For the second straight game, Toledo’s defense slowed down a potent offense. Western, which came in the game as the MAC’s leader with an average of 467.1 yards per game, did rack up yardage, but was held to just seven points in the second half, including one touchdown when the game was still on the line. The Rockets ended the night with five sacks and several key stops on third and fourth down in the second half. Linebackers Richard Olekanma and Jordan Fisher led the defense with nine and eight tackles, respectively.
The win puts Toledo (4-4, 2-2 MAC) squarely back in the MAC West title picture with four league games remaining. WMU falls to 6-3 overall, 4-1 MAC.
The Rockets return home for a Halloween matchup with Ball State in the Glass Bowl Wednesday, Oct. 31.