|2012 Northrop Grumman Military Bowl|
|Date||December 27, 2012|
|MVP||David Fales, QB, SJSU|
|Favorite||San Jose State by 7½|
|Referee||Mike Cannon (Big Ten)|
|United States TV coverage|
|Announcers:||Bob Wischusen (play by play)|
Danny Kanell (analyst)
Quint Kessenich (sideline)
The 2012 Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman is a post-season American college football bowl game held on December 27, 2012 at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The fifth edition of the Military Bowl began at 3:00 p.m. EST and aired on ESPN. It featured the San Jose State Spartans from the Western Athletic Conference against the Bowling Green Falcons from the Mid-American Conference and was the final game of the 2012 NCAA Division I FBS football season for both teams. The Spartans accepted their invitation after earning a 10–2 record in the regular season, while the Falcons accepted after earning an 8–4 record on theirs.
This was the first Military Bowl appearance as well as the first meeting between these two teams.
Under normal circumstances, the game would be set to feature the eighth bowl-eligible team from the Atlantic Coast Conference against a team from one of the service academies. However, the Navy Midshipmen and Air Force Falcons had already accepted bids to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and Armed Forces Bowl, respectively, and the Army Black Knights were not bowl eligible because of their 2–9 record. In addition, the ACC only has six bowl-eligible teams this season, because of the Miami Hurricanes self-imposing a bowl ban. Therefore, the new layout for the 2012 game was decided.
San Jose State
After a 1-12 record in 2010 and 5-7 record in 2011, the Spartans finished with a 10–2 overall record and second-place in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) at 5–1 (their only conference loss coming to the WAC champion Utah State Aggies). After defeating the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs to finish their regular season, the Spartans accepted a bid to the Military Bowl on November 30.
This is the Spartans' final game as a member of the WAC before moving to the Mountain West Conference in 2013. As the WAC will stop sponsoring football after the 2012 season (the conference's 51st in existence), the 2012 Military Bowl is the last football game involving a WAC team.
After leading San Jose State to a 10-2 regular season record, San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre resigned from San Jose State on December 10, 2012 to become head coach at Colorado. Defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Kent Baer was named interim head coach for this game only, and San Diego coach Ron Caragher was named regular head coach effective 2013.
In a memorable year for the conference overall, the Falcons finished in second place in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division with a 6–2 record, after which they accepted their invitation to the Military Bowl.
The game began with a 65-yard kickoff from Bowling Green's Anthony Farinella for a touchback. San Jose State quarterback David Fales' first play from scrimmage was a 15-yard pass to Noel Grigsby. However, the first drive ended in a three-and-out after an incomplete pass, rush for no gain, and incomplete pass. Harrison Waid punted the ball 33 yards to Bowling Green's 23 but immediately left the game due to complications of pneumonia.
On Bowling Green's first play from scrimmage, San Jose State committed an encroachment penalty for a five-yard penalty. Running back Anthon Samuel advanced the ball 6 yards for a first down but lost 2 on the next play. Two incomplete passes from Matt Schilz made it another three-and-out. Bowling Green's punt was downed at San Jose State's 21. In a four-play, 79-yard drive that took 1 minute and 45 seconds, De'Leon Eskridge rushed for 3 yards, then David Fales completed three consecutive passes, including a 33-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Nunn. After the extra point, San Jose State led 7-0.
Following an illegal block penalty, 10 yards were taken off BooBoo Gates' kickoff return, and Bowling Green started on their own 29. Matt Schilz completed three consecutive passes of 28, 13, and 9 yards to advance to the SJSU 21. Bowling Green could only advance 12 more yards, and Tyler Tate converted a 28-yard field goal to cut San Jose State's lead to 7-3.
Farinella's kickoff landed out of bounds, so San Jose State started the next drive from their own 35. Following a 2-yard rush from Ina Liaina and 7-yard pass to Jabari Carr came 3rd-and-1 from San Jose State's 44. However, San Jose State was forced to punt because Tyler Ervin rushed for a loss of 6. Placekicker Austin Lopez came in for the injured Waid, but Lopez's first punt was blocked and landed at San Jose State's 24.
Three rushing plays by Samuel in the first quarter set up a successful 33-yard field goal by Tate to open the second quarter. The score became 7-6 San Jose State, and San Jose State would make only 5 yards on their next possession. Lopez would successfully punt the ball away on fourth down for this and the next San Jose possession. Bowling Green also punted for all three of its second quarter possessions. After Lopez scored a 36-yard field goal with 1:40 left, the score was 10-6 at halftime.
BooBoo Gates returned Lopez's kickoff for 32 yards to begin the second half. Bowling Green's Brian Schmiedebusch punted after Bowling Green's drive ended with just 5 yards. Fales completed two passes to advance his team for 15 yards. However, Bowling Green's Charlie Walker sacked Fales and forced a fumble. Bowling Green's Chris Jones recovered the fumble and returned it 20 yards to the San Jose State 8. Bowling Green would get its first lead of the game 13-10 after an Anthon Samuel 8-yard TD run and extra point.
After three drives of both teams ended with punts, San Jose State's Bene Benwikere blocked Schmiedebusch's punt at the Bowling Green 24. The ball rolled out of the end zone for a safety, and Bowling Green's lead was cut to 13-12 with 5:40 left.
Starting from San Jose State's own 32, Fales made three consecutive complete passes for 18, 7, and 19 yards. After an incomplete pass, De'Leon Eskridge rushed 6 yards for 3rd-and-4 from Bowling Green's 18. From that position, Fales made an 18-yard touchdown pass to Chandler Jones, who caught the ball at the flat and dodged sideline defenders to advance the ball to the end zone.
Bowling Green got the ball back with 14:14 left after a San Jose State punt. In an 8-play, 68-yard drive with mostly rushing plays, John Pettigrew first converted a 3rd-and-4 with a 34-yard run to advance to San Jose State's one-yard line. Pettigrew followed with a one-yard TD run, and the extra point kick gave the lead back to Bowling Green, 20-19.
With 10:26 left, San Jose State would go on a 13-play, 68-yard drive that took 5:43 off the clock. Lopez converted a 27-yard field goal for San Jose State to take a 22-20 lead. All but one play on this drive were passing plays, save for one botched end-around play by second-string quarterback Blake Jurich to running back Kyle Nunn from Bowling Green's 10. Jurich recovered at the 22 for a loss of 12.
Bowling Green's Pettigrew made an 18-yard kickoff return to the Bowling Green 23. Schilz's first pass from scrimmage was incomplete, and San Jose State defensive end Travis Johnson sacked Schilz on the next play and forced a fumble. San Jose State linebacker Keith Smith recovered the fumble at the 24-yard line. Taking over with 4:22 left, Eskridge rushed twice for 9 yards to the Bowling Green 15, and on 3rd-and-1, Fales completed a 12-yard pass to Ina Liaina. After a 2-yard rush, Eskridge rushed 1 yard for a touchdown. San Jose State led 29-20 after the extra point, and with 2:34 left, a win was inevitable.
Bowling Green's final drive was marred by a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that forced a 3rd-and-25. Schilz's pass only went 22 yards, and on 4th-and-3, Schilz's pass was deflected by Travis Raciti. San Jose State ran out the last 1:51 to seal the 29-20 victory.
|Statistics||San Jose State||Bowling Green|
|Total offense, plays - yards||66-380||65-264|
|Passing yards (net)||395||159|
|Time of Possession||30:48||29:12|
|San Jose State||Position||Position||Bowling Green|
|Jabari Carr||Shaun Joplin|
|David Quessenberry||Fahn Cooper|
|Ryan Jones||Dominic Flewellyn|
|Reuben Hasani||Chief Kekuewa|
|Nicholas Kaspar||Alex Huettel|
|Jon Meyer||Jordon Roussos|
|Peter Tuitupou||Alex Bayer|
|David Fales||Matt Schilz|
|Ina Liaina||RB||FB||Tyler Beck|
|De'Leon Eskridge||RB||TB||Anthon Samuel|
|Noel Grigsby||Chris Gallon|
|David Tuitupou||Bryan Thomas|
|Foloi Vae||Chris Jones|
|Travis Raciti||DT||NT||Ted Ouellet|
|Travis Johnson||DE||LB||Charlie Walker|
|Vince Buhagiar||LB||ILB||Paul Swan|
|Keith Smith||LB||MLB||Dwayne Woods|
|Bene Benwikere||S||LB||Gabe Martin|
|Cullen Newsome||S||CB||Darrell Hunter|
|James Orth||S||DB||Ryland Ward|
|Ronnie Yell||CB||DB||BooBoo Gates|
|Jimmy Pruitt||Cameron Truss|
- The reported attendance of 17,835 was the lowest bowl attendance figure since the 2005 Hawaii Bowl had only 16,134 attendees.
- This was the last football game involving a Western Athletic Conference team.
- Bowl Schedule, Los Angeles Times, Decembe 4, 2012
- Solomon, Jon (December 28, 2012). "Military Bowl reports college football's smallest bowl crowd in 7 years". AL.com. http://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2012/12/military_bowl_reports_college.html. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
- "San Jose State Spartans Accept Bid To The 2012 Military Bowl Presented By Northrop Grumman". Military Bowl. November 30, 2012. http://www.militarybowl.org/san-jose-state-spartans-accept-bid-to-the-2012-military-bowl-presented-by-northrop-grumman/. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- Kercheval, Ben. "San Jose State gives the WAC a final bowl win before its demise". College Football Talk. NBC Sports. http://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2012/12/27/san-jose-state-gives-the-wac-a-final-bowl-win-before-its-demise/. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
- "Bowling Green to play No. 24 San Jose State in Military Bowl presented by Northrop Grumman". Military Bowl. December 3, 2012. http://www.militarybowl.org/bowling-green-to-play-no-24-san-jose-state-in-military-bowl-presented-by-northrop-grumman/. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
- Durkin, Jimmy (December 28, 2012). "San Jose State Spartans win Military Bowl 29-20". San Jose Mercury News. Archived from the original on December 28, 2012. http://www.webcitation.org/6DGRUMxAY. Retrieved December 28, 2012.
- Wagner, John (December 28, 2012). "Bowling Green comes up short, Falcons hurt by mistakes in bowl loss to San Jose State, 29-20". Toledo Blade. http://www.toledoblade.com/BGSU/2012/12/28/Bowling-Green-comes-up-short-Falcons-hurt-by-mistakes-in-bowl-loss-to-San-Jose-State-29-20.html. Retrieved December 28, 2012.