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Why the final drive would be different up 2

I heard the argument today that Toledo deserved the win because Syracuse wouldn't have played that final drive differently up 2 or up 3. Therefore, that field goal at the end would have happened regardless of the score.

First of all, that's dumb. But here's why ...

Syracuse entered the final drive with 2:07 remaining and Toledo with the ball on it's own 32. Syracuse also had two timeouts.

The Orange called a timeout with 1:13 remaining, following a penalty that stopped the clock anyway. This was a tactical timeout, to call a play, rather than to stop the clock. Had they been up only two, odds are they would not have taken this timeout. 

Here are three possible alternate scenarios based on the score being 29-27 instead of 30-27:

1. Nothing changes. Syracuse loses 30-29 on a last second kick by Toledo.

2. Syracuse calls timeout following 2nd down and 3rd down runs by Toledo. The Rockets kick a field goal with about 20-30 seconds. Syracuse gets one last chance for the winning field goal. Anything is possible here, from the kickoff being returned to a big passing play that sets up a field goal. Remember, clock stops on first downs in college.

3. Syracuse lets Toledo score on the first down play, getting the ball back with two timeouts and 1:00 or so remaining. Knowing a field goal wins the game, Marrone tells his defense to let them in to conserve time. This is certainly possible, and happens around the country all the time.

My point: Andrea Adelson can eat one. That is all.

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