Boise State Wins Battle Of Unbeatens
by CFP Staff
January 5, 2010
TCU and Boise State wanted to prove themselves against "Big 6" schools. Instead, they were paired with each other in the Fiesta Bowl after playing in last year's Poinsettia Bowl. Boise State prevailed 17-10 to avenge last year's loss.
The Broncos had won just one of their five previous bowl games and were 0-2 since their monumental overtime upset of Oklahoma in this game three years ago. This victory not only stopped Boise State's bowl slide, it halted the Horned Frogs' 4-bowl winning streak and 14-game overall winning streak while extending the Broncos' own win streak to 14 games. It also handed the Mountain West Conference its first loss of the bowl season.
Boise State won this game largely because it won the turnover battle 3-1. Victory wasn't secured until Winston Venable intercepted Andy Dalton at the Boise State 14-yard line with a half-minute left after TCU had just achieved a 1st-and-10 at the Broncos' 30-yard line. The pass to the sidelines was first tipped by Brandyn Thompson.
TCU had a great opportunity to tie the score minutes earlier when Jeremy Kerley returned a punt 39 yards to the Boise State 31-yard line, but the Horned Frogs turned the ball over on downs.
A fake punt set up Doug Martin's 2-yard run that broke a 10-10 tie at the 7:21 mark of the 4th quarter. On 4th-and-9 and its own 33-yard line, Boise State punter Kyle Brotzman completed a 29-yard pass over the middle to TE Kyle Efaw for a first down at the Horned Frogs' 38. After that, Moore had consecutive completions of 11 yards to Efaw, 9 yards to Titus Young and 16 yards to Tommy Gallarda to set up Martin's touchdown.
Boise State controlled nearly all of the first half, taking a 10-0 lead that could have been more. The Broncos struck first when Thompson intercepted Dalton and raced 51 yards to the end zone. Boise State's next drive reached the TCU 19 where Brotzman missed a 36-yard field goal. Two possessions later, Boise State reached the TCU 22-yard line where it had to settle for Brotzman's 40-yart make.
After TCU's first five drives ended with five punts and an interception, Dalton and the offense needed just 1:11 to go 62 yards on 5 plays and pull to within 10-7 at the half on a 30-yard pass to Curtis Clay.
In the 3rd quarter, CFP and FWAA All-American defensive lineman Jerry Hughes forced and recovered a fumble by Martin that led to a Ross Evans 29-yard field goal.
Boise State and TCU have met three times in bowl games over the last 7 years and the Broncos now own a 2-1 lead in the series that has produced nothing but tight games. The Broncos won the 2003 Fort Worth Bowl 34-31.