Few times in my life have I stood and cheered at the television. Even fewer times has that happened at nearly 1 AM on a work night. I did last night, my sleeping family be damned. I'll be honest, part of me wanted Boise St. to win, just for the little guy, yet another part of me wanted them to lose so Ohio State would be the only undefeated team should they win next week. Plus, Oklahoma was getting All-World running back Adrian Peterson back in the lineup in what figured to be his last college football game. I didn't give Boise much hope.
Much to my surprise, it was the Broncos that came out and hit OU in the mouth. Like a boxer, who knows he doesn't have the stamina to go 12 rounds with the World Champ so they try and throw as many hay-makers as possible trying to land the lucky punch, Boise got out to an early lead. Mid-way through the 3rd quarter the game looked to be over for the 1st of many times when Boise St. played the Pick-5 game to take a 28-10 lead. Certainly several of you went to bed at this point. I didn't, riveted by the upset I thought I was watching.
The best was yet to come. Oklahoma, playing like the proud and storied team they are, battled back to within 8 with the help of a fluke bounce on a fumble. Fast forward to late in the 4th quarter. I am starting to get the sense that a great story, a Cinderella story, is about to come to an end. Boise St. looks tired, out of gas, out of hay-makers. With 1:31 to go, OU gets the TD they need, and the 2-point conversion to boot. The success rate of 2-point conversion in college football is less than 50%, and OU had to do it twice, the second from 7 yards out because of penalties.
Ok, no problem, Boise has two timeouts, a minute and half, to try and get the winning score. Worst case this game goes to OT. Ummm, not so fast. It's OU who decides to play the Pick-6 game, taking a 7 point lead with a minute to go. My heart sank. I could hear all the big-school, BCS conference homers saying, "I told you so, small schools just don't belong."
The next half hour will be stuck in college football lore forever. Boise State has less than a minute, 2 timeouts and need a TD just to tie. After a completion and a sack, the Broncos face a 4th and 18. What do they call? The Hook-and-Ladder play, what else. Worked to perfection with 7 seconds to go the Broncos incredibly tie the game. I nearly choked on the water I was drinking.
To Overtime we go, and it doesn't take long for the Sooners to regain the lead, with Peterson going 25 yards on the opening play for a 42-35 lead. It's at this moment I say to my daughter's Cabbage Patch Doll, my only company at the time, that if BSU can somehow get into the end zone they need to go for the win.
Boise gets the ball, and after driving to the 7 yard line, puts the ball in the hands of, who else, a sophomore WR. With their 5th year senior running in motion Boise scores on a 7 yard touchdown pass. "Gotta go for 2, gotta go for 2" is all I kept saying, or yelling is more like it.
They do, and what play do you call in that situation? The same play I ran as a quarterback on my elementary school playground, the Statue of Liberty. A fake pass to the right, while handing the ball off behind your back to the left. Works like a champ, and Ian Johnson, a running back who broke the record for most TDs in D-I college football, runs untouched into the end-zone. I yelled, and what I said I won't transcribe here for the sake of remaining kid-friendly. Game over, right?
WRONG. Johnson immediately hoes over to his girlfriend, a BSU cheerleader, drops to a knee and proposes, right then and there. Luckily for him she says yes, and the Broncos ride off into the sunset.
Final, 43-42 Boise State, and the Broncos win one for the little guy. Sure, the Broncos needed a bit of Daivd Copperfield and David Blaine to get it done, with illusion and magic, but they did it none the less. Congratulations Boise State, from one type of Broncos fan to another!
Photo Courtesy Of SI.com