3. MARSHALL vs. TOLEDO, 2002 MAC CHAMPIONSHIP
Aliens. The Dark Knight. The Empire Strikes Back. Sometimes, a sequel comes along that eclipses its predecessor. Such is the case for the 2002 MAC title game.
Realistically, the previous year’s MAC Championship could very well have found its way into this 5 For Friday. Toledo rallied with a monster third quarter in 2001 to beat Marshall, erasing a 23-point deficit to claim the conference championship.
But the 2001 MAC Championship set the scene for a superior sequel, pitting the same two teams against each other in what I contend is the most underrated college football game of the 21st Century.
Marshall vs. Toledo Part II was MACtion long before MACtion entered the lexicon. Behind Byron Leftwich, the Thundering Herd outgunned the Rockets, 49-45. Many of the combined 94 points came on highlight-reel plays like the following:
One reason this game is so historic is that Leftwich played on an injured leg, made worse when he took a big hit in the third quarter. Leftwich rallied to throw two of his four touchdown passes in the final stanza, including the game-winner with less than a minute remaining.
Game over, man! Game over!