Sophomore quarterback Logan Woodside’s 22-yard pass on third down to junior wide receiver Alonzo Russell gave Toledo a 20-13 edge in overtime. Russell nearly went down as the Broncos attempted to tackle him at about the 15-yard line, but he regained his footing and sprinted into the end zone.
WMU answered with a 20-yard TD pass from Zach Terrell to Darius Phillips but Andrew Haldeman’s extra-point attempt hit the left upright and bounced back onto the field, igniting a Rocket celebration.
Woodside finished 13-of-27 for 210 yards. Freshman Terry Swanson, meanwhile, had a huge game, rushing for a season-high 172 yards and one score on 19 carries.
Toledo (4-2, 3-0 MAC) won its third consecutive Mid-American contest, all against MAC West foes. WMU fell to 2-3, 0-1 in MAC play.
A driving rain throughout the game slowed down both offenses, but it seemed to bother Toledo’s passing game the most. Toledo gained just 130 yards of total offense in the first half, including a paltry 28 yards through the air. Woodside connected on just 2-of-8 passes in the first 30 minutes, both to Swanson out of the backfield.
The two teams exchanged punts throughout a 0-0 first quarter. Toledo punter Nick Ellis pinned the Broncos on their own two-yard line at the end of the quarter, but WMU drove the length of the field anyway, finishing an 11-play drive with a two-yard scoring run by Jarvion Franklin with 10:44 left in the second period. The Broncos missed a chance to extend their lead when Andrew Haldeman’s 27-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Trent Voss with 5:26 remaining in the half.
Toledo’s best chance to score in the first half was thwarted when Woodside was sacked on third-and-four on WMU’s 38-yard line late in the first quarter. Another drive ended when Swanson’s 31-yard rush to the WMU 48-yard line late in the second quarter was immediately followed by a WMU interception on a pass intended for Justin Olack on the Bronco 24-yard line.
Toledo finally got on the board on its first possession of the second half with a 25-yard field goal by Detmer. A three-yard TD run by Swanson on the drive was wiped out by a holding call. The Rockets missed another chance to score on their second possession when the exchange between center Greg Mancz and Woodside was fumbled on the WMU two-yard line.
The Broncos took over on their own four-yard line following the UT turnover and marched 76 yards downfield, setting up a 27-yard field goal by Haldeman to make the score 10-3 with 1:12 left in the third quarter.
The Rockets tied it up at 10-10 with 13:47 left on a two-yard plunge by Swanson following a seven-play, 65-yard drive. WMU then moved the ball quickly on two long passes but the drive was halted by a Voss sack on third down. WMU then missed the 29-yard field attempt, keeping the score knotted at 10-10.
WMU took a 13-10 lead with just 1:11 to play when Haldeman nailed a 33-yard field goal, putting the pressure on Toledo’s offense. Woodside and company responded with a nine-play, 55-yard drive that set up Detmer’s clutch game-tying field goal. The biggest play on the drive was a nine-yard completion from Woodside to Russell on fourth-and-six from the UT 29-yard line.
Toledo got the ball to start the overtime. Faced with third-and-seven form the 22-yard line, Woodside found Russell at the 15-yard line. Russell was able to avoid a tackle, keep his balance and bolt into the end zone. Detmer followed up with a very important extra point.
WMU countered with a big play on third and five, as Terrell hit Phillips for what seemed to be the score that would send the game into the second overtime. However, Haldeman’s kick was no good, clinching the comeback victory for UT.
The Rockets will play a non-conference contest at Iowa State next week, their final non-league game of the season. Western Michigan will be at Ball State (Saturday, 3 p.m. ET)
(Courtesy of UT Athletics)