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Air MAC Attack

Toledo’s Woodside to Challenge Canes D

Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

Logan Woodside is the best quarterback you haven’t heard of.”

- Jeff Bartle,

“...A player that is worth watching…”

- Ryan McNeil,

"Logan gets it mentally and is a leader, his teammates love his passion and his will to succeed…”

- former NFL QB Jeff Garcia,

NCAA Football: Toledo at Northern Illinois
Woodside slinging the rock
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Logan Woodside is the senior QB of the Toledo Rockets, and one of college football’s best. Last year he led the Rockets to a 9-4 record and a berth in the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl. Take a look at Woodside’s bona fides:

  • Led the Nation in TD passes with 45
  • Led the MAC in total offense at 517.8 yards per game
  • Kept the Rockets offense blasting off at 38.0 points per game
  • Completed 69.1% of his passes for 4,129 yards, for a PER of 183.3
  • 1st Team All-MAC
  • Named to the 2017 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award watch list
  • Named to the 2017 official watch lists for the Maxwell Award (national player of the year) and Manning Award (nation's top quarterback)

The 6-2, 201 lb. Woodside emerged as a legitimate pro prospect in 2016. He knocked erstwhile NFL backup Bruce Gradkowski off the Toledo career QB stats leaderboard in most categories. Woodside returns to the helm of arguably the MAC’s top offense in 2017 looking for an encore performance.

Woodside and Toledo come into this game 3-0. Woodside threw 6 TD’s this week in a 54-51 shootout game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, won by the Rockets on a time-expiring field goal by the awesomely named Jameson Vest.

NCAA Football: Western Michigan at Toledo
Tough catch by Cody Thompson
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Toledo’s dangerous offense features 1st Team All-MAC WR Cody Thompson, and 2nd Team All-MAC weapons WR Jon’Vea Johnson and RB Terry Swanson. Combined with a veteran offensive line, this is a very dangerous unit - as Tulsa, Nevada, and Elon have found out already this season. Woodside has totalled 8 passing TD’s this season in the three games.

Could the Rockets knock off two Hurricane-named teams back to back?

The explosive Rockets offense presents a big challenge to the Hurricanes defense. Manny Diaz needs his pass rush to come up big against Woodside and keep pressure off the inexperienced Canes secondary. Defensive Ends Chad Thomas and Joseph Jackson, and the rest of the D-Line will need to control the edges and be disruptive in the backfield.

Miami v Georgia Tech
Joseph Jackson & D-Line need big plays
Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

Diaz’ creative blitz packages will be key against a Rockets offense that can beat you going long to speedster Thompson or on the ground with Swanson. It will be a stiff test for the Hurricanes defensive backs. The pressure will be on the young cornerback group. They’ll need to make big plays against one of college football’s best quarterbacks and arguably the MAC’s top WR in Thompson.

The Canes cannot afford a letdown at home against a Toledo offense built for high-volume scoring. This matchup looks like a classic ‘trap’ game - especially after a two week layoff due to Hurricane Irma. This is going to be a big test for Miami and by no means an easy win. A shootout is possible, but the talent and depth of the Canes front seven should be the difference maker against the Rockets offense.

Go Canes!!!