NCF Nation: Jayrone Elliott
December, 28, 2011
By Kevin Gemmell | ESPN.com
You know that old axiom that defenses usually have the advantage in bowl games because they have more time to prepare? Yeah, about that... Toledo and Air Force made that widely-held belief look silly with an 83-point shootout in Washington in the Military Bowl - presented by Northrop Grumman. Toledo won 42-41. Here's how it all went down at RFK:
How the game was won: It depends which quarter you were watching. After both teams came firing out of the gates on offense, only one offensive touchdown was scored in the third quarter. Both defenses stiffened in the second half. Toledo got touchdowns on offense, defense and special teams. But ultimately, it came down to a coaching decision in the final minute. Read on.
Turning point: Air Force scored with 52 seconds left in the game, cutting its deficit to 42-41. The Falcons came out in kicking formation, presumably to attempt the tying PAT and look to force overtime. But Air Force coach Troy Calhoun opted to fake the PAT. Holder David Baska took the snap, but was hit by Jayrone Elliott and fumbled out of bounds. The onside kick attempt came up short.
Second guessing: None here. Loved Calhoun's call.
Player of the game: Toledo sophomore wide receiver Bernard Reedy had a monster game -- just four catches, but 125 yards, three touchdowns and an average of 31.3 yards per catch. He had just six touchdowns on the season heading into the game.
Unsung hero(s): Toledo's Eric Page had 13 catches for just 59 yards. But his 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was a huge momentum swing. Adonis Thomas had more than 100 yards rushing for the fifth straight game with a 127-yard performance.
Stat of the game: 56. That was the point total at the half. It was the highest scoring first 30 minutes of any bowl game since 2004.
Stat of the game, take 2: 5-of-6. That was Air Force's fourth-down efficiency. Remarkably, they also had three touchdowns come on fourth down.