Fiesta Bowl: Boise State's Defense Leads The Way In 17-10 Win Over TCU

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Full Recap: Boise State Uses Defense, Trickiness To Take Fiesta From TCU

Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) – Doug Martin scored the go-ahead touchdown with 7:21 remaining in the fourth quarter, as sixth-ranked Boise State held off a late charge by No. 3 TCU, to post a 17-10 victory in the Fiesta Bowl.

Kellen Moore threw for 211 yards on 23-of-39 attempts for the Broncos, who became the second team in NCAA history to notch a 14-0 record, joining the 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes. Brandyn Thompson took home defensive MVP honors after picking off TCU quarterback Andy Dalton twice, returning one of the interceptions for a touchdown.

Boise State made its second appearance in a BCS game, the first a triple- overtime thriller over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Boise State stunned the Sooners with a two-point conversion on a trick play. The Broncos went back to its bag of tricks in this contest, using a fake punt to keep the decisive drive alive.

The Broncos avenged a loss to TCU in last season’s Poinsetta Bowl and will now join either Alabama or Texas as the nation’s only unbeaten programs.

Dalton completed 25-of-44 passes for 272 yards and one touchdown, but threw three interceptions, the final one sealing the Horned Frogs’ (12-1) fate in the dying seconds. The junior quarterback had thrown just five INTs this season.

“The fake punt was a great call, three or four plays in the second half was the difference in the ball game,” said TCU head coach Gary Patterson. “I thought both teams played hard. We just came up short.”

Thompson’s second interception gave Boise State the ball at its own 22 early in the fourth quarter. The drive appeared to have stalled at the 33, with the Broncos lining up to punt the ball on 4th-and-9. But Boise State head coach Chris Petersen rolled the dice.

Kyle Brotzman took the direct snap and floated a pass over the middle to a wide open Kyle Efaw, who rumbled 29 yards to the TCU 38.

“Yeah, that’s a gutsy call. I’m glad it worked,” Efaw said. “Everyone did their job and we shifted out and they shifted out with it. So we knew it had a good chance.”

A 16-yard pass from Moore to Tommy Gallarda later in the possession set up a 1st-and-goal at the two. Martin charged into the end zone on the next play for a 17-10 Boise State lead.

Three consecutive incompletions by Dalton on the ensuing series led to a punt, but the Horned Frogs quickly got the ball back after their defense forced a three-and-out.

A 39-yard punt return by TCU’s Jeremy Kerley placed the ball at the BSU 31 with 5:37 remaining. The Horned Frogs nearly scored a touchdown on first down, but Antoine Hicks failed to secure the ball. Following a sack, Dalton completed a throw to Bart Johnson for seven yards, but his intended pass to Jimmy Young on 4th-and-6 fell incomplete.

Boise State advanced the ball to its own 44-yard line before Brotzman’s punt was downed at the TCU one. The Horned Frogs started their final drive with 1:06 showing on the clock. A 19-yard strike to Kerley set up a first down at the BSU 30, but Broncos safety Winston Venable reeled in a tipped ball on the next play to cement the win.

“If you look at the stats, a real, real evenly matched game,” Petersen said. “We were able to make a play or two and get the (win).”

Boise State’s defense delivered the first blow when Thompson stepped in front of Dalton’s intended target and sprinted 51 yards to the end zone for a 7-0 lead less with 11:28 to play in the first.

Brotzman, who missed a 36-yard field goal in the opening frame, drilled a 40- yarder with 8:02 remaining in the second quarter, but Dalton’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Curtis Clay trimmed the deficit to 10-7 with 49 seconds to go before halftime.

Following the break, TCU transformed a Martin fumble into a 29-yard Ross Evans field goal, tying the game with 3:42 left in the third quarter.

Efaw, who was named the offensive player of the game, had 75 yards on four receptions…Boise State’s Titus Young made a game-high eight catches for 72 yards…Martin was limited to 42 yards on 16 carries…TCU amassed just 36 yards on the ground…Dalton became the Horned Frogs’ all-time passing leader, breaking Max Knake’s mark of 7,370, set from 1992-95…TCU played in its first BCS game…Boise State improved to 6-4 all-time in bowl games…The Horned Frogs have an 11-13-1 record in bowl games.

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VIDEO: Boise State's Fourth Quarter Fake Punt

Bronco punter Kyle Brotzman fakes the kick on 4th and 9 and hits Kyle Efaw for the first-down. Boise would go on to score the game-winning touchdown and win the Fiesta Bowl over TCU 17-10

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OBNUG: Boise State Can Play Defense, Too

When you think of Boise State you probably think of offense and trick plays. But it was special teams and defense that led the No. 6 Broncos to their 17-10 Fiesta Bowl win over No. 3 TCU. Boise blog One Bronco Nation Under God thinks the team had a personal mission tonight to prove theirs was the truly good defense on the field.

Coming into the game you would be excused if you thought that only one participant in the Fiesta Bowl had a defense. The Broncos apparently took it personally. The BSU defense was on fire almost all night long, stuffing running lanes, keeping receivers bottled up, and putting on the type of performance that is legendary.

36 rushing yards for TCU?!?!

1 for 12 on 3rd down?!?!

Unbelievable.

Words cannot describe right now. This was the Oregon defensive performance that we all knew they were capable of except I think tonight’s was even better. Give me a few minutes. I can hardly get myself composed right now.

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MWC Connection: Boise State's Defense Too Much For TCU IN Fiesta Bowl

Mountain West blog MWC Connection figured they might see a low-scoring, close ballgame. They just didn’t expect to see Boise on top when it was over.

The outcome was close as I expected, but what i did not expect was that Boise’s defense was able to play as well as they did; especially by their defensive backs. Andy Dalton did not really help himself out with three picks and that floater at the end of the game on that final drive where TCU started at their own one and was looking good.

This win nulls any AP title talk that TCU might have been received. Boise State impressed me very much, most specifically their defensive backfield that was able to tip multiple passes and the second biggest play was the early pick for a touchdown. However, that fake punt was the biggest play of the game, or perhaps the dropped pass that would have tied the game for TCU.

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Interception With 22 Seconds Left Seals 17-10 Win For Boise State

TCU needed to go 99 yards in just 66 seconds for a chance to tie the game -- no easy task, for sure. But the Frogs were at least on the right side of the field, thanks in part to a pass interference penalty. On the Broncos' 30-yard line, with 29 seconds left, TCU's Andy Dalton dropped back, slung a pass out toward the far sideline ... only to have the ball tipped up in the air, as both receiver and defender battled. The ball hung in the air for what must have felt like an eternity for players and fans alike, before finally coming to rest in the waiting arms of Boise State's Winston Venable, sealing the win. 

Boise State took a knee to make it official, winning the Fiesta Bowl, 17-10. They are just the second team ever to go 14-0. 

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Boise State Marches Down Field, Takes 17-10 Lead In Fourth Quarter

Boise State seemingly remembered how to play "offense" in the fourth quarter and stormed down the field on a 10-play, 78-yard drive, kept alive by a fake punt (oh, those tricky Broncos!) on 4th-and-9, from their own 33-yard line. That 29-yard pick-up ignited a spark in Boise State, and they promptly broke off three straight plays -- 11-yard pass, 9-yard pass and a 16-yard pass -- to get down to the TCU two-yard line, where Doug Martin finished it off, diving in for the go-ahead touchdown. With about seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, Boise State is leading, 17-10. 

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Sad Cowbell Girl: Fiesta Bowl's Lonely Hero

When I saw Michael McDonald sing the National Anthem, I thought no way the Fiesta Bowl could get a better hero. But then the Boise State's Blue Thunder Marching Band took the field during halftime, and the country was introduced to Sad Cowbell Girl. 

What Will Ferrell did for the cowbell with enthusiasm and energy, this Bronco did the same, but with apathy and melancholy. 

Poor girl, the game's not even over and she's well on her way to becoming an Internet meme

(Video via Jimmy Traina, image via edsbs)

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Boise State Just Played Defense: This Fiesta Bowl Has Everything!

A WAC team is playing defense! It’s just the WAC team you’d expect, too — Boise State entered this game tied for third in the nation in interceptions, and less than five minutes into the first quarter Brandyn Thompson notched his fourth of the season, picking off Andy Dalton and returning 51 yards for a speedy six points. Broncos lead, 7-0.

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