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Bleacher tickets available for $8 for Rocket basketball games over next month

The Toledo men’s and women’s basketball programs will provide a holiday special to Rocket fans for seven different games over the next month.

With UT students home for winter break, fans can sit in the bleacher seats for $8 (includes parking) for men’s games vs. Wright State Saturday, Dec. 16; Jackson State Wednesday, Dec. 20; Akron Friday, Jan. 5; and Western Michigan Tuesday, Jan. 9.

For the women, general admission tickets are available for $8 (includes parking) for contests vs. Akron Wednesday, Jan. 3; Ohio Wednesday, Jan. 10; and Northern Illinois Saturday, Jan. 13.

Ticket prices will increase to $11 on the day of the game.

In conjunction with the bleacher-ticket specials, Star Wars Day will be held for the men’s game vs. Wright State Saturday. Read more here.

The Rockets are teaming up with Leadership Toledo’s Students in Action for a toy drive. Fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the UT game vs. Wright State to help make the holidays brighter for the special kids at Toledo Children’s Hospital.

For ticket information, stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go online at utrockets.com, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653). The ticket office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., as well as on game day.

‘Star Wars’ Day set for men’s basketball game Dec. 16

“Star Wars” Day will be held Saturday, Dec. 16, at 2 p.m. when the Toledo men’s basketball team hosts Wright State in a non-conference matchup.

Fans can dress up as their favorite character from the popular film series and have their pictures taken during the first half and halftime with “Star Wars” characters Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Princess Leia and a Storm Trooper.

Young Rocket fans also can take part in Jedi training in the Fetterman Gym from 1:15 to 2 p.m. The cost for the Jedi training is $7 and includes a game ticket, a light saber and a Jedi training certificate. Participants must be dressed up in a “Star Wars” costume; Jedi training is based on availability due to limited space.

Jedi are members of a powerful order of scholars and fighters skilled in manipulating the universe with their minds. They are endowed with incredible physical and metaphysical strength, and their power is well-known everywhere in the galaxy. While they are tough fighters when necessary, they seek peace for the galaxy. They are always looking for ways to help those around them and keep the dark side at bay.

A costume contest also will be held during the game with the winner announced during the second half.

The Rockets also are teaming up with Leadership Toledo’s Students in Action for a toy drive. Fans are encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy to the game to help make the holidays brighter for kids at Toledo Children’s Hospital.

For ticket information, stop by the UT Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena, go online at utrockets.com, or call 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Rockets preview Dollar General Bowl in Mobile

Toledo Head Football Coach Jason Candle, along with seniors Logan Woodside and Terry Swanson, visited Mobile, Ala., Wednesday in preparation for the 2017 Dollar General Bowl.

The Mid-American Conference Champion Rockets will face Sun Belt Co-Champion Appalachian State Saturday, Dec. 23. The 7 p.m. game will be broadcast on ESPN.

Logan Woodside, left, and Terry Swanson met children at St. Elmo’s Elementary School during a Dec. 6 visit to Mobile, Ala.

The Rockets toured Ladd-Peebles Stadium, site of the Dollar General Bowl, as well as UMS-Wright High School, where UT will hold its practices during bowl week.

During a stop for lunch, the players met with and posed for photos with children from St. Elmo’s Elementary School. Candle and the players met with local media in a late afternoon news conference before returning to Toledo.

“We’re looking forward to playing a tremendous opponent in App State,” Candle said. “We’ve had a tremendous year, winning a conference championship, and it certainly would be awesome for our seniors to finish it with a win in their final game.”

Toledo will officially arrive in Mobile Tuesday, Dec. 19, in anticipation of bowl activities that will include a Mardi Gras-style parade, a visit to the USS Alabama, a bowling competition vs. Appalachian State, and a visit to the University of South Alabama Children’s and Women’s Hospital.

Ticket orders for the Dollar General Bowl are being taken online here, by phone or in person at the UT Athletic Ticket Office in Savage Arena.

Tickets may be picked up at the UT Athletic Ticket Office beginning Friday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m.

Tickets also will be available for sale at the ticket window beginning at 9 a.m. Friday.

Tickets can be purchased through UT through Thursday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m.

Rockets announce ticket information for Dollar General Bowl

The University of Toledo announced ticket information for the 2017 Dollar General Bowl.

The game will be played Saturday, Dec. 23, at 6 p.m. Central time (7 p.m. Eastern time) at the Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. The bowl will be televised by ESPN.

The Rockets (11-2, 7-1 Mid-American Conference) are playing Sun Belt Conference co-champion Appalachian State (8-4, 7-1 Sun Belt).

Ticket orders are being taken online, by phone or in person at the UT Athletic Ticket Office in Savage Arena.

Tickets may be picked up at the UT Athletic Ticket beginning Friday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m. Tickets also will be available for sale at the ticket window beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Dec. 8. Tickets can be purchased through UT through Thursday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m.

Fans who are not able to attend the game may purchase tickets to be donated to charities in the Mobile area. For more information on purchasing tickets to donate to charitable groups, call the ticket office at 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Also, the UT Alumni Office is sponsoring a charter flight to the bowl as well as a pre-game reception. For more information, go to toledoalumni.org or call 1.800.235.6766 or 419.530.2586 (ALUM).

Information on how to order bowl tickets is listed below. For questions, call the UT Athletic Ticket Office at 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Ticket information

Ticket price:

• $45 general public

• $15 UT students (limit one with valid UT ID in-person sales only)

All fans may purchase tickets through Thursday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m. Order:

• Online: Fans may order tickets online at utrockets.com (online fees apply).

• UT ticket office: Fans may order tickets. Tickets may be picked up and go on sale Friday, Dec. 8, at 9 a.m. at the UT Athletic Ticket Office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex during office hours.

• Telephone: Fans may order by telephone through the UT ticket office with a Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card or American Express by calling 419.530.GOLD (4653). All tickets will be held in will call. Ticket orders will be assessed a $6 per order processing fee.

Additional ticket information:

• Toledo tickets purchased at the $45 ticket price will be placed on the west side of the stadium.

• A ticket is required for everyone ages 4 and older.

• Fans who want to sit together in a group must place one order. No requests will be taken to place ticket orders or groups together.

• Rocket fans not able to attend the game may support UT by purchasing tickets for donation to charitable organizations in the Mobile area. For more information on purchasing tickets to donate to charitable groups, call the ticket office at 419.530.GOLD (4653).

Will call

• UT Ticket Office: Ticket pick up begins Friday, Dec. 8, through Thursday, Dec. 21, at 5 p.m.

• Tickets not picked up at the UT Athletic Ticket Office can be picked up at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile at Gate 4W beginning at 4:30 p.m. Central time through halftime.

• When picking up tickets, you must present ID and the major credit card used to purchase the tickets.

UT student ticket information

UT student ticket prices:

• $15 UT student (limit one with valid UT ID in-person sales only)

• $45 UT student guest tickets

• UT students may purchase tickets at the UT ticket office in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena during office hours.

• UT students must have a valid UT student ID at time of purchase, and only one ticket per UT student ID and one ID per UT student.

• UT students will receive their ticket(s) at time of purchase. There will be no UT student will call.

UT Athletic Ticket Office hours

• Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The UT Athletic Ticket Office is located in the Sullivan Athletic Complex at Savage Arena.

Alumni charter flight and pre-game reception

• The UT Alumni Office is sponsoring a charter flight to the bowl, as well as a pregame reception. For more information, go to toledoalumni.org or call 1.800.235.6766 or 419.530.2586 (ALUM).

Rockets accept invitation to Play Appalachian State in Dollar General Bowl

The University of Toledo has accepted an invitation to play Appalachian State of the Sun Belt Conference in the 2017 Dollar General Bowl at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala., UT Vice President and Athletic Director Mike O’Brien announced Sunday.

The game will be played at 6 p.m. Central time (7 Eastern time) Saturday, Dec. 23, and will be televised on ESPN.

“We are very excited to return to Mobile to play in the Dollar General Bowl,” O’Brien said. “We would like to thank President Jerry Silverstein, Executive director Frank Modarelli and the entire Dollar General Bowl selection committee for choosing The University of Toledo to participate in their outstanding bowl. We are looking forward to another terrific bowl experience in the beautiful state of Alabama against a very fine Appalachian State team.

“I also want to congratulate Head Coach Jason Candle, his staff and our entire Rocket football team on a memorable MAC Championship season.”

Candle, who led the Rockets to an 11-2 record and a Mid-American Conference Championship title in his second season as head coach, was enthusiastic about his team’s bowl destination.

“The Dollar General Bowl will provide our team with an outstanding bowl experience, as well as the opportunity to play against a very tough Appalachian State team,” Candle said. “We are very familiar with Appalachian State, having played them in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl last year. Both teams are league champions, so that will make for a great matchup. Playing in the Dollar General Bowl is an excellent reward for our players, coaches, fans and everyone who has played a part in our MAC Championship.”

The Rockets (11-2, 7-1 MAC) finished in first place in the West Division of the Mid-American Conference and defeated East Division champion Akron, 45-28, in the MAC Championship Game at Ford Field in Detroit Dec. 2.

Toledo will be playing in its 17th bowl and seventh in the last eight years. UT is 11-5 all-time in bowl games, including 2-0 in bowl games in Mobile when the Dollar General Bowl was known by different names. The Rockets beat UTEP in the 2005 GMAC Bowl by a score of 45-13, and Arkansas State, 63-44, in 2015 (2014 season) in the GoDaddy Bowl.

Appalachian State is 8-4 and 7-1 in the Sun Belt Conference. The Mountaineers finished as co-champions of the Sun Belt along with Troy. Appalachian State, which defeated Toledo in last year’s Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, 31-28, is coached by Scott Satterfield. Satterfield, who has been the Mountaineers’ head coach for five seasons, was the passing game coordinator/quarterbacks coach at Toledo in 2009 under then-head coach Tim Beckman.

Information on ticket sales and travel packages will be announced Monday, Dec. 4. For the latest updates on the bowl and tickets, click here.

Rockets dominate Zips, 45-28, to claim MAC Championship

The Toledo Rockets capped a historic season with a resounding 45-28 victory over Akron at Ford Field in Detroit Saturday to claim their 11th Mid-American Conference Championship and first since 2004.

In the 100th anniversary season of their founding as a football program and the two-year anniversary of the hiring of Jason Candle as head coach, the Rockets (11-2) dominated the game from start to finish, scoring three times in the second quarter to take a 28-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Rockets celebrated by taking selfies with the MAC Championship trophy at Ford Field after beating Akron, 45-28.

The Rockets outgained the Zips, 561-396, holding them to just 98 yards of total offense in the first half. The 561 yards of total offense are the third-most by a team in a MAC Championship Game.

Senior quarterback Logan Woodside, who threw for 307 yards and four touchdowns, was named the Offensive Player of the Game. Sophomore Diontae Johnson led the receiving corps with nine receptions for 118 yards and two scores, followed by junior Jon’Vea Johnson (six receptions, 103 yards and a touchdown). Senior running back Terry Swanson piled up 180 yards and two TDs. Sophomore Danzel McKinley-Lewis racked up a MAC Championship Game record 66 punt return yards to earn Special Teams Player of the Game honors.

On the other side of the ball, senior defensive end Zach Quinn led the Rockets with 10 tackles; junior defensive end Olasunkanmi Adeniyi added three tackles for loss and a forced fumble; and senior cornerback Trevon Mathis came up with an interception and a key pass breakup.

MAC Commissioner Jon Steinbrecher presented the conference trophy to Head Coach Jason Candle and the Rockets after the game.

Toledo opened the scoring on its second drive. McKinley-Lewis returned a punt 48 yards to the Akron 17-yard line. Following a Toledo penalty, Woodside hit Diontae Johnson for a 27-yard TD reception.

The Rockets missed a chance to add to the lead later in the quarter when Jameson Vest’s 33-yard field-goal attempt sailed wide right.

Special teams came through again in the second quarter when Nate Childress blocked a 42-yard field goal that was scooped up by Josh Teachey and returned 36 yards to the Akron 34-yard line. Three plays later, Swanson pounded it in from two yards out to make the score 14-0 with 11:22 left in the first half. A few minutes later, Woodside hooked up with Diontae Johnson again from five yards out to make the score 21-0. It was a terrific grab, as Johnson pivoted to his inside shoulder and pulled in the pass with one hand in the corner of the end zone.

Diontae Johnson made a one-handed touchdown grab during the MAC Championship Game.

Toledo made it 28-0 when Woodside connected with Jon’Vea Johnson from 27 yards out with eight seconds left before intermission.

The second half began with a long Toledo drive that ended when Swanson fumbled on the one-yard line as he stretched out for a touchdown. Akron could not move the ball, however, squashing any notion of a change in the game’s momentum. After forcing an Akron punt, Toledo converted a 47-yard field goal by Vest to extend the lead to 31-0. The lead ballooned to 38-0 when Woodside connected with redshirt freshman running back Shakif Seymour for a 12-yard TD with 2:25 left in the third quarter.

Akron finally got on the board with 30 seconds left in the third quarter when Manny Morgan ran it in from seven yards out to trim the lead to 38-7.

The Zips cut the lead to 38-14 when quarterback Kato Nelson hit Austin Wolf for a 29-yard TD pass with 14:38 left in the fourth quarter. Akron then recovered a Toledo fumble at mid-field, giving the Zip faithful faint hope.

Nate Childress blocked a 42-yard field goal attempt.

However, on the very next play Adeniyi sacked Nelson and forced a fumble that was recovered by Marquise Moore. One play later, Swanson dashed 54 yards for a score to make the score 45-14.

The Zips would add two more touchdowns to their final point total. Nelson took a punishing hit from two Rocket defenders on a play in which he tossed a 44-yard touchdown to Kwadarrius Smith to make the score 45-21 with 6:09 to play. Toledo ran the ball four times on its ensuing possession, taking over three minutes off the clock.

Akron’s final drive of the game ended with a five-yard touchdown pass from Robbie Kelley to Kobie Booker, making the score 45-28 with just 20 seconds remaining on the clock. The Rockets recovered the onside kick and one final kneel-down sealed the deal on UT’s 11th MAC Championship.

Toledo will finish off its season with an appearance in a bowl game. The Rockets will find out their bowl opponent and destination tomorrow.

UT quarterback’s journey one for the record books

When Logan Woodside first arrived on the campus of The University of Toledo, he figured he would have to be patient. With senior Terrance Owens calling the signals and Alabama transfer Phillip Ely waiting in the wings, Woodside assumed he would be redshirted, and possibly wait in the wings for another year after that before he had his chance to become a starter.

He was wrong. But then he was right.

Logan Woodside has the most passing yards of any UT quarterback: 10,083 going into this weekend’s MAC Championship Game.

Nearly five years down the line, Woodside’s career didn’t go exactly as he planned. But as he and the Rockets (10-2, 7-1 Mid-American Conference) prepare to play in the 2017 MAC Championship Game vs. Akron Saturday, he wouldn’t change a thing.

“It’s been the best five years of my life,” said Woodside, who graduated last spring and his working on his master’s degree. “I’ve met some of my best friends here. When you’re a freshman, you want time to move fast. When you’re a fifth-year senior, it’s like, where’d all the time go?”

Rocket fans are probably wishing time would stand still and Woodside could be their quarterback forever. He has set virtually every Toledo passing record in the books, including the most passing yards in a season (4,129 in 2016) and in a career (10,083 going into Saturday’s MAC Championship Game), most touchdown passes in a season (45 in 2016) and career (89), and many others. He has led Toledo to 28 victories as the starting quarterback, second only to the legendary Chuck Ealey’s 35 wins from 1969 1971.

But the numbers hardly tell Woodside’s story.

Woodside did not redshirt as a freshman — that came later. Injuries to Owens in 2013 forced him into the lineup for four games. A year later, Ely won the starting position, but an early-season injury put Woodside in the lineup. Under Woodside’s leadership, UT went 9-4 with a bowl victory. Only a 27-24 loss at Northern Illinois kept the Rockets out of the MAC Championship Game.

Everything seemed to be going Woodside’s way. Until it wasn’t.

The following season, Ely beat him out for the starting position for the second straight time, leading Toledo to a 10-2 season. Woodside sat out the entire season, using the redshirt year he thought would come in his freshman season. He has called that season the most difficult of his life.

“Being told that I wasn’t good enough for the second straight year was difficult,” Woodside said. “But it motivated me and made me become a better player. I’m grateful now for the opportunity to have the extra year. I believed in my coaches, and I knew they would put me in the best situation possible. I trusted in them, and it all worked out.”

Since Woodside took over as the starter last year, it is hard to argue that there has ever been a more prolific passer to wear the Midnight Blue and Gold. He was named Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the Vern Smith Leadership Award winner this season. The Vern Smith Leadership Award, named for the former Toledo athletic director, has been given annually to the league’s most outstanding player since 1982. Woodside is the fourth Rocket to win the award. This is his second consecutive season as a first-team All-MAC quarterback, the first Rocket QB to accomplish back-to-back first-team honors since Gene Swick, who was a three-time first-teamer from 1973 to 1975.

In addition, Woodside has been named a contender for the Heisman Trophy in each of the past two seasons.

It wasn’t the typical college football hero’s journey, true, but Woodside certainly made it a memorable one. And now, as the curtain is about to close on one of the all-time great Rockets, there is little doubt that Woodside has left his mark on the program.

“I hope people will remember the legacy I’ve left here,” Woodside said. “I gave it everything I had. I left it all out on the field.”

Women’s basketball coach named WBCA interim vice president

Head Women’s Basketball Coach Tricia Cullop has been named interim vice president of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) for the 2017-18 membership year.

Cullop replaces former Emory University Head Coach Christy Thomaskutty, who resigned from the school for personal reasons.

Cullop

Her appointment is effective immediately.

“Going forward, I’m very excited to have Tricia at my side as interim vice president for the remainder of this membership year,” said WBCA President Jennifer Rizzotti. “Tricia has served on the WBCA board for the past five years and has worked tirelessly to advance WBCA initiatives as both the NCAA Division I at-large director and most recently the NCAA Division I Mideast Region director. Tricia also co-chairs the board’s youth basketball working group. No person is more deserving of this opportunity.”

The vice president position will be permanently filled through the WBCA’s annual elections in the spring.

Cullop and the Rockets return to the hardwood Thursday, Nov. 30, when they entertain Maine at 7 p.m. in Savage Arena.

UT quarterback, football coach honored by MAC

Senior quarterback Logan Woodside was named Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year and the Vern Smith Leadership Award winner.

Jason Candle was named the MAC Coach of the Year after leading the Rockets to a 10-2 record in his second year as head coach. The Rockets won the MAC West Division with a 7-1 league record and will play East Division champion Akron for the MAC championship title Saturday, Dec. 2, at noon at Ford Field in Detroit.

Woodside was 225 of 345 passing for 3,451 yards and 24 touchdowns this season. His 3,451 passing yards leads the MAC and ranks 13th nationally, while his 24 touchdown passes also leads the MAC and is tied for 24th in the country.

During his Rockets career, Woodside became the first player in program history to throw for more than 10,000 yards as he set the Toledo career passing record with 10,083 career yards and 89 career touchdown passes. His 10,083 career passing yards ranks 14th in MAC history, while his 89 career passing touchdowns is tied for seventh in league history. In addition, Woodside’s career completion percentage of 65.5 percent ranks third in MAC history.

The Vern Smith Leadership Award, named for the former Toledo athletic director, has been given annually to the league’s most outstanding player since 1982. Woodside is the fourth Rocket to win the award. The others were Wasean Tait (1995), Bruce Gradkowski (2005) and Greg Mancz (2014).

Woodside was one of seven Rockets who earned first-team All-MAC honors, the most first-team honorees in the conference. This is his second consecutive season as a first-team All-MAC quarterback, the first Rocket QB to accomplish back-to-back first-team honors since Gene Swick, who was a three-time first-teamer from 1973 to 1975.

Sophomore Diontae Johnson earned all-league honors at three positions: wide receiver (first-team), punt returner (first team) and kickoff returner (second team). He is the first Rocket to make All-MAC at three positions since Eric Page in 2011.

The other Rockets on the first team were senior running back Terry Swanson, senior offensive linemen Elijah Nkansah and Brant Weiss, and junior placekicker Jameson Vest.

Junior defensive end Olasunkanmi Adeniyi earned second-team All-MAC honors.

Johnson leads the Rockets and is third in the MAC with 63 receptions this season. He is second in the conference and seventh in the nation with 11 touchdown receptions. He is averaging 6.1 yards per punt return and 23.5 yards per kickoff return, and is fifth in the nation in all-purpose yards (159.1).

Swanson has rushed for 1,139 yards and 12 touchdowns this season. He leads the MAC with 103.5 yards per game and ranks fifth on Toledo’s career rushing list with 3,377 yards.

Nkansah and Weiss are part of an offensive line that has helped the Rockets to a MAC-leading 505.7 yards per game. Toledo also averages 38.7 points per game, second in the league and just off the pace set by Ohio (38.9).

Vest leads the MAC and is second in the country with 24 field goals. He also tops the MAC in field-goal percentage, having made 24 of his 28 attempts (85.7 percent).

Adeniyi leads the Rockets and is tied for third in the MAC with 16.5 tackles for loss, the most by a Toledo player since Mike Alston had 17.0 in 2006. Adeniyi leads UT with 6.5 sacks and is second on the team with 57 tackles.

Rockets ready to battle Akron for MAC Championship

The Toledo Rockets have won one Mid-American Conference title, but they are certainly hungry for another.

Toledo, winners of the MAC West Division title, will battle East Division champion Akron for the MAC Championship crown Saturday, Dec. 2, at Ford Field in Detroit. Kickoff is at noon, and the game will be televised on ESPN.

Senior running back Terry Swanson rushed for 123 yards on 20 carries when the Rockets beat Akron, 48-21, during the regular season.

Toledo (10-2, 7-1 MAC) defeated Western Michigan, 37-10, in the regular-season finale at the Glass Bowl Nov. 24 to earn a berth into the league title game for the first time since 2004. It was UT’s first outright division title since 1998.

The Rockets clinched the title by following the same formula that has worked for them all year — a balanced offense combined with a stingy defense. Senior quarterback Logan Woodside threw for 300 yards and two touchdowns vs. the Broncos, while senior running back Terry Swanson added 94 yards and scored two scores. The defense held WMU to 275 yards of total offense, including just 98 yards in the first half.

Akron (7-5, 6-2 MAC) made it to the MAC title game by winning its final two games of the season over Ohio (37-34) and Kent State (24-14). The Zips are led by redshirt freshman quarterback Kato Nelson, who threw for 322 yards in the win over Ohio. Akron, which has allowed just 24.8 points per game this season, held Kent State to 246 yards of total offense in the division-clinching victory over the Golden Flashes.

The two teams clashed during the regular season; the Rockets defeated the Zips 48-21 Oct. 21 in the Glass Bowl. Toledo leads the series 11-9.

Toledo picked up 13 points in this week’s AP poll and seven in the coaches poll.

Purchase tickets here.

UT students: Click here to register for the bus trip to the MAC Championship Game.

Rocket fans and UT alumni: Read about the pregame party and bus trip planned by the UT Alumni Association.