Boise State Earns Share Of National Title

In a battle as close as the final score, Boise State earned a share of the national title with a 17-10 win over #3 TCU in the Fiesta Bowl Monday night in Glendale, Arizona. The Broncos finish the season with un unblemished 14-0 record.

Boise State turned back #3 TCU in a monumental defensive struggle to win the 2010 Fiesta Bowl Monday night in Glendale , Arizona .  

In the process, the Broncos can now claim a share of the national title.  Boise State became only the second team in modern history to finish the season 14-0 ( Ohio State in 2002 was the other) and, contrary to what the Bowl Championship Series claims, has not been "eliminated" by anyone.  They are still standing with a record unblemished.  

The contest was eerily similar to last year's Poinsettia Bowl between the two teams.  Once again, Boise State jumped out to a 10-0 lead only to see TCU claw back and tie it at 10.  However, this time the Horned Frogs did not dominate either line of scrimmage.  That battle was more likely as close as the final score ( Boise State had 318 yards of total offense to 316 for TCU.)   

Punter Kyle Brotzman's perfect pass to Kyle Efaw on a fake punt with nine minutes remaining turned the tide for Boise State .  "For us to run a fake like that is gutsy," said Brotzman, who also hit a 40-yard field goal. "That's Boise State football." Quarterback Kellen Moore and the Bronco offense then engineered a drive down the field that culminated in Doug Martin's flying leap into the end zone for the game-winner.  

But this game was all about defense and to win a low-scoring game with TCU speaks volumes about the Bronco defense. TCU is the national leader in defense, allowing less than 240 yards per game. But   Boise State allowed just four penetrations into its own territory by TCU. TCU was just 1 for 12 in third-down situations.   The Bronco offense allowed just 45 yards rushing by the vaunted Horned Frog ground attack that came into the game averaging nearly 256 yards a game.  Boise State picked off three Andy Dalton passes, got a hand on several others and sacked him twice.  

Meanwhile, the Bronco offensive line kept All-America defensive end Jerry Hughes in check and did not allow a sack, despite the national perception that the TCU defense would eat Moore alive.  

Brandyn Thompson stepped in front of a Dalton pass on TCU's second drive and had a clear path to the end zone for a 51-yard pick six to put the Broncos ahead 7-0.  Thompson finished with two interceptions—his second set up Boise State 's winning drive--and his tip of a Dalton pass with 29 seconds remaining was intercepted by Winston Venable to preserve the Bronco win.  Thompson was named the game's defensive Most Valuable Player.  

Brotzman capped a 14-play drive with a 40-yard field goal to put the Broncos up 10-0.  Austin Pettis, who set a school record earlier this year with 14 touchdown catches, played sparingly after suffering an ankle fracture in the first half of the Nevada game.  He did, however, grab a clutch catch on fourth down to advance the ball to the TCU 25 and set up the field goal.  

TCU did not score until the final minute of the first half, when Dalton hit Curtis Clay for a 30-yard score to make it 10-7 at halftime.  Prior to that, TCU punted five times and suffered the interception on their first six drives of the half.   

Boise State drove into Horned Frog territory midway through the third quarter but Hughes forced a fumble at the TCU 42 and Ross Evans kicked a 29-yard field goal on the ensuing drive to tie it at 10 heading into the fourth quarter.  

Following "The Throw" by Brotzman, TCU had three final chances to force overtime.   

The Bronco defense was up to the task.   

With 7:21 remaining, Boise State forced a three-and-out following three incompletions.  After Boise State failed to move the ball, a low Brotzman punt was returned by standout Jeremy Kerley for 39 yards to the Boise State 31.  Brotzman was the last line of defense and forced Kerley out of bounds.  Dalton 's pass to Antoine Hicks at the goal line was on target but it appeared Hicks mistimed his jump and could not come up with the ball.  The Broncos held when a fourth-down pass to Jimmy Young fell incomplete.  

Boise State picked up a first down and nearly ran out the clock but had to punt it one more time.  This time, a 55-yard punt by Brotzman was downed by Kyle Wilson at the 1 with 1:06 remaining.  

Nevertheless, TCU was able to drive to the Boise State 30 on the strength of four Dalton completions and a controversial pass interference call.  Dalton 's next attempt was tipped by Thompson and intercepted by Venable as the estimated 38,000 Bronco fans went wild.  

Dalton had suffered only five interceptions in 279 pass attempts during the regular season, when he earned first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors. But the Broncos put pressure on Dalton from the start; late in the first quarter, unblocked defender Kyle Wilson blitzed and flattened Dalton , who came out for one play.  

Moore and Boise State set new NCAA all-time college football records for the lowest interception ratio in history.  Moore threw just three interceptions in 431 attempts, not only breaking Jeff Mladenich's school record of .82% (two interceptions in 239 attempts in 1991) but the existing all-time collegiate record for a minimum of 350 attempts.  Marquel Blackwell of South Florida held the mark with three interceptions in 403 attempts in 2002 (.74%) but Moore has surpassed it.  

 Perhaps even more impressive is that Boise State threw just three interceptions as a team all season.  The Broncos shattered the existing NCAA record with a miniscule .66% interception ratio.  That beats both the record for a minimum of 400 attempts held by Bowling Green (4 INT 's in 472 attempts in 2004) as well as the all-time mark of .84% held by Fresno State (3 picks in 359 attempts in 1999).  

The Bronco sophomore shot past Taylor Tharp's 2007 total of 423 attempts and finished the year with 431, 15 shy of Ryan Dinwiddie's school record.  Moore is in fifth place all-time with 856 attempts.  He landed in third with 277 completions this season, behind Taylor Tharp's 289 (2007) and Moore 's 2008 total of 281.  

Despite being on track for breaking his own completion percentage record, Moore fell back in the latter part of the season to 64.3% and is fourth for a single season.  

Moore surpassed last year's total offense of 3,456 yards with 3,531 this season.  He now owns the #3 and #4 totals in school history.  His 6,987 yards in two seasons is fifth in the record books despite the fact that most of the Top 10 played four years.  

He also eclipsed his freshman total of 3,486 passing yards with 3,531 this year.  Moore went over the 7,000-mark in career passing yards in the Fiesta Bowl against TCU and now has 7,017.  He is just 1,239 yards behind the four-year total of Jared Zabransky for fourth.   Moore has now thrown for over 200 yards in 22 of his 26 career games.  That moves him past Jared Zabransky (2003-2006) for fourth place all-time.   

He does have something to work on next year—his efficiency rating of 161.7 this season is sixth all-time at Boise State and slipped from 166 just a few weeks ago.  That allowed Florida quarterback Tim Tebow to pass him for #1 in the nation with a 164.2 rating.  

Kyle Wilson finished his illustrious career as the fourth-best punt returner in school history,  He had 63 returns for 793 yards, a 12.6 average that is behind only Chris Carr (19.8 average from 2001-2004), Quinton Jones (16.9 from 2003-06) and Kerry Lawyer (12.9 from 1991-1993).  

Martin's flying go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter gave him 15 on the season, good for fifth place all-time.   

Avery was held to 20 yards by the stout Horned Frog defense, but still passed a tightly-bunched group for seventh in single-season yards with 1,151.  Avery passed #8 Jon Francis (1,147 yards in 1985), David Mikell (2003) and Eron Hurley (1998), both with 1,142 yards, and Rodney Webster, who had 1,139 yards in 1981.  

Young tied the school record for kickoff returns in a season with 31.  Titus ties Ryan Ikebe, who returned the same number in 1996.   

Young's career high of eight receptions against TCU gave him 79 this season, just three behind record-holder Jeremy Childs, who set the mark in 2007, decided to enter the National Football League draft early, was not drafted, and thus did not get to enjoy the Fiesta Bowl.  

Young passed Mike Wilson's long-standing record of 76 receptions in 1992 and Childs' 2008 total of 72.  He is well shy of Childs' three-year total of 168 as well as school record holder Don Hutt (189 from 1970-1973), but could make history with 56 receptions next season.  He has 133 in his Boise State career.  

Young went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark as well as surpassing 2,000 yards in all-purpose running in the Fiesta Bowl and finished the year with 1,041.  "TY" passed two of the greatest Bronco receivers in the early years of four-year football:  Terry Hutt (1,032 yards in 1977) and Al Marshall (1,003 yards in 1972).  

Young's 2009 total of 2,012 all-purpose yards is second only to Brock Forsey's 2,127 yards in 2002.   

Ryan Winterswyk was credited with half a sack and half a tackle for loss.  He finished the year with nine sacks, falling just short of becoming the first Bronco in 13 years to have 10 sacks in a season.  He did tie Mike T. Williams for eighth place in career sacks with 16.5 and his 37.5 career tackles for loss is tied with Shawn Anderson's numbers from 1988-1991.  

Besides "The Throw", Brotzman booted a field goal to tie Mike Black's 18-year-old school record of 51 that was set from 1988-1991. Brotzman's field goal and two extra points gave him 117 points this season, fifth all-time and three better than his 2007 total of 114.   

The BCS "championship game" is tonight, and yet no one has eliminated Boise State .   

It would be nice to decide these things on the field.  For now, all the Broncos can claim is "a share" of the national title.

Gentry Motors, Proud Boise State and BroncoCountry Supporter

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