Toledo, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - The Toledo Rockets rushed for 323 yards and opened the game with 38 unanswered points on their way to taking down the Buffalo Bulls, 51-41, in a Mid-American Conference shootout at the Glass Bowl.
Kareem Hunt rushed for a career-high 186 yards on 31 carries and scored a touchdown for Toledo (7-3, 5-1 MAC), which extended its winning streak to five games. Terrance Owens completed just 11-of-20 passes, but he threw for 228 yards with two touchdowns an zero interceptions, with most of his production going to Bernard Reedy (three receptions, 149 yards, two TDs).
Joe Licata tallied career-highs in passing yards (497) and touchdowns (four) on 36-of-58 completions in the comeback attempt for Buffalo (7-3, 5-1), which is now tied with Bowling Green in the East Division after the Falcons beat Ohio University on Tuesday night. Alex Neutz (168 yards, two TDs) and Fred Lee (110 yards, TD) both had eight receptions, and Branden Oliver turned 24 carries into 102 yards and a touchdown.
The Rockets set the tone early with three first-quarter touchdowns. They cashed in on their first drive of the game when Owens tossed a 59-yard touchdown to Reedy. Owens added a rushing score later in the quarter from four yards out, then Damion Jones-Moore ripped off a 53-yard touchdown rush a few minutes later to make it 21-0 early.
Hunt added to Toledo's lead at the 9:51 mark of the second quarter on a 15-yard touchdown rush, and after Jeremiah Detmer connected on a 32-yard field goal as time expired in the first half, the Rockets carried a commanding 31-0 lead into intermission.
Toledo kept its foot on the gas pedal out of halftime as well. Less than a minute into the third quarter, Owens hooked up with Reedy on another long touchdown pass, this time from 56 yards out.
Buffalo finally stopped the bleeding on its next possession, as Licata completed a 19-yard touchdown pass to Lee. The Bulls added another touchdown midway through the third on an Oliver six-yard rush to make it 38-14.
Detmer knocked through a 42-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter, but from there the Bulls made things interesting. With 10:03 left in the game, Licata hooked up with Neutz on a 17-yard touchdown pass, but less than a minute later Toledo struck again with a Ricky Pringle 44-yard scoring scamper to go back up by 27.
Buffalo pieced together a 10-play, 71-yard drive in less than three minutes and capped it off with another Licata-to-Neutz touchdown, this time from 22 yards out. The Bulls then pulled off a successful on-side kick, and Licata threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Jimmy Gordon less than two minutes later to bring their deficit to 13, 48-35. They tried another on-side kick but could not recover.
Jeremiah Detmer added one more field goal (22 yards) before it was all said and done. The Bulls scored a touchdown in the final minute on an Anthone Taylor three-yard rush.
The slugfest featured plenty of yardage on both sides, with Buffalo amassing 601 yards and Toledo putting up 551.
Chase Murdock led the Toledo defense with 16 tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery.