|San Jose State Is Military Bowl Champions!|
Washington, D.C.----Neither rain from the day before, nor sleet and snow from the first day of practice nor temperatures nearing 20 degrees with a wind chill stopped #24-ranked San Jose State University from a 29-20 win over Bowling Green in the 2012 Military Bowl.
It was a resilient team that combined of the passing of the bowl's Most Valuable Player quarterback David Fales, a defense that that did not take a backseat to the heralded Falcons' defense and meaningful kicking by freshman Austin Lopez that gave San Jose State its third consecutive post-season bowl win for the first time in school history.
Fales battled winds as much as 20 miles per hour in the first half and completed 33-of-43 passes for a Military Bowl record 395 yards and two touchdowns for San Jose State (11-2).
The defense yielded only 264 yards and just gave up just one long touchdown drive. Bowling Green (8-5) did capitalize on a blocked punt attempt by Lopez filling in for an ill Harrison Waid for a one-play, 8-yard touchdown run by running back Anthon Samuel. Otherwise, San Jose State forced Bowling Green to punt eight times and came up with a key fumble recovery by linebacker Keith Smith on Travis Johnson's final record-setting sack of his career.
Lopez capped his freshman season with a pair of field goals and five successful punts, four of them under moderate to heavy pressure from the Falcons' punt rush.
The Spartans came up with its first punt block of the season, too. Bene Benwikere blasted through the middle and blocked Brian Schmiedebusch's punt from the Bowling Green 24-yard line out of the end zone for a safety.
San Jose State took full advantage overtaking Bowling Green's 13-10 lead with the safety and Fales connecting with wide receiver Chandler Jones on an 18-yard scoring play. Jones, the Spartans' leader in touchdown receptions, outfoxed two defenders at the 10-yard line to give San Jose State a 19-13 lead.
After John Pettigrew's 1-yard run with 10:26 left in the game gave Bowling Green a 20-19 lead, Lopez put San Jose State ahead to stay with a 27-yard field goal.
Bowling Green's one turnover, like San Jose State's resulted in a short touchdown drive. De'Leon Eskridge became the first Spartan in six years to finish with at least 1,000 yards rushing and capped the scoring on a 1-yard run with 2:34 remaining in the program's best season since playing a complete major college schedule.