EVEN THE youngest head coach in the country knows not to expect the conventional from Air Force. After all, the Falcons had already scored three fourth-down touchdowns, including the one that had just tied the Military Bowl with 52 seconds to play.
So 32-year-old Matt Campbell, leading Toledo for the first time, wasn't surprised when Air Force lined up to kick the extra point and then ran a fake, going for two to win the game instead of sending it to overtime.
The Rockets were ready.
Holder David Baska got bottled up trying to run the option. The ball squirted toward kicker Parker Herrington, who chased it until it went out of bounds in the end zone, and Toledo started celebrating its 42-41 victory last night at RFK Stadium in Washington.
"We talked about it, first and foremost, because they fake some extra points and fake some field goals," said Campbell, the Toledo offensive coordinator who was promoted this month to the head job after Tim Beckman left for Illinois. "Ironically, we were in the same situation last year in our bowl game. I give credit to our staff. We got ourselves into a defensive call. We were not in a 'block' look."
The wild ending gave Toledo its first bowl win since 2005.
Bernard Reedy's third touchdown of the game - a 33-yard catch, spin and run on a pass from Terrance Owens - gave Toledo a 42-35 lead with 5:01 remaining and put the Rockets (9-4) over the 40-point mark for a sixth straight game.
"We have 1,000 playmakers on our team," said Reedy, who had a career-high 126 yards receiving on four catches and was named the game's MVP. "You never know who's going to step up. It's fun to watch everybody catch and run with it."
In another bowl game:
* At San Diego, David Ash threw for one touchdown and caught a TD pass to lead Texas to a 21-10 victory against California in the Holiday Bowl. The Longhorns (8-5) had five takeaways and sacked Cal's Zach Maynard six times. The Golden Bears (7-6) are winless in five games against the Longhorns dating to 1959.
Tight end Evan Rodriguez, who led Temple in receptions last season, has accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine game, which will be held Jan. 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla. He joins teammate Derek Dennis, who was previously selected to participate.