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NCAA Game Summary - FIU vs. Toledo



(Sunday, December 26th)

Final Score: FIU 34, Toledo 32

Detroit, MI (Sports Network) - Jack Griffin kicked a 34-yard field goal on the final play, capping FIU's first postseason game with a thrilling 34-32 win over Toledo at the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

Terrance Owens scored on a 14-yard run with 1:14 left in the game, and his two-point conversion pass to Eric Page boosted Toledo to a 32-31 lead.

FIU faced a 4th-and-17 from its 41, but ran a hook-and-ladder play with Jacob Younger lateraling to T.Y. Hilton for a first down. Hilton tight-roped along the right sideline, but a video review call confirmed Hilton held the ball barely across the marker.

A 20-yard pass from Wesley Carroll to Greg Ellingson and a five-yard run by Darriet Perry set up Griffin's perfect kick.

In just their sixth season playing in the Football Bowl Series division, the Golden Panthers (7-6) got a big boost from their defense and special teams. Hilton returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score. Kreg Brown had a pair of interceptions and Wayne Times blocked a punt leading to Griffin's 31-yard field goal late in the final quarter.

The Rockets (8-5), in their first bowl game since 2005, blew a 17-point lead.

Adonis Thomas rushed for 193 yards and a pair of scores for the Rockets, while Owens connected on 15-of-27 passes for 132 yards and a TD, but was picked off three times.

Perry gained 132 yards and scored twice, while Carroll finished 16-of-27 for 140 yards with a TD and an interception. Ellingson caught seven balls for 66 yards.

It was a thrilling fourth quarter at Ford Field with the teams combining for 21 points in the final 7:34.

Carroll found Hilton for a 10-yard score and 28-24 FIU lead. Times' blocked punt led to Griffin's 31-yarder, but Toledo came right back with Thomas converting a 4th-and-1 at the FIU 29 with a three-yard run. Two plays later, Owens was in the end zone to set up the dramatic finish.

Thomas scored on a four-yard run with under six minutes left in the opening quarter for a 7-0 Toledo lead. Thomas fumbled the ball away later in the quarter, but scored on an 87-yard jaunt just over four minutes into the second.

A short time later, Perry was in the end zone on a one-yard run. He also converted a fourth down inside the 10 with a three-yard run.

Owens found Danny Noble for a 10-yard score with nearly three minutes left until the half, expanding Toledo's lead to 21-7.

FIU failed on a fourth down pass from the Toledo 28 with a minute left in the half, and the Rockets pushed their lead to 24-7 on Bill Claus' 29-yard field goal in the third.

Hilton returned the ensuing kickoff the distance, and Brown's interception led to Perry's seven-yard TD run inside seven minutes left in the third for a 24-21 margin.

Game Notes

Page had five receptions for 24 yards...Owens gained 65 yards on the ground...Toledo finished with 304 yards rushing...The Rockets have enjoyed great success in bowl games, winning eight of their 11 postseason trips...This was the third matchup on the gridiron between the two teams. In 2008, the Golden Panthers grabbed a win in Toledo, but the Rockets repaid the favor in 2009, defeating FIU in Miami.

12/27 01:28:37 ET