A Spartan effort

SJSU finishes a comeback; Duke trips up at the end

Chandler Jones slipped under Darrell Hunter as San Jose State slipped past Bowling Green to finish off a Military Bowl comeback 29-20 on Thursday. Enlarge photo

Nick Wass/Associated Press

Chandler Jones slipped under Darrell Hunter as San Jose State slipped past Bowling Green to finish off a Military Bowl comeback 29-20 on Thursday.

WASHINGTON

David Fales completed 33 of 43 passes for 395 yards and two touchdowns Thursday as No. 24 San Jose State completed a comeback season with a 29-20 win over Bowling Green in the Military Bowl.

Fales led the drive that set up Austin Lopez’s 27-yard field goal with 4:43 remaining, and De’Leon Eskridge’s 1-yard run with 2:34 left provided the insurance.

The Spartans finished 11-2 and are in the national rankings for the first time since 1975. They capped the year with a seven-game winning streak for their first 11-win season since 1940, a remarkable turnaround for a program that was 1-12 just two years ago and led Colorado to hire away coach Mike MacIntyre earlier this month.

Bowling Green finished 8-5.

Cincinnati 48, Duke 34

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Brendon Kay threw for 332 yards and a Belk Bowl-record four touchdowns, and Cincinnati capitalized on Duke’s inept play in the closing minutes to beat the Blue Devils on Thursday night.

Duke appeared to have the game in hand and was driving for the go-ahead score – and its first bowl victory since 1961 – but the final 80 seconds proved disastrous. With the game tied at 34 and the Blue Devils positioning themselves for a winning field goal, running back Josh Snead fumbled at the Cincinnati 5-yard line with 1:20 left, and Bearcats defensive lineman John Williams recovered.

Kay then connected with tight end Travis Kelce on an 83-yard touchdown strike down the middle with 44 seconds left for the go-ahead score.

Cincinnati (10-3) sealed it on the next series when Maalik Bomar came crashing into Duke quarterback Sean Renfree, forcing a deflection that Nick Temple returned 55 yards for a touchdown.

Renfree threw for 358 yards – another Belk Bowl record – for the Blue Devils (6-7).

Coach Steve Stripling and Cincinnati celebrated after capitalizing on Duke’s inept play in the final minutes of the Belk Bowl to win 48-34. Enlarge photo

Chuck Burton/Associated Press

Coach Steve Stripling and Cincinnati celebrated after capitalizing on Duke’s inept play in the final minutes of the Belk Bowl to win 48-34.