NCAA Game Summary - San Jose State vs. Bowling Green
(Thursday, December 27th)
Final Score: (24) San Jose State 29, Bowling Green 20
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - David Fales threw for 395 yards and two touchdowns on 33-of-43 passing, while Austin Lopez booted the go-ahead field goal in the fourth quarter as the 24th-ranked San Jose State Spartans knocked off Bowling Green, 29-20, in the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium.
Lopez, who also handles punting duties for San Jose State, completed a perfect season in which he went 17-for-17 on field goal attempts, while Noel Grigsby had a huge day receiving, catching nine passes for 134 yards.
Chandler Jones hauled in six passes for 73 yards and a score, while Kyle Nunn also caught a touchdown pass for the Spartans (11-2), who closed the season on a seven-game winning streak.
San Jose State also played under interim head coach Kent Baer, who took over when Mike MacIntyre left to take the head coaching position at Colorado.
"We can throw it against anybody. That's a great group of receivers and tight ends, and we protect well," said Baer. "David is the most passing-efficient quarterback in the country and he proved it again today."
John Pettigrew and Anthon Samuel scored rushing touchdowns and Matt Schilz threw for 159 yards on 16-of-35 passing for Bowling Green (8-5), who last appeared in a bowl game on Dec. 30, 2009 -- a 43-42 loss to Idaho in the Humanitarian Bowl.
Chris Gallon caught seven passes for 73 yards for the Falcons in the setback.
"That's the best passing offense that we faced all year. Even when we held (Fales) down, he was still completing balls," Falcons coach Dave Clawson said.
Trailing 20-19 early in the fourth quarter, Fales led San Jose State on an impressive 13-play drive, completing seven passes during the 68-yard march to the Bowling Green 10 before Lopez gave the Spartans the lead with a 27-yard field goal.
Bowling Green began its next possession on its own 23, but on the second play of the drive, things shifted in favor of San Jose State for good when Travis Jackson chased down Schilz from behind and popped the ball out.
Keith Smith scooped it up, giving the Spartans a short field on the Falcons' 24 with 4:22 to play.
Five plays later, De'Leon Eskridge iced it for San Jose State with a 1-yard touchdown run, putting the Spartans ahead 29-20 with 2:28 to go.
Bowling Green got the ball one last time but turned it over on downs, allowing San Jose State to run out the final 1:51 for the victory.
After the teams exchanged punts on the first two possessions of the game, San Jose State began its second touch of the afternoon at its 21. Just four plays into the drive, Fales connected with Nunn for a 33-yard catch-and-run to the end zone for the first points of the day and a 7-0 Spartans' lead,
Bowling Green answered with a 12-play, 62-yard drive. Schilz converted a pair of third downs along the way, but the series stalled at the San Jose State nine and Tyler Tate connected on a chip-shot 28-yard field goal to make it a 7-3 affair late in the first quarter.
The Falcons' defense came up big on the next series, holding the Spartans to a three-and-out before blocking a punt from Lopez on 4th down, which gave the ball back to Bowling Green at the SJSU 24.
Bowling Green's offense wasn't able to punch the ball into the end zone, however, and Tate hit a 33-yard field goal to cut the deficit to 7-6 early in the second stanza.
San Jose State began its final drive of the first half at its 27 and moved the ball 54 yards in four plays before Lopez nailed a 36-yard field goal attempt to give the Spartans a 10-6 edge at the half.
On the first San Jose State possession of the second half, it was the Bowling Green defense that came up with a momentum-shifting play, as Falcons' defensive end Charlie Walker easily slipped past his blocker and blasted Fales from the blind side, causing the ball to come loose.
It was scooped up by Chris Jones, giving Bowling Green the ball at the SJSU 8- yard line.
Faced with a short field again, the Falcons were able to score six points this time, as Samuel went up the middle for an 8-yard TD sprint and a 13-10 lead early in the third quarter.
But it was the Spartans' turn to produce a big defensive play in the latter stages of the session. Facing 4th-and-7, Bowling Green lined up to punt, but Brian Schmiedebusch's kick was blocked by Bene Benwikere.
The Spartans caught a bit of a bad break, as the ball rolled through the back of the end zone for a safety. Nevertheless, it became a one-point game with 4:18 on the third-quarter clock.
San Jose then got the ball again as a result of the safety and went 68 yards in six plays before Fales connected with Jones for an 18-yard TD strike and a 19-13 lead.
Bowling Green responded with an 8-play, 68-yard drive to begin the fourth quarter, highlighted by a 34-yard sprint by Pettigrew down to the 1-yard line. Pettigrew then capped the march by bowling his way into the end zone for a 20-19 Falcons' lead with 10:26 remaining.
San Jose State established a program record with 11 wins on the season ... Former San Diego head coach Ron Caragher will replace MacIntyre next season ... Chandler's receiving touchdown was his 11th of the season ...San Jose State last appeared in a bowl game on Dec. 23, 2006 -- a 20-12 win over New Mexico in the New Mexico Bowl.
12/27 23:53:21 ET