Posted on: December 28, 2011 8:20 pm
Edited on: December 28, 2011 8:20 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
TOLEDO WON. In what was one of the more entertaining bowl games of the season so far, the Toledo Rockets just edged out Air Force 42-41 at the Military Bowl in Washington D.C. As the score in this one indicates, there wasn't a whole lot of defense being played in this contest. In fact, there wasn't a score after the first 9 minutes of the first quarter, but then both teams combined for 35 points in the final 6 minutes of the opening frame.
Air Force actually outgained Toledo on offense, but the Rockets were able to score a touchdown in all three phases of the game: offense, defense and special teams. Toledo quarterback Terrance Owens had a great game, completing 20 of his 25 passes for 201 yards and 3 touchdowns. All three of those touchdowns were to Bernard Reedy, who had 4 receptions for 125 yards in the game. Adonis Thomas also rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown for the Rockets. Tim Jefferson led the way for the Air Force attack, with 225 total yards and 3 total touchdowns.
WHY TOLEDO WON. Honestly, there isn't really one specific area of the game that you can say Toledo outperformed Air Force. Yes, they had an interception return for a touchdown and a kick return for another score, but I'd say the deciding factor in this one was the fact that Toledo scored the first two touchdowns in this contest. After falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter Air Force was playing from behind all game and never did manage to take a lead.
WHEN TOLEDO WON. It wasn't until the final moments. On a 4th and 2 at the Toledo 33-yard line, down 42-35, Air Force's Tim Jefferson found Zack Kauth wide open for a 33-yard touchdown pass to cut the lead to 42-41. Air Force then sent its kicking team out, but instead of kicking the extra point, the Falcons ran a fake. One that was beautiful in design, but hideous in execution. The Falcons didn't convert, and then after Toledo recovered the onside kick it was just a matter of running out the clock.
WHAT TOLEDO WON. This was a nice finish to the season for Toledo, as it finishes 2011 with a 9-4 record and a win over a pretty good football team in Air Force. More importantly for the program, the Rockets didn't seem to lose a step after losing head coach Tim Beckman to Illinois earlier this winter. Matt Campbell also gets his first win as the program's head coach in his very first try.
WHAT AIR FORCE LOST. The Falcons lost a bowl game. That's it. They didn't get embarrassed either on the scoreboard or by a bad opponent. They were in this game until the closing seconds, and while it would no doubt have been nice to end the season with a victory, there's absolutely nothing to be ashamed of here.
THAT WAS CRAZY. This is going back to Air Force's two-point conversion attempt at the end of the game. I have no problem with the decision to go for two, as it's a bowl game, and you might as well play to win it. My problem was the fact that Air Force ran a fake kick. It's one of my biggest pet peeves in football. If you're going to go for two, then send your offense out there. Put the players that are used to running these types of plays in a position to win the game, not your kicker or holder. Kickers kick. They don't run the option.
FINAL GRADE: This game was excellent. It was a back and forth affair that didn't feature a lot of defense, but did have plenty of big plays and was a bit of a roller coaster ride. In other words, it kept you entertained for the entire three and a half hours it was played, and what more can you ask for from a bowl game in late December? GRADE: A
Posted on: November 30, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: November 30, 2011 5:03 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
You can't really blame Akron fans for getting their hopes up, can you?
Jim Tressel was once a graduate assistant for the Zips, and he is more-or-less available, and he may have even been at an Akron basketball game recently. (Possibly. Maybe. Though probably not.) Given the hopeless mess the Akron program finds itself in after the recently dimissed Rob Ianello's two-year, 2-22 tenure, if we were Zips fans, we'd start a Facebook page asking the Vest to come coach our team, too.
But alas, it's not to be. Zips athletic director Tom Wistrcill said in a statement released Tuesday evening that while he had at least spoken to the former wildly successful Ohio State head coach, Tressel had told him thanks-but-no-thanks.
“While Coach Tressel has shared with us that he is not interested in coaching at Akron," Wistrcill said, "he has graciously volunteered to help his alma mater however he can during the search for our next football coach."
As reported by the Akron Beacon-Journal, Wistrcill had originally stated he would not be making any public statements following Ianello's firing, but that the widespread nature of the Tressel-to-Akron rumors within the Zips community had demanded a response.
Even if Tressel had been interested, however, the odds the Zips could have actually hired him were awfully long to begin with. Though not yet official, it remains highly likely that the NCAA's Committee on Infractions will punish Tressel for his role in the recent Buckeye scandals and cover-ups with a show-cause order, one that would make him all but unemployable at the NCAA level. Tressel will not be hired by anyone, Akron or otherwise, this 2011 offseason.
So where will the Zips turn instead? Paul Winters, former Zip and Akron assistant and current head coach at Division II Wayne State, is currently considered the most likely choice. Another name floated has been Toledo offensive coordinator Matt Campbell.
Photoshop of Tressel in Akron regalia via "We Want Jim Tressel for Akron Zips Football" Facebook page. Your optimism is sincerely saluted and admired, gentlemen.
For a full, updating team-by-team overview of 2011's coaching changes, check out (and bookmark) the Eye on CFB Coaching Carousel One-Stop Shop. And voice your opinion for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year by voting HERE.