It was Toledo's first win over an SEC team in four tries and the first time the Rockets defeated a Top 25 non-conference opponent on the road.
Toledo's defense was stellar throughout the game. The Rockets held Arkansas to just 103 yards rushing on 31 attempts. Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen did throw for 412 yards, but the Razorbacks came away with just three points in four visits in the red zone in the second half.
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Ely completed 21-of-38 passes and consistently converted on third down. Junior Damion Jones-Moore led the rushing attack with 68 yards and one TD on 11 carries.
BIG TIME DRAMA
The outcome of the contest was not decided until the final play. With just one second remaining, Allen fired a pass from the 16-yard line into the end zone to Keon Hatcher that sailed over his head, igniting a celebration on the Toledo sideline.
Arkansas' final possession came after Toledo took an intentional safety on fourth-and-four from its own 14-yard line. The Rockets then kicked off and the Razorbacks took possession on their own 32-yard line with 52 seconds left. Allen completed three passes to drive Arkansas down to the Toledo 16-yard but could not get the Hogs into the end zone.
Toledo held a 9-7 halftime lead thanks to a stifling defense that held Arkansas in check. The Razorbacks put up 278 yards of total offense but could manage just one score in the first 30 minutes. The Rockets kept Arkansas running back Alex Collins in check, holding him to just 30 yards on eight carries, 21 of which came on one play. Ely had 183 yards passing for the Rockets on 13-of-27 passing with one TD.
The Rockets struck first in the contest, scoring on a five-yard touchdown reception by Corey Jones from Ely on UT's second drive of the game. The Rockets gambled and went for two points, but Cody Thompson's pass was intercepted, giving Toledo a 6-0 lead. The touchdown was set up by a blocked punt by Zach Quinn following a bad snap that sailed over UA punter Toby Baker's head.
Toledo had a chance to extend the lead on its next drive early in the second quarter but freshman Jameson Vest's 26-yard field goal attempt was blocked. Arkansas took advantage, driving 88 yards in eight plays to take a 7-6 lead with 7:53 to play in the half. Alex Collins finished the drive with a 21-yard touchdown run down the left sideline.
Toledo regained the lead on a 38-yard field goal with 1:06 left in the first half. On the ensuing drive, Arkansas moved as far as the Toledo 44-yard line but time ran out to end the half.
END ZONE INTERCEPTION
The Rocket defense came up big again on Arkansas' first possession of the third quarter. A punt return 43-yard punt return set up Arkansas at the Toledo 26-yard line. On third-and-six from the UT seven-yard line, Rogers intercepted an Allen pass in the back of the end zone to keep Arkansas off the scoreboard.
Toledo took over on its own 20-yard line and marched 80 yards on 10 plays to extend the lead to 16-7. Jones-Moore finished off the drive with an 11-yard scoring run off left tackle with 5:09 to play in third quarter.
Arkansas answered with a 21-play drive but had to settle for a field goal when Rogers and Roland Milligan wrapped up Alex Collins for a loss on third down. Cole Hedlund's 25-yard kick made cut the lead 16-10 with 9:30 to play.
FOUR DOWN ‘D’
Following a Toledo punt, Arkansas took over on its own 28-yard line and moved the ball to the Toledo four-yard line with just over three minutes to play. But a costly holding penalty moved UA back to the 14-yard line and Allen could not connect on third- and fourth-down passes, giving Toledo the ball on downs at its own seven-yard line with 1:55 left.
The Rockets ran the ball three times, moving the ball to the 14-yard line and also drained Arkansas' final two timeouts. Coach Matt Campbell elected to take the intentional safety, making the score 16-12 with 52 seconds left. Toledo kicked off from its own 20-yard line, setting up Arkansas' final futile drive.
The Rockets (1-0) will return home next Saturday to host Iowa State.
(Courtesy of UT Athletics)