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Rockets to host Western Michigan Nov. 24 with MAC title hopes at stake

The Toledo Rockets’ quest for a Mid-American Conference West Division title and an appearance in the MAC Championship Game comes down to the final game of the season.

Toledo (9-2, 6-1 MAC) will host Western Michigan in the regular-season finale at the Glass Bowl Friday, Nov. 24. Kickoff is set for 11:30 a.m., and the game will be carried by ESPNU.

Terry Swanson rushed for a career-high 192 yards vs. BGSU, giving him 1,045 for the season. He is the 15th Rocket to crack the 1,000-yard mark and ranks sixth at UT with 3,283 career rushing yards.

If the Rockets win, they earn at least a share of the division crown and a berth into the league title game at Detroit’s Ford Field Saturday, Dec. 2. A loss to the Broncos would leave UT needing a loss from Northern Illinois in its Nov. 24 game at Central Michigan.

Toledo is coming off a 66-37 victory over archrival Bowling Green Nov. 15. Senior Terry Swanson rushed for a career-high 192 yards, and redshirt freshman Shakif Seymour tied a school record with five touchdowns to lead the offense. The Rockets only led by a field goal, 24-21, at intermission. But a four-touchdown barrage in the third quarter gave the Midnight Blue and Gold a comfortable 52-28 edge heading into the fourth quarter.

Western Michigan (6-5, 4-3 MAC) was knocked out of the MAC playoff picture by a 35-31 loss at NIU Nov. 15. The Broncos are led by senior running back Jarvion Franklin, who paces the MAC with 1,176 yards. True freshman Reece Goddard has taken over at quarterback over since sophomore Jon Wassink went down with an injury vs. Eastern Michigan Oct. 21.

Time announced for UT-Western Michigan Nov. 24 game; Rockets can clinch MAC Championship berth with win

Kickoff for Toledo’s football game vs. Western Michigan Friday, Nov. 24, has been set for 11:30 a.m. on ESPNU.

The Rockets (9-2, 6-1 MAC) can clinch at least a share of the Mid-American Conference West Division title with a win over the Broncos (6-5, 4-2 MAC). A victory also would send Toledo to the MAC Championship Game for the first time since 2004.

Toledo can win an outright MAC West crown with a win over WMU and a Northern Illinois loss to Central Michigan Nov. 24. If Toledo and NIU both win their games, the Rockets would advance to the MAC Championship Game by virtue of a tiebreaker — the Rockets’ 27-17 victory over the Huskies Nov. 2. An NIU loss to CMU automatically sends Toledo to the MAC title game regardless of the outcome of the Toledo-WMU game.

Tickets for the Western Michigan game can be purchased online, at the UT Athletic Ticket Office at Savage Arena, or by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653).

UT to host Louisiana-LaFayette in final game of preseason WNIT Nov. 18

Toledo (1-1) will wrap up play in the Preseason WNIT against Sun Belt Conference member Louisiana-Lafayette (1-1) Saturday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. in Savage Arena.

Tickets for Saturday’s matchup, which are not part of the season-ticket package, will be $16 for elite reserved, $14 for general admission and $7 for children.

To purchase tickets, stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go online to utrockets.com or call 419.530.GOLD (4653). The ticket office is open from from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week and will open at 10 a.m. game day.

Current suite, club, loge, courtside and elite-season ticket members will have their seats held for Saturday’s game. To order, members can call the Athletic Development Office at 419.530.4183 or ticket office, stop by either office, or purchase online. Members will need username and password to order online or will need to create an online account.

All other seating is general admission, and doors will open at 12:30 p.m. Also, the Joe Grogan Room will be open to Rocket Fund donors.

Rockets roll to 66-37 victory over Bowling Green

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.

Redshirt freshman Shakif Seymour tied Kareem Hunt’s school record with five touchdowns in one game in Toledo’s big win over Bowling Green Nov. 15.

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.

Toledo seniors celebrated their four straight win over archrivals Bowling Green Wednesday night and UT’s continued possession of the I-75 trophy. The Rockets’ victory made it eight straight wins over the Falcons.

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.

Toledo looking for eighth-straight win over BG in Battle of I-75

Battle of I-75 will take place for the 82nd time when Toledo travels to Bowling Green Wednesday, Nov. 15.

The game will be televised on ESPNU at 8:00 p.m.

Toledo players celebrated after defeating BG last season. The Rockets have never relinquished possession of the Battle of I-75 Trophy, which was first awarded in 2011.

The Rockets (8-2, 5-1 Mid-American Conference) are coming off a 38-10 defeat at Ohio Nov. 8. Despite the loss, Toledo is still in control of its own destiny in its bid for the MAC West Division title. Wins over BGSU and Western Michigan Nov. 24 would send UT to the MAC Championship Game for the first time since 2004.

Toledo has had the upper hand lately in the Battle of I-75, but Bowling Green still leads the all-time series, 39-38-4. Toledo has won seven straight games in the series, its last defeat coming at BG in 2009, the first year that second-year UT Head Coach Jason Candle began his career as an assistant with the Rockets.

Senior quarterback Logan Woodside threw for 263 yards and one touchdown in the Ohio loss. He now has 85 career touchdown passes, tying Bruce Gradkowski (2002-05) as Toledo’s all-time leader.

Bowling Green (2-8, 2-4 MAC) is coming off a 38-28 defeat at Buffalo Nov. 7. The Falcons have not won at home yet this season, with their two wins coming at Miami and at Kent State. They are led by true freshman quarterback Jarret Doege, who has started the last four games. He completed 28 of 43 passes for 294 yards and three touchdowns in BG’s loss at Buffalo.

Quarterback named Heisman contender

Senior quarterback Logan Woodside has been notified by the Heisman Trophy Trust that he is a contender for the 2017 Heisman Trophy and a candidate to be one of the finalists for the prestigious award given annually to the best football player in the country.

It is the second consecutive season that Woodside has been named a candidate for the award.

The Heisman Trust will release the finalists for the 2017 Heisman Memorial Trophy Monday, Dec. 4, and the winner will be announced Saturday, Dec. 9, on ESPN.

Through 10 games this season, Woodside has led the Rockets to an 8-2 record and put up some impressive numbers. He has completed 64.8 percent of his passes for 2,919 yards and 20 touchdowns. He leads the Mid-American Conference in passing yards and passing efficiency (167.9).

In 2016, Woodside led the nation with 45 touchdown passes, shattering the UT record of 29 reached twice by all-time Rocket great Bruce Gradkowski in 2003 and 2005. Woodside was the first Rocket QB to ever crack the 4,000-yard passing mark in a season, finishing with 4,129 yards. Woodside was second nationally in passing efficiency (183.3) and was named a contender for the 2016 Heisman Trophy by the Heisman Trophy Trust.

Woodside is also on the official watch lists for the Maxwell Award (national player of the year), the Davey O’Brien Award (top quarterback), the Manning Award (top quarterback) and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award (top quarterback on and off the field).

Football offensive coordinator nominated for Broyles Award that honors top assistant coach

UT offensive coordinator Brian Wright has been named a nominee for the 2017 Broyles Award, which honors the top assistant football coach in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision.

A total of 56 nominees were chosen from among more than 1,500 assistant coaches on 129 Football Bowl Subdivision programs.

An 18-member selection committee of distinguished former head coaches, along with a committee representing the Football Writers Association of America, will select 15 semifinalists and five finalists from the list of nominees and an overall winner. Those finalists will be invited to travel to Little Rock, Ark., where the 2017 Broyles Award winner will be announced Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the Marriott Hotel.

Wright is in his second year as the offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Toledo and his 23rd season overall in the college football coaching ranks. This season he is guiding an 8-2 Rocket team whose offense ranks first in the Mid-American Conference in total offense and passing offense. Toledo senior quarterback Logan Woodside leads the MAC in passing yards and total offense.

In 2016, Wright guided one of the nation’s most explosive offenses, helping the Rockets attain a 9-4 record and a berth in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. Toledo shattered school records for total offense (517.8 yards per game) and passing offense (322.8 yards per game).

Under Wright’s guidance, junior first-team All-MAC quarterback Logan Woodside led the nation with 45 touchdown passes, breaking the UT record of 29 reached twice by all-time Rocket great Bruce Gradkowski in 2003 and 2005. Woodside was the first Rocket QB to ever crack the 4,000-yard passing mark in a season, finishing with 4,129 yards. Woodside was second nationally in passing efficiency (183.3) and was named a contender for the 2016 Heisman Trophy by the Heisman Trophy Trust.

Rockets fall to Wisconsin, 5-0, in first round of NCAA Championship

The Toledo women’s soccer team was defeated by Wisconsin, 5-0, as the Wisconsin Badgers scored five second-half goals to eliminate the Rockets from the NCAA Championship on a cold Friday night at the McClimon Soccer Complex in Madison.

The Rockets (12-8-3) fought off a strong first-half attack from Wisconsin as redshirt freshman goalkeeper Madison Perrin made five saves on 13 Badger shots in the opening period.

Wisconsin (14-5-2) scored its first goal of the match in the 55th minute when Grace Douglas found the back of the net for the first time in her career.

Douglas scored again in the 59th minute to make the score 2-0 in favor of the Badgers. Wisconsin went on to score in the 61st minute and the 65th minute to make it four goals in the span of 10 minutes. UW added a tally in the 74th minute to reach the final score of 5-0.

“Give credit to Wisconsin. They are a heck of a team,” said Toledo Head Coach TJ Buchholz. “They made some great plays. Scoring their first goal really took a lot of wind out of our sails.

“We expected the outcome to be closer, but it’s never easy to go on the road and get a result. It was even at half, and then they made a couple of plays that took us out of what we wanted to do.”

Toledo was out-shot 24-5 and did not take a corner kick in the contest. Senior forward Sophie Pohl led the Rockets with two attempts, one of which was on target. Perrin ended the night with seven saves for the Midnight Blue and Gold.

The Rockets’ NCAA Championship record falls to 0-5-0 in program history, while Wisconsin improves to 16-18-2.

“The loss hurts, but we are still Mid-American Conference Champs,” Buchholz said. “We still have that trophy and still have a season to be proud of. We’re going to keep our head high and not let this loss get us down.”

Toledo’s season ends after its fifth MAC Tournament Championship and its fifth trip to the national tournament. Wisconsin will move on to the second round of the NCAA Championship to face the winner of Alabama State and South Carolina.

Rockets fall to Ohio, 38-10, suffer first conference defeat

Senior quarterback Logan Woodside threw for 263 yards, but Toledo could not stop Ohio’s running attack in a 38-10 defeat at Peden Stadium in Athens Wednesday night.

The Bobcats rushed for 393 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 7.0 yards per carry. Toledo also was hurt by two turnovers in the first half that stopped potential scoring drives.

Sophomore Diontae Johnson led UT receivers Wednesday night with 144 yards and a touchdown.

It was the first conference loss of the season for Toledo (8-2, 5-1 MAC), which still holds first place in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference, a half-game ahead of Northern Illinois. Ohio, leaders of the East Division, moves to 8-2, 5-1 in MAC play.

Woodside completed 24 of 35 passes and 263 yards and a touchdown, but was sacked four times. Toledo’s running game was limited to just 53 yards rushing. Redshirt freshman Shakif Seymour led UT with 77 yards on 11 carries. Sophomore Diontae Johnson led UT receivers with nine receptions for 144 yards and a touchdown.

Toledo moved quickly down the field on its first drive, but came up empty after Art Thompkins fumbled on the OU eight-yard line following a 10-yard reception. Ohio then returned the favor, losing a fumble deep in Toledo territory.

However, the Bobcats broke into the scoring column on its next drive. Ohio took advantage of a short field, driving 49 yards in six plays. A.J. Oullette carried the ball four times on the drive, the last a six-yarder into the end zone to give the Bobcats a 7-0 lead.

Redshirt freshman Shakif Seymour carried the ball 11 times for 77 yards.

Neither team could sustain a drive through most of the remainder of the first half. Ohio had a good drive thwarted when Jack Linch forced a fumble that was recovered by Ja’Wuan Woodley at the UT 21-yard line. Toledo pounced on the opportunity, with Seymour rushing for 36 yards to the OU 40-yard line, and Diontae Johnson pulling down a 34-yard TD pass from Woodside to tie the score.

Toledo missed another opportunity late in the first half due to a turnover. Diontae Johnson fumbled after a nine-yard reception, with Ohio’s Javon Hagen recovering the ball on the OU 30-yard line and returning it 34 yards to the UT’s 30. The Rocket defense held fast, however, keeping Ohio to a 44-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to give the Bobcats a 10-7 halftime lead.

Ohio picked up where it left off in the third quarter, scoring on its first two drives. Quarterback Nathan Rourke capped a nine-play, 73-yard drive with an eight-yard TD run. After a three-and-out by Toledo, Dorian Brown broke up the middle for 62 yards and a touchdown to make it 24-7 with 8:03 to play in the third.

Toledo trimmed the lead to 24-10 on a 38-yard field goal by Jameson Vest. But Ohio answered with a 12-play scoring drive that ate up 6:38 of the clock. Rourke hit Brendan Cope across the middle for a 12-yard TD that gave the Bobcats a commanding 31-10 lead.

Toledo was stopped on downs on its next possession, and Ohio marched into the end zone once again to take a 38-10 lead. Dorian Brown’s one-yard touchdown run was the fourth of the night for Ohio. The Rockets would have one more drive on the night, advancing up to the Ohio 13-yard line, but they were once again stopped on downs. The Bobcats ran the ball seven times to drain the clock and end the game.

The Rockets travel to Bowling Green next Wednesday to face their archrivals.

UT quarterback named finalist for NCAA Senior Class Award

Toledo senior quarterback Logan Woodside was named one of 10 national finalists for the NCAA Senior Class Award Nov. 8.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.

Woodside

Woodside’s teammate, Cody Thompson, also was a nominee for the award. Toledo was one of only two teams in the country to have two nominees for the award.

Woodside, who graduated last spring with a 3.42 GPA in marketing and is pursuing his master’s degree in recreation administration, threw for 361 yards last Thursday to lead Toledo (8-1, 5-0 MAC) to a 27-17 win over Northern Illinois. Woodside completed 23 of 31 passes on his way to setting the Toledo record for career passing yards and ended the contest with 9,288 career passing yards, 62 more than previous record-holder Bruce Gradkowski (9,225 from 2002 to 2005).

Woodside is also a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which honors the top quarterback from all divisions for accomplishments both on and off the field; the Maxwell Award, which is given to the nation’s player of the year; the Davey O’Brien Award, which honors the nation’s top quarterback; and the Manning Award, another honor given to the nation’s top quarterback following the bowl season.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

The finalists were chosen by a selection committee from the list of 30 candidates announced in October. Nationwide fan voting begins immediately to help select the winner, and fans are encouraged to vote on the Senior CLASS Award website through Monday, Dec. 4.

Fan votes will be combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the football bowl season in early January.

For more information on all the finalists, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

NCAA Senior Class Award National Semifinalists
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Daniel Carlson, Auburn
Shaquem Griffin, UCF
Josey Jewell, Iowa
Micah Kiser, Virginia
Billy Price, Ohio State
Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
JK Scott, Alabama
Johnny Townsend, Florida
Logan Woodside, Toledo