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Bowling Green could not cut into an SJSU lead in the second half in DC.
Despite a fumble that led to a Falcon touchdown score -- and probably gave the Falcons a shot in the arm -- the junior more than made up for it in his passing even though the No. 24 Spartans (11-2) hardly got support from the run game. Fales ended his stellar season with a 33-for-43 passing performance, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Fales started the day off with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Nunn five minutes into the game, but the Falcons answered with two field goals.
Bowling Green (8-5) got its first lead early in the third quarter. MAC Defensive Player of the Year Chris Jones recovered a Fales fumble that was forced by a Charlie Walker sack and returned it to the San Jose State 8-yard line. Bowling Green running back Anthon Samuel punched in the score on the first play of the drive. The 13-10 lead didn't last long.
A blocked punt gave the Spartans a safety to cut into the three-point deficit with four minutes to go in the third quarter, and they added an 18-yard touchdown pass from Fales to Chandler Jones for a 19-13 score heading into the fourth quarter.
But the Falcons weren't done yet. On an 8-play, 68-yard drive, running back John Pettigrew set up his 1-yard touchdown run with a 34-yard burst to give the Falcons a 20-19 lead with 10:26 left in the game. The Spartans answered with a 13-play, 68-yard drive that gave placekicker Austin Lopez a 27-yard field goal, and they tacked on another score off a Bowling Green turnover to seal the victory.
Box Score Hero: While Fales led the way, he got help from receiver Noel Grigsby, who caught nine balls for 134 yards to offset the negative-17 rushing yards SJSU put up on the day.
Rankings Ramifications: The Spartans will likely end the season ranked, a rare occurrence for the program. When San Jose State first entered the rankings in late November, it was the Spartans' first BCS ranking ever and the first overall rankings since they appeared in the 1990 UPI poll.
But Did They Cover? A fourth-quarter forced turnover by SJSU's Travis Johnson on Bowling Green quarterback Matt Schilz led to a nail-in-the-coffin touchdown for the Spartans to help them beat the spread that opened at 7.5 points in their favor.
This article originally appeared on SB Nation.