Toledo’s Logan Woodside leads the nation in touchdown passes and is one of the country’s most efficient quarterbacks. Few seem to know that, though.
Logan Woodside could’ve taken his talents out of Toledo after last season, and many would’ve understood. He doesn’t deny contemplating it.
Alabama transfer Phillip Ely beat him out for the starting quarterback job in 2014, but when Ely tore his ACL in the second game of the season, Woodside stepped in and helped the Rockets go 9-4 while throwing 19 touchdown passes.
That wasn’t enough to keep the gig, though. In fact, it wasn’t even enough to keep him on the roster. Then-coach Matt Campbell decided to redshirt Woodside in 2015 and gave the reigns back to Ely.
Woodside admits that decision frustrated him, and that he contemplated transferring. He ultimately decided to stick it out at Toledo and prove himself in the offseason, eventually winning the job.
Given all that adversity, it’s no wonder Woodside is taking full advantage of his chance to play again. His 24 touchdown passes are the most in FBS, and his 11.1 yards per attempt also top the nation. Woodside has thrown only four interceptions while completing 71.3 percent of his passes – tied for third in the country – helping him compile a 204.03 passer rating that is less than a point behind the leader, Washington’s Jake Browning.
Except Browning is the one getting Heisman Trophy consideration for the nation’s fifth-ranked team. Woodside is doing it in relative obscurity in the MAC, which has most of its national attention devoted to No. 20 Western Michigan.
That’s not something that really bothers Woodside, though. He’s already just five touchdown passes away from tying Bruce Gradkowski’s school record for most in a season, an accomplishment that’s reasonably attainable when the Rockets host Central Michigan on Saturday.
Woodside has thrown at least four touchdowns in each of the last five games. Not bad for a guy who hadn’t seen any game action in more than year before entering the season.
“I don’t even really think about it,” Woodside said after last week’s 42-35 win over Bowling Green. “I just try to go out there and execute and win games. Bruce Gradkowski is always in the back of your head. Me and him are real good buddies, so it would be nice to go out and break some of his records. But he did win a MAC championship, and that’s our goal.”
The Rockets are 5-1, with Woodside leading the nation’s third-ranked offense that’s averaging 565.2 yards per game. If Toledo and Western Michigan keep winning, they’ll meet for the MAC West title Friday, Nov. 25 in Kalamazoo.
Coach Jason Candle, who was promoted from offensive coordinator and Campbell left for Iowa State, sees no reason why the Rockets can’t continue at this pace with Woodside leading the way offensively.
“Our football team has really fed off his consistency and his preparation,” Candle said on this week’s MAC coaches teleconference. “The leadership role he’s molded himself into, I can’t say enough about him.”
If Woodside’s numbers continue climbing at a record pace, people will be saying a lot more.