2012 Military Bowl final score: Spartans cap off surprising season with 29-20 victory

USA TODAY Sports

San Jose State ended its resurgent 2012 campaign in ideal fashion Friday, earning a 29-20 victory over Bowling Green in the Military Bowl.

The San Jose State Spartans didn't have their head coach or their run game Friday, but they still left the Military Bowl with a 29-20 victory over the Bowling Green Falcons.

Quarterback David Fales came through with his third straight 300-yard game, as he threw for 394 yards and two touchdowns on 33 of 43 passing. The big numbers were needed, too, considering the six Spartans who registered a rushing attempt combined for -17 yards on 23 carries.

Fales and the Spartans struck first on their second drive of the game, as the JUCO transfer hooked up with wide receiver Kyle Nunn for a 33-yard touchdown pass. But offense wouldn't be easy to come by after that point, as the normally explosive Spartans compiled four three-and-outs throughout the game. In fact, San Jose State's offense didn't find pay dirt again until a little over two minutes were left in the third quarter.

Yet even with both teams trading punches, the Spartans seemed to be in control throughout, so it wasn't too surprising when they battled back in a big way in the fourth quarter. After Bowling Green running back John Pettigrew broke through with a one-yard score to give the Falcons a late 20-19 edge, Fales calmly lead his team down the field to retake the lead with a 27-yard field goal.

Less than 30 seconds later, WAC Defensive Player of the Year Travis Johnson came through with a clutch strip sack to stall Bowling Green's comeback before it could ever happen. Running back DeLeon Eskridge then added an easy one-yard touchdown to give the Spartans a two-score lead, effectively putting the game out of reach for the Falcons.

This was the first time that San Jose State has finished with an 11-win season since becoming a major college football program. It looks like it was just in the nick of time too, considering this is the last WAC football game ever to be played with the conference disbanding.

Overall, this was a pretty fitting way to end what was a magical season for San Jose State. Sure, you could say that the Spartans didn't face the stiffest of competition, but it's still absolutely remarkable that this team was able to finish with seven straight wins just two years after a 1-12 campaign. While head coach Mike MacIntyre, who was hired to take over at Colorado, will surely be missed, he undoubtedly left the program in far superior shape then it was in only a short while ago, all while reinvigorating the Spartan fan base.

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