Toledo Rockets Blast Past the Cardinals in a 58-17 Win

Sophomore wide receiver Diontae Johnson scored three touchdowns and senior quarterback Logan Woodside threw for 267 yards and three scores as Toledo rolled to a 58-17 victory over Ball State in Muncie.

It was the most points for the Rockets since a 63-20 victory over Eastern Michigan on Oct. 17, 2015.

Johnson caught TD passes of 88 and 67 yards, adding a score on an 87-yard punt return. He had a career-high 170 yards receiving on just four receptions. Woodside also connected on a 35-yard TD pass to sophomore Desmond Phillips. His 27 yards came on just eight completions, an average of 33.4 yards per completion. Senior Terry Swanson led the ground attack with 105 yards and one touchdown, while redshirt freshmen Shakif Seymour (69 yards and two scores) and Nevone McCrimmon (73 yards) carried the load in the second half. For the game, Toledo piled up 602 yards of total offense in just 52 plays, 267 in the air and 335 on the ground, for an average of 11.6 yards per play.

Toledo's defense contained the Cardinals throughout most of the game, holding BSU to 309 total yards. Junior defensive end Olasunkanmi Adeniyi dominated the line, tying his career high with three tackles for loss.

The victory moves to Toledo to 7-1 on the season, 4-0 in Mid-American Conference play. It also sets up as showdown with West Division rival Northern Illinois in the Glass Bowl next Thursday. Ball State falls to 2-6, 0-4 in league play.

Toledo opened the scoring on a 32-yard field goal by Jameson Vest, but the lead didn't last long. Ball State took advantage of excellent field position following a Toledo punt, scoring on a 41-yard run by Malik Dunner to give the Cardinals a 7-3 lead with three minutes left in the first quarter.

The Rockets struck back in the second period, however, scoring two touchdowns in a span of less than three minutes. Swanson zipped up the middle for a 71-yard touchdown run and sophomore Desmond Phillips snagged a 35-yard Woodside pass to make the score 17-7 with 8:20 to play in the first half. Two possessions later, Diontae Johnson came back on Woodside pass, then cruised down the sidelines for a 67-yard score to give Toledo a 24-7 edge. Ball State kicked a 43-yard field goal on the final play of the half to reduce the margin to 24-10 at the break.

Woodside came out firing in the second half, hitting Diontae Johnson for an 88-yard score on UT's first play from scrimmage. Johnson tipped the ball away from the defender at midfield, pulled it in, then motored to the end zone to extend the lead to 30-10. After a three-and-out by the Cardinals, Johnson struck again, returning a punt 87 yards for the score and piling up a comfortable 37-10 lead. Moments later, redshirt freshman Shakif Seymour put the game away with touchdown runs of one and 63 yards to give the Rockets an insurmountable 51-10 margin with 3:55 left in the third quarter.

Ball State took advantage of a fumbled Rocket punt late in the third quarter to score its second touchdown of the game. The Cardinals recovered on the UT four-yard line, and cashed in a on a four-yard run on fourth down by quarterback Drew Plitt.

Redshirt freshman Nevone McCrimmon set up Toledo's next touchdown on a 73-yard run to the Ball State two-yard line. Senior quarterback Michael Julian finished it off with a two-yard TD run, the first rushing touchdown of his career, to complete the scoring.