Ball State (1-3, 0-1 MAC) was led by senior running back Jahwan Edwards, who rushed for 125 yards on 21 attempts.
Sophomore Kareem Hunt rushed for 142 yards and a touchdown on just 12 carries to pace a balanced Rocket offense that gained 318 of its 470 yards of total offense on the ground. Hunt left the game in the second quarter with a foot injury following a 43-yard run and did not return. It was Hunt’s fourth consecutive 100-yard outing in as many tries this season.
Toledo (2-2, 1-0 MAC) scored quickly on its first possession, helped by a 34-yard run by Hunt and a 35-yard pass play from Woodside to senior wide receiver Justin Olack. Woodside took it in from three yards out. Jeremiah Detmer’s extra point attempt was wide right, giving Toledo a 6-0 lead.
The Rockets then stopped Ball State, and Corey Jones returned a 63-yard BSU punt 31 yards to the Toledo 40-yard line. Two plays later, the game was suspended due to severe weather and did not resume for another 2:41. Toledo did not miss a beat following the delay as Woodside hit Olack for a 31-yard strike to the BSU 27-yard line on the first play coming out of the locker room. Five plays later Woodside ran it in from eight yards out for his second TD of the game.
After Ball State’s Scott Secor kicked a 49-yard field goal to cut the margin to 13-3, UT answered with an eight-play drive capped by an impressive run by Hunt, who spun out of one tackle and broke another to take it in from 13 yards, giving the Rockets a 20-3 margin at the end of the first quarter.
Secor gave the Cardinals three more points to start the second quarter, this time from 45 yards out, making the score 20-6. Ball State then picked off a Woodside pass at the Toledo 22-yard line but had to settle for another Secor field goal -- a 22-yarder, narrowing the lead to 20-9. The score stayed that way going into the locker room at halftime, with both teams missing chances to score. Secor missed a 34-yard field attempt for BSU, while Woodside fumbled on the Cardinal 17-yard line with just 31 seconds remaining in the half.
Toledo pushed the lead to 27-9 midway through the third quarter when Woodside hit Alonzo Russell for a 26-yarder. The drive was set up by a 35-yard punt return by Corey Jones.
The Cardinals stayed in the contest with a touchdown on their next possession to cut the lead to 27-16. Quarterback Ozzie Mann hit KeVonn Mabon for a 43-yard score that kept BSU within striking distance.
Toledo came back with a 14-play, 72-yard drive that was capped by a seven-yard TD run by Jones-Moore to give the Rockets a 34-16 margin with 10:19 left in the contest. But the Cardinals would not quit. Jordan Williams hauled in a deflected pass in the end zone that capped a 13-play drive that narrowed the lead to 34-23 with 5:55 left.
But the Rockets never let Ball State get the ball back, grinding out the clock on the ground the rest of the way behind the running of Jones-Moore and freshman Terry Swanson. Swanson had four consecutive carries of six, six, six and seven yards in the drive.
The Rockets, who notched their 500th win in school history, return to action next Saturday when they host Central Michigan in the Glass Bowl. Ball State is off next week and travels to Army Oct. 4.
(Courtesy of UT Athletics)