Hunt sat out the contest due to a hamstring injury suffered in Toledo's victory over Iowa State last week. He rushed for a career-high 271 yards and five touchdowns the last time UT faced the Red Wolves, a 63-44 victory in last January's GoDaddy Bowl. But the Rockets did not need Hunt this time, as their defense dominated the game.
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UT scored a touchdown on an interception by senior safety Rolan Milligan and set up another on a fumble recovery by senior defensive end Trent Voss. In the first half, ASU could manage just 84 yards of offense. Senior defensive tackle Orion Jones added a career-high three sacks.
The Rocket offense was led by senior quarterback Phillip Ely, who threw for 308 yards on 25-of-52 passing. Sophomore running back Terry Swanson scored two rushing touchdowns and freshman Jameson Vest kicked three field goals.
Toledo got off to a quick start, taking a 24-0 lead early in the second quarter before Arkansas State got on the board.
The Rockets scored on their opening drive, moving 71 yards in six plays. Sophomore Cody Thompson caught three of his career-high five passes on the drive, including a career-long 35-yarder to the ASU two-yard line. Junior Damion Jones-Moore punched it in on the next play to put UT up, 7-0.
Toledo next took advantage of an Arkansas State fumble on the ensuing kickoff on the ASU 31-yard line. UT's drive stalled, however, and the Rockets settled for a 31-yard field goal by Vest to up the lead to 10-0.
Following a Red Wolves' punt, Toledo had its first miscue of the game, as Ely's screen pass was picked off by defensive end Ja'Von Rolland-Hughes at the UT eight-yard line and returned two yards to the six. However, UT's defense stiffened, forcing ASU to settle for a 20-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide left.
The Rockets extended the lead to 17-0 late in the first quarter on another big defensive play. Milligan tipped a pass in the air, then grabbed it and sprinted 36 yards for his first touchdown as a Rocket.
The Rockets made it 24-0 thanks to another ASU turnover. Junior defensive tackle Treyvon Hester sacked ASU quarterback James Tabary on the four- yard line, forcing a fumble that was recovered by senior defensive end Trent Voss on the three. Swanson scored on the next play, making it 24-0 with 11:34 left in the half.
With the game on the verge of being a blowout, ASU's J.D. McKissic took the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for the touchdown, trimming the margin to 24-7. Vest tacked on a 23-yard field goal with 4:47 left in the second quarter after a 16-play drive stalled at the six-yard line.
Vest came through again on Toledo's first possession of the second half, this time a career-best 44-yarder that put the Rockets up, 30-7. From there, the Toledo defense continued to dominate, keeping the Red Wolves at bay with a strong pass rush and swarming secondary that bottled up ASU's passing attack.
The Rockets will hit the road next week, opening up Mid-American Conference play at Ball State.