Toledo running back David Fluellen (22) runs the ball against Northern Illinois during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game at the Glass Bowl in Toledo.
Tim Beckman's pockets were just as empty leaving the field as they were entering the Glass Bowl on Tuesday night, but that doesn't mean he didn't take two precious commodities into the locker room with him following the University of Toledo's 63-60 loss to Northern Illinois.
Ignoring pleas from at least one of his assistant coaches, Beckman opted not to use any timeouts on Northern Illinois' final scoring drive and instead watched as the Huskies burned almost four minutes off the clock before scoring the game-winning touchdown with 19 seconds left.
"We talked about [calling timeout] a little bit on the headsets," Beckman said after the game, "but we felt the best decision would be [not to]. We thought we had them moved back because of a couple penalties and that we could stop them."
Asked if his decision boiled down to confidence in his defense -- a unit that already had been torched for 56 points in the game's first 52 minutes -- in that situation, Beckman responded, "Sure, no question."
He also said he didn't regret not calling timeout to preserve time for his offense and give the Rockets a better opportunity to either tie the game with a field goal or go for the win.
"I'm never going to second guess what we do," Beckman said.
Instead, UT's offense took possession with 15 seconds remaining and used one timeout after senior wide receiver Kenny Stafford ran out of bounds on a 19-yard pass play, but time expired before the Rockets could reach the end zone or even get into field goal range.
"I wish [Northern Illinois] would have scored sooner, so at least we would have had a shot to go down there and score," UT junior quarterback Austin Dantin said. "We ran out of time at the end."
Dantin added that there was discussion on the sidelines between himself and his teammates about whether the coaches should have called timeout during the Huskies' game-winning drive.
"I think the coaches did a great job," Dantin said. "You have to let them play against the clock and you can't assume that they're going to score. Coach Beckman does a great job as always, and I think he made the right decision."
BOBO'S BOOBOO: UT senior safety Charles "Bobo" Rancifer did not play against Northern Illinois because he broke a "team policy," according to Beckman, who declined to shed any new light on the situation after the game.
"We have standards here and we're going to live up to those standards," Beckman said. "This team is about we, not me."
Senior Diauntae Morrow moved over from free safety to start in place of Rancifer at the "star" position against the Huskies and registered four solo tackles and one pass breakup. Sophomore Ross Madison made his second start of the season at free safety and recorded seven tackles and two breakups.
BIG PLAY PAGE: UT junior wide receiver Eric Page tied a MAC record Tuesday night with five touchdown receptions, set in 1997 by Marshall's Randy Moss.
Page also surpassed the 3,000-yard mark in receiving and finished with nine catches for 150 yards. He needs 24 more yards to pass Stephen Williams (2006-09, 3,102 yards) in the record book as UT's all-time leader in receiving yards.
Page passed Williams earlier this season in career receptions and is UT's all-time leader with 256 catches in a little more than 2 1/2 seasons.
"I think Eric Page is the best player ever to play at Toledo," NIU coach Dave Doeren said. "He single-handedly gave them field position. I'm glad we don't have to play them again."
Contact Zach Silka at: email@example.com, 419-724-6084 or on Twitter @ZachSilka.
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