Recap: Hurricanes ground the Rockets, 49-24

Roman Marciante
12 min read
Miami Hurricanes at Toledo Rockets
Toledo, Ohio
September 15th, 2018

The Miami Hurricanes took a rather precarious and odd field trip when they took on the Toledo Rockets at the Glass Bowl this Saturday. Credit to Rockets athletic director Mike O’Brien for booking the Canes as the 26,000 seat stadium was sold out to capacity.

Miami played bad house guest, stole some towels and won the game convincingly 49-24. Miami ground game played dividends on the road as the Hurricanes amassed 268 total yards on the ground. Deejay Dallas delivered on his “I’ve come to crush dreams” promise. Dallas paved the way in that regards with 110 rushing yards and one score.

The polarizing senior quarterback Malik Rosier had a very good performance and was also very pivotal in Miami’s multifaceted rushing attack. Rosier gained 80 yards on the ground and had a 10 yard per rush average while compiling three rushing scores. Rosier was also an efficient passer going 13/23 passing with 205 yards and two passing scores.

Rosier had five total touchdowns and responded well considering the national criticism he faced this week. The Hurricane signal caller did not throw any interceptions on the day. Another perfect stat on the stat sheet was in regards to Miami penalties. The Hurricanes had no accepted penalties on the game. Zero. Not one.

Miami defense also had its moments. Miami defensive coordinator Manny Diaz’s calling card is tackles for loss and Miami did not disappoint. Miami had 9 tackles for loss in the first half and had totaled 4 sacks by games end. Miami limited a potent Toledo offense that averaged 603 yards a game and also led the nation with 66 points a game a year ago.

On Saturday, Toledo totaled only 334 yards and scored 24 points vs. Miami which is far below their expectation. Toledo, who is a lock to win the MAC championship this year, has no doubt been an offensive juggernaut under head coach Jason Candle.

The turnover chain also garnished some air time when sophomore corner from Columbus high school Trajan Bandy intercepted a pass in the second half. The 98,000 dollar gem studded Sebastian was on display as Bandy wore it for the second time this season.

When the dust settled Miami successfully navigated the trap game and escaped Toledo 2-1 on the season. I am not a fan of these non-P5 games on the road. The risk far outweighs the reward when you consider that an “inferior opponent” in their den is a more dangerous adversary. In the end, Miami was supposed to win and did.

Throughout the week the InSight team will break down the game further and provide further commentary. For now, let’s see how the game played out. The game breakdown is as follows:

Miami wins the coin toss and chooses to defer to the second half. Toledo rides the momentum of the crowd into a 5 play, 18 yard drive that took off two minutes and twenty seconds off the clock. Toledo punts. Great start by the Miami defense.

Miami scored on its first drive of the game. It was a 76 yard, 12 play drive that was accentuated by 52 yards on the ground including a reverse to Jeff “too fast” Thomas. The touchdown was a culmination of seven straight runs as senior quarterback Malik Rosier ran untouched on a quarterback draw. Bubba Baxa added the extra point and Miami led 7-0.

Toledo’s second drive was a quick three and out. Miami had orange and green blankets placed on the backs of Rocket receivers. Senior safety Sheldrick Redwine from Miami Killian High sent the Rockets back after recording a sack on Toledo Quarterback Mitchell Guadagni.

Miami did not capitalize on the Hurricanes’ defensive three and out and reciprocated with an offensive three and out of their own. Rosier had an errant overthrown pass to Jeff Thomas on the drive and the Canes were forced to punt after Travis Homer came up short on a third down run.

Toledo were in Cane’s territory on the upcoming subsequent drive but the Hurricanes defense proved formidable as they forced a turnover on downs. Toledo had some positive gains on the drive but it was all for not when Guadagni tried a quarterback keeper and it was snuffed for no yards. Break out the turnover chain (on downs).

Miami offense continued some early third down struggles as it came out with its second three and out of the game. On second down the Rockets defense rushed three and had good coverage. Feagles back on the field for its second punt of the game. A punt that was almost blocked as a defender came through.

First quarter came to a close with Toledo driving and with possession of the ball.

Toledo’s first drive of the second quarter sputtered when Miami recorded a sack. At this point in the game Miami had six tackles for a loss and two quarterback sacks.

Miami started its fourth drive with a first down as Rosier kept a zone read and gained 11 yards on the ground. A third down conversion was subsequently converted later on as fullback Trayone Gray plowed ahead on a short yardage situation. Lightning in a bottle unleashed immediately after the conversion as Thomas scored on a 38 yard passing strike from Rosier. Baxa extra point good. Hurricanes lead 14-0.

Toledo, needing answers, did have a nice completion on its next drive to Dionte Johnson. A 31 yard pass over nice coverage from cornerback Michael Jackson. Rockets receiver Cody Thompson also had a catch on 3rd down but before Toledo receivers could amass more damage, a false start and yet another Miami TFL put the rockets in a long third down situation. The Rockets falter when kicker Jameson Vest missed a very manageable 42 yard field goal attempt.

Canes fifth drive ends like the two other preceding it with another three and out. The Hurricanes were discombobulated on second down and couldn’t line up right. Rosier called Miami’s second timeout of the half. A third down play action pass attempt was incomplete to freshman tight end Brevin Jordan and another Feagle’s punt ensues.

Toledo’s fifth drive started with Mitchell Guadagni’s pass blocked at the line of scrimmage. Pat Bethel’s big bear paw was the catalyst to the feat. Gerald Willis one upped his line mate with a sack of Guadagni on second down and Toledo was forced into a very long third down. They miss it. They punt it. Fair catch Jeff Thomas. Miami comes back on the field.

The sixth drive was the Deejay “the dream crusher” Dallas show. After an initial Toledo off-sides, Dallas ripped off an 18 yard run. Dallas followed up with an equally impressive 15 yard run and the Canes traversed into the red zone. Rosier finished off the drive with a quarterback keep off a jet sweep play action and the senior added his 2nd rushing touchdown of the game. Bubba Baxa extra point is good. Canes 21-0.

Crickets fully entered the stadium. Baxa shanks the kickoff and the Rockets took over on the 35. The opening Toledo drive started with a 15 yard scamper from Guadagni and the Rockets are immediately at mid field. A couple of successful run plays later and the Rockets were in field goal range. Miami LB Shaquille Quarterman had the ball go through his hands and wide receiver Dionte Johnson scored on a pass from Guadagni. 21-7. Toledo adds its first points of the game.

At the half team statistics were as follows:

Total Yards

Miami 206

Toledo 171


Miami 77

Toledo 107


Miami 129

Toledo 64


Miami 0-0

Toledo 4-30


Miami 0

Toledo 0

Game leaders


Miami M. Rosier 6-12,77 yards, 1 TD

Toledo M. Guadagni 9-15, 107 yards, 1 TD

Rushing Yards

Miami D. Dallas 6 carries, 55 yards

Toledo A. Thompkins 4 carries, 26 yards

Receiving Yards

Miami J Thomas 3 Receptions, 53 yards, 1 touchdown

Toledo D Johnson 4 Receptions, 45 yards, 1 touchdown

Miami first drive of the second half is wasted after a promising start when Travis Homer gallops for a 11 yard run on first down. Some protection issues and errant throws were to blame as Rosier is 0-2 on the drive. Rosier inaccuracy is well documented and broadcasted openly on the telecast. At this point of the game he is completing 42% of his passes. Failed third down attempt. Feagles punt time again. Hold your breath.

Toledo’s first drive of the second half turns out to be much more optimally beneficial. A coverage bust leaves Rocket running back Shakif Seymour open as he scampers down to the 5 yard line. Junior running back Art Thompkins makes it a one score game as he dives into the end zone on a 5 yard run. Guadagni was 3-3 passing on that drive and seemed to find some open receivers. The Glass Bowl is now reawaking and the momentum is back with the home team.

Miami offense back on the field after a touchback and initially looks pedestrian. Two consecutive inside runs gain four yards and bring the Canes to another third down. A third down completion to Jeff Thomas on an out route and Miami has some life. Rosier connects on a 41 yard reception to Thomas and the big play receiver bails out his QB. A Dallas 19 yard touchdown run caps off the drive in dramatic answering fashion. Miami back up 28-14

Baxa and the special team blunders of 2018 continue as he drills his second ball out of bounds on the kick off. Right on cue, Guadagni scampers to midfield after a quarterback run immediately after the procedure penalty. The drive ends with a 40 yard touchdown strike to Dionte Johnson, his second of the game. The play had two Miami defenders fall down on the play after a well thrown ball by Guadagni. Miami 28-21

Jeff Thomas returns the kick to the 29 yard line as Miami tries to respond. Miami eventually converts another short third down conversion. Lawrence Cager had his first catch of the game and extended the chains on its second third down. A fourth down conversion by Homer for 3 yards. Cager reemerges on the drive and scores on a poorly underthrown fade ball. Canes back up two scores. Baxa bangs the extra point off the goal post. Miami 35-21

Toledo takes the ensuing kickoff to the 40 yard line. Once again after a poor special teams play (Two kick offs out of bounds, and poor kickoff coverage) Guadagni runs the first play of the drive to midfield. A couple more successful runs close out the third quarter with Toledo driving deep into Miami territory. After an incomplete pass by Guadagni on third down. Vest cuts the lead to 11 after successfully making a 47 yard field goal attempt.

Up 35-24 on the scoreboard Cager had a critical third down completion on 3rd and 8. Cager’s second consecutive third down conversion on back to back drives. Rosier capped off a scoring drive with a great run for a touchdown. A 37 yard long run which immediately put a crack in the Glass Bowl. That was Rosier’s 5th rushing touchdown of the season thus matching his total from last year. Baxa conversion is good. 42-24.

On Toledo’s subsequent drive, the Rockets gives us what we want. THE TURNOVER CHAIN. Trajan Bandy intercepts a pass from Guadagni on the first play of the drive and Miami is in firm position to take the game over.

Miami up 18 begins to milk the clock sensing blood in the water. After another Rosier quarterback run, aided by a facemask at the end of the play, Miami creeps further into the Red Zone. Rosier continues a solid rushing performance and gives Miami a chance on 4th and 1. Trayone Gray would score from one yard out. After a Baxa extra point, the Canes are up 49-24. Miami had 261 yards on the ground at this juncture of the game.

Miami starts off its next defensive series with three consecutive tackles for a loss. The crescendo was a Michael Pinckney sack on third down forcing a 57 yard punt from Toledo.

N’kosi Perry entered the game with 6:42 in the fourth quarter. Miami in full slow down mode goes three and out after three consecutive runs. The Glass Bowl shatters and fans pile out of the building. Feagles punts into the end zone and the Rockets take the field.

Toledo enters a new quarterback into the game but to no avail. The Rockets go three and out. Toledo punts and Miami simply content with taking the best formation in the game. The victory formation. Miami wins by 25 points on the road thus more than doubling the spread. Go Canes. Final score Miami 49 Toledo 24.

Full game team statistics were as follows:

Total Yards

Miami 473

Toledo 334


Miami 205

Toledo 222


Miami 268

Toledo 112


Miami 0-0

Toledo 5-38


Miami 0

Toledo 1

3rd Down Efficiency 4th Down Efficiency

Miami 7-15 2-2

Toledo 2-11 0-1

Time of Possession

Miami 35:29

Toledo 24:31

Game leaders


Miami M. Rosier 13-23,205 yards, 1 TD, 2 Rush TD

Toledo M. Guadagni 13-21, 222 yards, 2 TD 1 INT

Rushing Yards

Miami D. Dallas 17 carries, 110 yards

Toledo M. Guadagni 15 carries, 47 yards

Receiving Yards

Miami J Thomas 5 Receptions, 105 yards, 1 touchdown

Toledo D Johnson 6 Receptions, 119 yards, 1 touchdown

Comments (8)

I'm just going to assume that we are all adjusting our expectations because 50% is not efficient, it's literally AVERAGE....
Enjoyable recap. STs need a lot of work. Cager (and Langham) really came through for us on third down. Dallas is a stud at RB.
They did some good things. Obviously the running game was solid but the improvement on third downs was nice too. Saw a lot of Boulware at RG. Hopefully we'll continue to improve in the run blocking department.