Boise State Scores Major Upset
by Mike Mitchell
Boise State defeated Oklahoma in OT on a statue of liberty play for the 2-point conversion, 43-42, in the Fiesta Bowl. They sent the game into overtime on a hook-and-lateral play. The win leaves the Broncos at 13-0 and could possibly finish the season ranked No. 1 in the Congrove Computer Rankings if Ohio State loses to Florida.
The stomach-churning game saw Boise State exert quick control by jumping out to an early 14-0 lead, and the Broncos stretched it to 28-10 midway through the 3rd quarter on Marty Tadman's 28-yard interception return.
Oklahoma appeared to be all but dead, even after rallying to within 28-20 at the start of the fourth quarter. Then, the clock struck 12 and suddenly it looked like Cinderella was about to lose the Fiesta slipper.
Sooner quarterback Paul Thompson, who threw three interceptions in the first three quarters, guided his team on a 6-play 77-yard drive in 1:14 to cut the gap to 28-26. It took three tries, but Oklahoma passed for the two-point conversion. The first attempt was an incomplete fade pass but Boise State was called for interference. The second attempt was a successful pass but the Sooners were called for an illegal shift. Thompson's pass to Juaquin Iglesias finally knotted the score.
After the ensuing kick-off, Zabransky was picked off on a pass to the sideline by Marcus Walker who streaked 34 yards to the endzone for a 35-28 Oklahoma lead. The jubilant Sooners erupted in victory celebration - but 55 seconds still remained.
Zabransky completed a 36-yard pass to the Oklahoma 42, but he was sacked on the next play for an 8-yard loss and two incompletions followed. Then, first-year head coach Chris Petersen began to unload his teams' bag of tricks.
On 4th-and-18, Zabransky threw 15 yards to Drisan James who cut right, then flipped the ball to Jerard Rabb coming left. Rabb streaked to the sideline and ran the remaining 27 yards untouched into the endzone to force overtime on the hook-and-lateral play.
The Sooners went on offense first and scored on the initial play as Adrian Peterson darted, without much resistance, into the endzone. In the blink of an eye, Boise had its back to the wall again.
After six plays, Boise State was facing 4th-and-2 at the Oklahoma 6. Wide receiver Vinny Perretta lined up under center and Zabransky went in motion to the left. But Perretta rolled right and lofted a soft pass to Derek Schouman for the touchdown.
To everyone's surprise, Petersen called for a 2-point conversion. After an Oklahoma time-out, a national TV audience witnessed a play that is usually only seen on the playground. Zabransky faked a pass to the right while the ball was hidden in his left hand. Running back Ian Johnson took the ball and ran left untouched for the game-winning points on a modified version of the "Statue of Liberty" play.
On a blast from the past, a new kid arrived in style as Boise State was able to slay the critics and a traditional football power that had appeared in 33 more bowl games than the Broncos. The win improved Boise State's bowl record to 5-2 while Oklahoma slipped 24-15-1. It was the third loss for the Sooners in their last four bowl games.
Zabransky was 19-of-29 for 262 yards, 3 TD's and 1 INT. Johnson ran for 101 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.
For Oklahoma, Adrian Petersen had 77 yards on 20 carries and 2 touchdowns. Thompson recovered from his three picks to throw two TD passes and finished the night 19-of-32 for 233 yards.