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.
turned back #3 TCU in a monumental defensive struggle to win the 2010 Fiesta
Bowl Monday night in
In the process, the Broncos
can now claim a share of the national title.
became only the second team in modern history to finish the season 14-0 (
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,
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 (
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
us to run a fake like that is gutsy," said Brotzman, who also hit a 40-yard
field goal. "That's BoiseState 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
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.
picked off three Andy Dalton passes, got a hand on several others and sacked
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
Brandyn Thompson stepped in
front of a
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
's winning drive--and his tip of a
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
game.He did, however, grab a
clutch catch on fourth down to advance the ball to the TCU 25 and set up the
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.
BoiseState 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.
"The Throw" by Brotzman, TCU had three final chances to force overtime.
Bronco defense was up to the task.
remaining, BoiseState forced a three-and-out following
three incompletions.After BoiseState 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.
BoiseState 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
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
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.
set new NCAA all-time college football records for the lowest interception
ratio in history.
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 BoiseState 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.
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
's 2008 total of 281.
Despite being on track for
breaking his own completion percentage record,
fell back in the latter part of the season to 64.3% and is fourth for a single
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.
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.
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
He does have something to
work on next year—his efficiency rating of 161.7 this season is sixth all-time
and slipped from 166 just a few weeks ago.That allowed
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
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
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
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.
"championship game" is tonight, and yet no one has eliminated
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.