The victory puts Toledo (3-2, 2-0 MAC) at the top of the West Division of the Mid-American Conference. Central Michigan falls to 2-3, 0-1 in MAC play.
Playing without starting running back Kareem Hunt, the Toledo offense did not miss a beat, grinding out 543 yards of total offense.
Woodside completed 23-of-34 passes and threw two touchdowns, both to junior Alonzo Russell. Russell had seven catches for 120 yards, while sophomore Corey Jones had a game-high eight receptions for 106 yards.
Toledo’s defense held CMU to just 95 yards rushing on 26 attempts and forced two turnovers. Junior Christian Dukes led UT with nine tackles, a fumble recovery and added a key on-side kick recovery in the second half.
Toledo dominated the first half, outgaining CMU 338-89 in total yards, but four Rocket fumbles (one lost) helped keep the score close.
The Rockets opened scoring on their initial drive with a 32-yard field goal from Jeremiah Detmer after a 15-play march stalled on the CMU 15-yard line. The Chippewas answered with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a three-yard corner fade pass from Rush to Jesse Kroll. Detmer’s second field, a 22-yarder, cut the lead to 7-6.
Toledo regained the lead in the second quarter, thanks to a great catch and run by Corey Jones, who took it 41 yards to the CMU 20-yard line. Four plays later, freshman Terry Swanson took it in on third-and-goal from the three-yard line to make 13-7 with 4:50 left in the half.
Following a three-and-out by CMU, the Rockets drove down the field once again. Russell took it the final six yards with 27 seconds left with a splendid one-hand reception on a Woodside pass.
Central cut the lead to 20-14 on its first possession of the second half behind a 10-play, 75-yard drive. Rush finished it off with a four-yard completion to Kroll -- almost identical to their first-half hook-up.
Following a Toledo punt, senior safety Jordan Haden picked off Rush, giving UT great field position on CMU’s 35-yard line. Woodside hit Russell in the corner for a 12-yard TD to make it 27-14. It was another nice TD grab for Russell, who got one foot in bounds in the corner of the end zone.
Toledo quickly gained control again by pulling off a beautifully executed on-side kick, with Christian Dukes grabbing it on the fly at midfield. Five plays later Jones-Moore made it 34-14 on a three-yard TD run.
CMU would not quit, however, scoring on its next two possessions. Thomas Rawls scored both touchdowns, one from three yards and another from six yards to cut the lead to 34-28 with 7:54 to play.
But Toledo answered the bell with Woodside droving the Rockets 80 yards in eight plays, taking it the final 12 yards himself. A two-point conversion from Woodside to Jones-Moore made it 42-28 with just 3:00 to play.
A final desperate drive by the Chippewas ended when Dukes recovered a fumble by CMU receiver Anthony Rice at the UT five-yard line with just under a minute to play.
The Rockets will try to make it three straight MAC West victories when they travel to Western Michigan next week to face the Broncos. Central Michigan stays home to face Ohio.
(Courtesy of Toledo Athletics)