WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 28: Cheatham Norrils #36 of the Toledo Rockets celebrates with teammates after the Rockets recovered a fumble against the Air Force Falcons during the first half of the Military Bowl at RFK Stadium on December 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

2011 Military Bowl, Toledo Vs. Air Force: Rockets Left Standing After 42-41 Shootout

The Rockets! The Air Force! The Military Bowl! This is an explosive game, and not just in name only. SI.com: Military Bowl FAQ.

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Toledo Vs. Air Force Final Score: Unexploded Munition Dooms Falcons To 42-41 Loss

The high-scoring 2011 Military Bowl ended with the sort of explosive play that defined it, followed by an untimely misfire. Air Force scored on a 33-yard touchdown pass from Tim Jefferson to Zack Kauth with under a minute to go to cut Toledo's lead to 42-41, then failed to execute on a fake point-after that ended with punter David Baska fumbling the ball out of bounds.

After the Falcons also failed to recover an onside kick, the Rockets were left standing as the smoke cleared.

Both teams cranked up high-octane offenses for this one. Toledo's Terrence Owens threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns, with Adonis Thomas contributing another 127 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while Air Force got 160 yards and two touchdowns through the air from Jefferson, who added 65 rushing yards and a touchdown.

Toledo's Bernard Reedy caught all three Owens touchdown strikes, and finished with four catches for 125 yards. Eric Page had 13 catches for 59 yards for the Rockets.

Falcons rushers combined to gain 248 yards on the ground.

For more college football, stay tuned to SB Nation's college football news coverage. For more on the 2011 Military Bowl game, visit MAC blog Hustle Belt and Mountain West blog Mountain West Connection, plus SB Nation Denver.

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Tim Beckman To Illinois All But Official, Based On Reports

Toledo Rockets head coach Tim Beckman has looked to be the favorite for the Illinois Fighting Illini job over the past few days, and it sounds like the deal could be announced as soon as Friday. The Associated Press reports Beckman has already told his players he'll be heading way, way out west.

(Also worth noting another Rockets coach has Twitterly critiqued Beckman's decision to leave.)

The MAC aficionados at Hustle Belt are accustomed to this sort of thing, and have turned to assessing the job Beckman did at Toledo:

But if he does leave, then let that be another tally on the MAC's wall of coaches who've stepped up from AQ conference coordinator to mid-major head coach and then to major-major head coach. If you want to get silly about it the last time someone replaced Ron Zook as head coach they won two national titles.

Beckman had an A-plus game plan against Ohio State, which they lost by five points. He did very admirably all season, from a near-loss at Syracuse to a rout of Temple - despite losing several starters on both sides of the ball. Back-to-back eight-win seasons, despite no MAC West division titles, was a dandy of a rebuild job on the fly considering where Toledo was (PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE POINT SHAVING). 

For more, visit Illinois blog Hail to the Orange and MAC blog Hustle Belt, and here's our 2011 Coaching Carousel Tracker.

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