(Saturday, September 26th)
Final Score: Toledo 41, Florida International 31
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Aaron Opelt threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns, as the Toledo Rockets grabbed a thrilling, 41-31 victory over the Florida International Golden Panthers in a non-conference battle at FIU Stadium.
Opelt also scored a rushing touchdown for Toledo (2-2), but it was DaJuane Collins who paced the ground game with 151 rushing yards and two scores.
As for the Golden Panthers (0-3), they were led by Paul McCall, who threw for 224 yards and one touchdown in the loss. McCall also added two rushing touchdowns for FIU, while Darriet Perry led the rushing attack with 60 yards on 16 totes.
The Rockets dominated FIU through the first 15 minutes of action and went into the second quarter with a 14-0 edge.
Toledo struck early in the contest with a two-yard touchdown run by Opelt and followed that with an impressive 72-yard touchdown scamper by Collins.
The Rockets added a 36-yard field goal by Alex Steigerwald early in the second frame, pushing their lead to 17-0.
However, the Golden Panthers finally got on the scoreboard in the last minute of the first half thanks to a 23-yard field goal by Dustin Rivest.
Florida International cut its deficit to 17-10 early in the third quarter when Darrian Mallary scampered into the endzone on a four-yard run.
Toledo fired back however, as Opelt hit Eric Page for a 41-yard scoring strike midway through the quarter.
FIU pulled within seven points when McCall plunged into the endzone from the one yard line.
Toledo regain its 14-point lead early in the final stanza when Collins scored on a six-yard run.
The Rockets domination continued as Opelt and Page hooked up again, this time the touchdown went for 37 yards and pushed Toledo's lead to 38-17.
FIU responded on its next drive however, as McCall hit T.Y. Hilton with a 20- yard scoring strike.
A 24-yard field goal by Steigerwald with less than two minutes remaining in regulation extended Toledo's lead to 41-24.
McCall would score on a one-yard run with just seconds left on the clock, but it was far too late for FIU to mount a comeback, as Toledo held on for the 10- point win.
09/26 23:53:00 ET