Toledo vs Iowa State football: Previewing the Rockets offense


Toledo is strong up front, having nothing but experience to aid a very young team that’s dealing with huge injury blows at running back and quarterback.

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Offensive line

It’s rare to see an offense that has five seniors all starting on the line, but that’s the case with the Rockets. Everyone is listed between 6-foot-3 and 6-foot-8, and there isn’t anybody less than 290 pounds (LG Jeff Myers). The line’s been a pivotal part of the offense that has quite a few young skill players, and it’s paved the way for success in the running game.


Sep 12, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Toledo Rockets quarterback Logan Woodside (11) against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Phillip Ely, the Rockets’ original starter, tore his ACL in the second game of the year. Woodside was thrown into the fire and he’s been inconsistent at best. He actually looked good in the blowout at Cincinnati (completed 27-of-40 passes for 322 yards, 3 TDs, and no picks). In the last three games, he’s combined for 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.

They barely squeaked by at Western Michigan (who lost to Purdue) and Woodside completed just 48.1 percent of his passes (13-of-27). In fairness, some of that was due to their stud running back, Kareem Hunt, being out, but the backup did a great job. If Iowa State’s defense plays at the level it did in the first half against Oklahoma State, it could be an extremely long day for Woodside.

Backs and receivers

Hunt is currently questionable for the game as he’s day-to-day with an ankle injury. If he doesn’t play, that will be a huge blow to Toledo. The strange thing is three potential starters are listed on the depth chart, but Terry Swanson dominated Western Michigan with 172 yards on 19 carries and 1 touchdown. He had 97 yards on 11 carries and another score in the previous game too. Unless there’s another injury I can’t find, it Hunt can’t go, I’d expect to see Swanson getting some carries.

At receiver, if you want a younger carbon copy of Jarvis West, it’s Corey Jones. The undersized quick receiver also serves as the team’s punt returner, which we’ll dive into later. Jones leads the team with 36 catches and has recorded 417 yards and 2 touchdowns. The sophomore has recorded two back-to-back 100-plus yard catching days on just 13 catches. He’s been explosive averaging 17 yards a catch.

The junior, Alonzo Russel, leads the team with 474 yards and 6 touchdowns on 31 catches.