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Stingy defense and a clutch performance by senior quarterback Phillip Ely were the biggest keys to Toledo’s win over Arkansas in Little Rock. Ely completed 21-of-38 passes for 237 yards and one TD. He did not throw an interception and was not sacked. Perhaps most impressive of all, he converted seven third-down passes and one fourth-down throw.
Toledo’s defense controlled the Razorback running game, holding them to 103 yards on 31 carries. The Rocket secondary chipped in with an interception and eight pass breakups. Senior CB Cheatham Norrils had three breakups, including two in Arkansas’ final drive of the game that sealed the victory.
• TEAM RECORDS:
Toledo (1-0, 0-0 MAC)
Iowa State (1-1, 0-0 Big 12)
• SERIES RECORD: Iowa State leads, 2-1. The Cyclones won in Ames last year, 37-30.
• The two schools split a pair of exciting games in the 2000s, with Iowa State winning 45-43 in triple-overtime in Ames in 2006 and the Rockets triumphing a year later in Toledo, 36-35.
• Toledo’s win over Arkansas was its first ever over a team from the SEC. The Rockets previously were 0-3 with two losses to Missouri and one to Florida.
• The victory was Toledo’s first over a Top 25 team since a 29-23 win over No. 18 Cincinnati in the Glass Bowl in 2012. The highest ranked team defeated by Toledo was No. 9 Pittsburgh in 2003.