San Jose State tops Bowling Green in Military Bowl
Coaching aside, the difference Thursday was that San Jose State had the better quarterback, David Fales, who led the nation in completion percentage in the regular season. The dart-throwing transfer started strong and finished stronger in the wind and cold at RFK Stadium, completing 33 of 43 passes for 395 yards and two touchdowns.
Fales led the drive that set up Austin Lopez's 27-yard field goal with 4:43 remaining, and De'Leon Eskridge's 1-yard run with 2:34 left provided the insurance. Fales was an unknown when he arrived on campus in the spring, but he quickly became the offensive leader the Spartans needed.
"He was like that puzzle piece that was able to make everything come together," Johnson said.
Fales went over the 4,000-yard passing mark for the season, hitting Kyle Nunn for a 33-yard score to give the Spartans a first-quarter lead and finding the stutter-stepping Chandler Jones for an 18-yard reception that put San Jose State back in front, 19-13, in the third quarter.
Bowling Green retook the lead in the fourth quarter with a 68-yard drive, finished off by John Pettigrew's 1-yard run with 10:26 remaining.
But Fales went 7 for 10 on a 68-yard march that got well within range for Lopez, who had a perfect season — making all 17 of his field goal attempts. The Spartans then forced a turnover that led to Eskridge's clinching touchdown.
"We didn't generate enough yards, didn't generate enough points," Clawson said. "At some point you have to score points to win games. We struggled with that all year. When we played the better teams on our schedule, that's where we came up short."
The Military Bowl was set to pit Army against an ACC team, but Army wasn't bowl-eligible and the ACC had a short supply of bowl-eligible schools. As a result, there was little excitement for the game in the nation's capital. The upper deck of RFK was virtually empty during the second half of the MAC-WAC matchup, and the attendance was announced as 17,835.
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