The Toledo Rockets are coming into the game against the Canes with a 3-0 record. In their most recent game Toledo narrowly beat Tulsa 54-51. So, the Miami defense will have to be on their toes in order to keep Toledo’s offense and quarterback Logan Woodside at bay.
The Miami Hurricanes won the coin toss and elected to kick the ball off to the Toledo Rockets. After the opening kickoff, Toledo quarterback, Logan Woodside took the field to lead the Rockets’ offense. He led the Rockets to gain a first down. On the following 2nd down, Woodside looked deep to his right but couldn’t find his receiver. Before the ball was snapped on 3rd down the Rockets were penalized for a false start that caused them to have a 3rd and 10. On 3rd and 10 the Rockets picked up the third down with a pass underneath the coverage. On Toledo’s next 3rd down, Miami’s RJ Macintosh bull rushed his blocker to sack Toledo quarterback, Woodside and to force the punt on 4th down.
The Canes started their drive from their own 15-yard line with quarterback, Malik Rosier leading the team. Canes’ running back picked up a nice gain on a 14-yard run on 1st down. The Rockets got called for a defensive holding when Rosier looked to throw downfield. The next play Mark Walton broke out a huge 44-yard touchdown run to give “the U” a six-point lead early on. The following extra point by kicker Michael Badgley was good. Miami capitalized on the field position they gained from the defensive holding.
Woodside took the field for the Rockets on their own 32-yard line. The first two plays of the drive resulted in short runs for short gains. On the following 3rd down the Miami defense kept the Rockets from picking up the first down.
On the next drive, Miami started from their own 15-yard line. On first down, Rosier attempted to air the ball to his right but his receiver Braxton Berrios could not bring it down. Mark Walton broke out another massive run for 82 yards, but was tackled inside the five-yard line. UM could not take advantage of the amazing field position and had to settle for a field goal to give them a 10-0 lead with just over four minutes remaining in the first quarter.
After Miami’s scoring drive, Toledo started with the ball on their own 25-yard line. On 2nd down, it seemed like the entire Miami defensive line was in the backfield to sack Woodside. After getting sacked, Toledo’s Woodside made a nice pass to receiver, Cody Thompson for a 15-yard gain. Woodside then completed another nice pass for 17-yards to receiver Jon’Vea Johnson. The following play, Woodside found his target, Cody Thompson wide open for a nice 38-yard gain to bring the Rockets inside the Miami five. On 3rd down and goal from the 1-yard line, the UM defense stuffed the Toledo rushing attempt to force a field goal. The Toledo 24-yard field goal by kicker Jameson Vest was good to make the score 10-3 in favor of the Canes.
Miami’s next drive started from their own 22. They had one short completion and two incompletions down field that resulted in the Canes going three and out.
The Rockets started their first drive on their 37-yard line, and rushed the ball on first for no gain. Woodside dropped back to pass and tossed the ball to Reggie Gilliam for an 11-yard gain and the first down. On 2nd, Woodside threw a bomb downfield to Jon’Vea Johnson, but the ball went right through Johnson’s hands for an incompletion. Toledo pieced together a nice drive to get into the redzone, but as soon as they got into the redzone their offense started to struggle. On 2nd and long, the Miami defensive front got great pressure on Woodside to sack him and bring up 3rd and long. Rocket kicker Jameson Vest kicked a long 49-yard field goal to top off the drive and make it a 10-6 game with just under 8 minutes left in the half.
On UM’s next drive they got the ball on their own 27-yard line. Miami’s Walton took the handoff on 1st down but got tackled for a loss. Walton had to be helped off the field due to getting injured on the prior rushing attempt. The Canes’ offense went 3 and out again, so they had to punt the ball back to the Rockets.
On Toledo’s drive, it took them all three downs to gain first down. On first down the ball was handed off to Terry Swanson, who took the ball 26 yards before being tackled. On the next play, Woodside threw a fade up to a wide open Jon’Vea Johnson for a 37-yard touchdown to take a 13-10 lead with three and a half minutes left in the second quarter.
On the following Canes’ drive, Rosier threw a nice pass that his receiver Berrios could not keep hold of the ball. On the next play, Rosier found his man for a short 6-yard gain, though it was not enough to pick up the first. So once again Miami had to punt the ball away.
Toledo’s Logan Woodside was leading his team down the field late in the first half with two big completions to Cody Thompson for 30 and 18 yards respectively to bring them into field goal position. Inside the redzone, Woodside found his receiver, Danzel McKinley-Lewis wide open in the middle of the endzone, but McKinley-Lewis let the ball go right through his hands. With three seconds left in the half, Toledo kicked a 37-yard field goal that was no good, but Miami jumped offside so Toledo got another chance to make it. The following 32-yard field goal by Vest was good to take a 16-10 lead at the end of the first half.
Going into the second half, the Hurricanes will look to be tighter defensively, especially on third downs in order to slow down Woodside and this high-powered Toledo offense. It will be intriguing to see what adjustments Mark Richt and his UM coaching staff will make going into the second half. The second half is set up to be a great one here at Hard Rock Stadium.