Sunday, July 26, 2015

The Top 100 Plays in Boise State Football History

This list was compiled and voted on in the Summer of 2007, but it still is great to go back to:

The Top Plays in Bronco Football History

(As Compiled on BroncoCountry from March-July of 2007)



#100.  Kyle Wilson Plays Takeaway vs. Nevada in 2006

Boise State was 11-0 and one more win would land the Broncos their first-ever BCS Bowl.  The final opponent was rival Nevada.  The Bronco defense had been outstanding and Boise State was up 38-7 late in the game.  Nevada mounted their last challenge to make it closer.  Star WolfPack runner Robert Hubbard caught the ball in the clear and hustled inside the Bronco 20.  Could he outrun the Bronco defense for a second Nevada score?  The entire nation, including Harris Poll and ESPN Coaches Poll voters, was watching.  Safety Kyle Wilson raced to catch Hubbard.  With one hand he tackled Hubbard and with the other, tried to grab the ball.  When both players come down, it was Wilson with the ball and a stunned Hubbard sitting on the ground.  The Pack was denied and ended the game with just one touchdown.



#98.  Heffner's Toes Pay Off in Final Minutes of 1988 Game with Sam Houston State

In 1988, with Sam Houston State leading 10-7, quarterback Duane Halliday led a last Bronco attempt to win the game.  With a little over three minutes remaining, Boise State had the ball on their own 19.  Halliday drove the Broncos down to the Sam Houston 6, using a mix of runs and passes.  At the six, Halliday fired for wide receiver Terry Heffner deep in the south end zone.  Heffner made a sensational catch, just scraping his toes in bounds to win the game 14-10.  This key victory enabled the Broncos to qualify for the Division I-AA playoffs for the first time in seven years.



#96.  Malaythong Goes Over For Game-Winner over Louisville in 1999 Humanitarian Bowl 

In 1999, Brock Forsey’s run was the key play in a drive that took Boise State to the five-yard line against Louisville in the Humanitarian Bowl. The Broncos were down 31-27 in the fourth quarter. To follow Forsey’s great effort, quarterback Bart Hendricks handed off to Davey Malaythong, who burst over for the game-winning touchdown as the Broncos defeated Louisville 34-31.



#95.  Mikell Takes it Back on the Razorbacks in 2000

In 2000, Boise State played their second opponent from the Southeastern Conference.  The Broncos and Arkansas hooked up in Little Rock and the home team was a 26-point favorite.  Due to some disastrous early mistakes, the Broncos were behind 31-14 with 2:36 left in the third quarter.  Arkansas had just scored and boomed a kickoff to David Mikell at the 2-yard line.  Mikell got a key block from Brock Forsey, headed up the sideline and broke three tackles after crossing the 50 to score his first college touchdown.  That narrowed the score to 31-21.  Coach Dirk Koetter’s team came from 21 points to tie it at 31, but the Razorbacks prevailed in a 38-31 nail-biter.



#93.  Kwiatkowski Denies Nevada in 1987

In 1987, Boise State and Nevada were hooked up in a tense battle in Reno.  With the score 36-31 and Nevada poised outside the Bronco goal line on fourth down, about to score the go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes in Reno, Pete Kwiatkowski broke through for a sack that stopped the Pack.  Nevada has a second and five when Jon Zacharro went back to pass.  Pete Kwiatkowski broke through and sacked him with 22 seconds left.  Nevada was out of time outs and could not get another play off as the Broncos held off their arch-rivals.


#92.  Franklin Stops Trefalis to End Marathon 2004 Battle with San Jose State

In 2004, Boise State was trying to keep an undefeated season alive, but was locked in a battle with San Jose State.  The two teams were tied at 42 at the end of regulation and tied at 49 after the first overtime.  Boise State scored a touchdown in the second overtime, meaning the Spartans would have to answer.  On fourth down, Spartan quarterback Adam Trefalis ran towards the sideline and tried to take it in for the tie.  Bronco cornerback Gabe Franklin pushed Trefalis out of bounds at the 5 as Boise State beat San Jose State 56-49 in 2 overtimes.


#91.  Stayner’s Mission to the End Zone in 1989

In 1989, Boise State played their final home game of the season against Eastern Washington.  It was Senior Day, and the Broncos found themselves behind 13-0 at the half and down by three beginning the fourth.  Quarterback Mike Virden dropped back at the 34 and hit tight end Larry Stayner for a short pass over the middle at the 40.  Stayner got a block and headed to the sideline.  He broke a tackle, then another, and headed towards paydirt, falling down in the north end zone as he was finally tackled for a 66-yard touchdown.   The play held up as the Broncos won 27-20.



#89.  Forsey’s Run Clinches 2000 Humanitarian Bowl

In the 2000 Humanitarian Bowl, Jeff Edwards had just made a successful punt fake for a first down at the UTEP 41.  Brock Forsey lined up split on the right side, then went in motion.  Bart Hendricks handed him the ball as he crossed the field behind.  Two Miner players lunged for him but hit the blue turf.  Forsey split two Miner defenders at the 40 and two more at the 30.  By the time a Miner defensive back could catch him, Forsey was at the 3.  Forsey carried him three yards and stretched out the ball over the goal line for a touchdown that changed the complexion of the game, giving the Broncos a 30-13 lead. 


#88.  Alexander’s 2004 Liberty Bowl INT Off Louisville Helmet

In 2004, Boise State was hooked up in a classic with Louisville in the Liberty Bowl.  With Boise State leading 24-21, Louisville had the ball on their own 23-yard line.  Cardinal quarterback Brian Brohm dropped back to pass and fired to senior receiver J.R. Russell at the 35.  Gerald Alexander deflected it up in the air.  The ball bounced off Russell’s helmet and into the hands of the alert Alexander, who then ran it back to the 12-yard line.  Boise State scored four plays later to go ahead 31-21.  The lead was short-lived, however, and Louisville came back for a 44-40 win. 


#87.  Paljetak to Schrack Gives Broncos Relief in 1994 Semifinals

In 1994, with Boise State behind Marshall 24-7 in the Division I-AA Semifinals and 2:25 left in the first half, starting quarterback Tony Hilde injured his shoulder, forcing little-used backup Mark Paljetak to enter the game.  Paljetak promptly led Boise State on a five-play, 61-yard drive, hitting Lee Schrack with an inside screen that turned into a 34-yard touchdown.  The Broncos closed the gap to 24-14 at halftime and went on to win 28-24 to advance to their second national championship game.


#85.  Peretta’s Miraculous Catch Against Boston College in 2005 MPC Bowl

Boise State came out flat in Dan Hawkins’ last game as Head Coach, the 2005 MPC Bowl against Boston College. The Eagles ran out to a 27-0 lead when it started to rain. Coincidentally or not, the Broncos began to play ball. They cut the lead to 27-7, then 27-14, then 27-21 on Quinton Jones’ 92-yard punt return. The Bronco defense held once again to force another BC punt. Quarterback Jared Zabransky led the Broncos down the field in an effort to pull off the miraculous comeback. However, Boise State faced a 4th down at the Boston College 48 with 1:16 left. Zabransky once again went back to pass. He spotted Vinny Perretta who had a step on the BC defender near the sideline. Zabransky floated a perfect pass to Perretta who caught it just prior to going out of bounds to keep the Broncos’ hopes alive. Despite Perretta’s heroics, Boise State failed to convert, and BC won 27-21.


#84.  K.C. Goes 80 Yards against Northern Arizona in 1994

The shifty K.C. Adams was a threat to go all the way every time he touched the ball. As usual, Northern Arizona and Boise State battled for the top of the Big Sky Conference standings. Flagstaff was always a tough place to play not only because of the talented Lumberjacks but because of the high altitude. The 25th-ranked Broncos had won their first four games of the season and #16 Northern Arizona was undefeated as well heading into the conference showdown. With the score 7-6, Boise State had just recovered an NAU fumble in the end zone to thwart a Lumberjack score. On the very next play, Adams shot through a hole in the middle of the field, and showed his dazzling speed in an electrifying 80-yard run to the house. The Broncos went on to win 28-16 to match the best start in school history at 5-0. Moreover, the win put Boise State in the driver’s seat for the Big Sky Championship and led to an appearance in the Division I-AA national championship game.


#83.  Johnson Explodes For 5th TD against Oregon State in 2006

In 2006, Boise State was about to complete an incredible performance against Oregon State, which finished the year in the Top 25.  The Broncos were leading 35-14 in the fourth quarter and had the ball at the 50.  Running back Ian Johnson had already scored four touchdowns to shock the Beavers and the nation.  Quarterback Jared Zabransky handed off to Johnson as a huge hole opened up in the middle of the Bronco line.  Johnson burst past two OSU defenders at the 35 and was gone for his record-tying fifth touchdown of the game to make the final score 42-14. 


#82.  Carr’s Hustle Leads to 2003 Fort Worth Bowl Trophy

In 2003, Boise State played #19 TCU on their home field in the Fort Worth Bowl.  With TCU leading 31-27 and 13:56 left, TCU had the ball on their own 24. Quarterback Brandon Hassell went to his right on an option, but Chris Carr knocked him down right after Hassell pitched the ball.  Julius Brown hit the ball carrier as he went by, knocking the ball loose.  Carr came all the way from behind the line to beat two TCU players to the loose ball.  The recovery led to a Dinwiddie to Schouman touchdown that won the game 34-31. 


#80.  Bady Nearly Takes it End to End in 2003  

In 2003, Boise State traveled to Dallas to play SMU.  Quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie took the snap at the Boise State one-yard line, drifted into the end zone and launched a deep pass.  Lawrence Bady caught the ball at the 42.  Hit as he caught it, Bady bounced off that defender, did a double gallop to elude another and sprinted to the right.  One SMU defender tried to drag him down by his jersey but failed and fell to the turf at the SMU 12.  Another corralled him at the 5 and finally dragged him down at the 1, resulting in the longest non-scoring play in Bronco history.  The Broncos easily scored on the next play and went on to post a 45-3 win.


#79.  Burgher Answers Opportunity’s Knock against #8 Fresno State in 2001 

In 2001, Boise State faced a monumental challenge in their first year in the WAC. Stunned early on their home turf, #8 Fresno State had gotten back up and taken a 28-14 lead in the second half.  The Broncos battled right back to pull with 7 at 28-21.  Fresno State took the ensuing kickoff and, led by future National Football League first-round draft choice David Carr, the Bulldogs methodically moved the ball to the Bronco 43.  The Bulldogs were looking to establish control of the game, take time off the clock and put the pesky Broncos away.  With 4:16 left in the third quarter.  Fresno had a 3rd down and less than a yard to go.  Carr handed the ball to halfback Paris Gaines.  He piled through the middle of the line in an effort to get the necessary yardage.  The ball squirted out right in the hands of freshman Travis Burgher, who ran down the left sideline to the Fresno 43.  The Broncos went on to score the tying touchdown and eventually win the game 35-30.


#78.  Jenkins Thrills Fans With 91-Yard Punt Return in 1969

In 1969, Boise State faced Idaho State in Bronco Stadium.  ISU was set to punt the ball and Bronco returner Henry Jenkins drifted back to the Boise State 9 to field the ball.  Jenkins cut to his left where a swarm of ISU defenders awaited him.  Somehow, he emerged out of the pack, hit the sideline, and ran all the way for what was to be a Boise State record punt return that would stand for 36 years.  It was a key play that helped the Broncos turn back their rivals from Pocatello 35-27, giving the Broncos their first “mythical” state crown as ISU had defeated Idaho earlier that season in Boise.


#77.  Williams Shuts the Door on Louisville in 1999 Humanitarian Bowl

In 1999, Boise State held a 34-31 lead over Louisville in the Humanitarian Bowl.  Highly-regarded Cardinals quarterback Chris Redman, the third most productive quarterback in college football history, had one more chance with less than a minute to play.  Redman dropped back and fired a pass to the 50 but linebacker Kareem Williams had a perfectly positioned himself in front of the Louisville receiver.  Williams picked it off, leaving the Broncos to run out the clock for their first Division I-A bowl win. 


#75.  Black Pulls Off Fake Punt in 1990 Playoffs

In 1990, Boise State hosted the #1 team in Division I-AA, Middle Tennessee State, in the I-AA national quarterfinals.  The Red Raiders came into town with an average of 468.6 yards of total offense.  But in the fourth quarter, the game was tied 13-13 with 11:30 to go.  Boise State faced a fourth-and-two.  Mike Black (5-6, 147) dropped back to punt at the Bronco 19.  Coach Skip Hall rolled the dice.  Black took the snap and was supposed to hit Elijah George with a pass.  However, the Blue Raiders anticipated the fake punt and dropped two men back to cover George.  Despite that, Black lofted a perfect pass behind the defenders for an 18-yard gain and a first down.  Boise State carried the momentum all the way to the end zone, scoring the winning touchdown on a 1-yard run by Sean Sanders with 5:27 left. 


#74.  Mike T. Williams Gets Key Turnover in Fiesta Bowl

Boise State had just stung Oklahoma for a long touchdown in the opening minutes of the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.  Following a brilliantly covered kickoff, Mike T. Williams had his way with a helpless Sooner tight end, infiltrating the Sooner backfield.  Sooner quarterback Paul Thompson was distracted by Korey Hall rushing in, leaving Williams to not only hit Thompson, but swat the ball loose and then recover the fumble deep in Sooner territory.  The Broncos capitalized on the turnover two plays later to go up 14-0.


#73.  Hall Unleashes Tumultuous Hit on BYU’s Beck in 2003

In 2003, Boise State traveled to Provo to take on BYU.  The game was a rout, but one individual effort in particular was memorable.  BYU quarterback John Beck went back to pass with apparently secure protection.  Then middle linebacker Korey hall came in unimpeded, charging like a freight train.  Hall hit Beck with pulverizing force and Beck had to leave the game.  Boise State trounced the Cougars 50-12.


#72.  Rabb’s Two-Point Conversion Ties San Jose State in 2006

During the great 2006 campaign, #14 Boise State had pulled with two (20-18) of San Jose State on a one-yard touchdown by quarterback Jared Zabransky with 5:22 remaining.  The Broncos had to win to keep their BCS Bowl hopes alive.  The Broncos lined up for a two-point conversion attempt that would tie the game.  Zabransky rolled to the far right side of the field and threw it right in the middle of five Spartan defensive backs.  Somehow, Boise State wide receiver Gerard Rabb went up in the air and came down with it to tie.  Minutes later, the Broncos would kick a field goal to win 23-20 on the road.   


#71.  Schouman Puts the Broncos in Business in Fiesta Bowl Final Drive

In the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Boise State’s 18-point lead had evaporated and the Broncos were down 35-28.  Boise State had the ball on their own 22-yard line with just 40 seconds with which to score the tying touchdown.  One play put them in business.  Quarterback Jared Zabransky dropped back, waited patiently and scrambled for a few extra seconds to find tight end Derek Schouman open in the OU secondary.  The connection was perfect and with the aid of a vicious block by Gerard Rabb, “Schou” was at the Oklahoma 42 for a 36-yard completion.  Boise State scored seconds later on a miraculous Hook and Lateral and eventually won in overtime 43-42. 


#70.  Bedard’s Alert Route Nets 32 Yards in I-AA Championship Game

In a tense battle with Eastern Kentucky for the 1980 National Championship in Division I-AA, Eastern Kentucky scored on a long bomb to take a 29-24 lead and dampen Bronco hopes with less than a minute to play.  But the Broncos came storming back.  From their own 20-yard line, quarterback Joe Aliotti completed a pass to wide receiver Kipp Bedard for 19 yards, then another for 13.  Boise State had driven inside Colonel territory in two plays.  Aliotti again dropped back to pass.  He faked a pass in the right flat to fullback David Hughes, and then broke out of the pocket.  Right before he came up on the line of scrimmage, Aliotti spotted who else but Bedard once again, whose 32-yard reception put Boise State in scoring position on the EKU 12.  The Broncos took advantage and scored on a miraculous fourth down play to win the game and the national championship31-29.



#69.  Halliday finds Kenzel to Defeat Weber State with 44 Seconds Left

 In 1988, Boise State hosted Big Sky rival Weber State.  The Wildcats had scored to take a 27-24 lead in the fourth quarter.  Quarterback Duane Halliday led the Broncos back in a last-minute drive.  With 44 seconds left, Halliday hit reserve fullback Todd Kinzel on an 11-yard scoring play to beat Weber State 31-27.  Kinzel explained how he was able to get so open in the end zone with the game on the line.  “If the outside linebackers come, I release as a checkout receiver, as a last resort.  I was just in the right place at the right time.”  Kinzel made the read, and Halliday delivered the perfect pass.


#68.  Franklin Gets Late INT vs. TCU in 2003 Fort Worth Bowl  

In 2003, Boise State received their first out-of-town bowl invitation and traveled to the Fort Worth Bowl, hosted by TCU.  Down to the Broncos 34-31 with 5:48 left, TCU faced a third-and-seven at their own 48.  Horned Frog quarterback Brandon Hassell went back to pass.  Hassell received good protection and fired a pass to an open receiver at the Boise State 44.  The play would have been a first down, but Gabe Franklin made his move.  As the ball arrived, Franklin continued to converge and made a dive at the ball, coming up with it for the interception.  Boise State held on for the 34-31 win. 


#67.  Miller’s INT halts North Texas in 1994 Playoffs

In 1994, Boise State put together one of its best seasons with a 10-1 record.  For the fifth time since 1980, the Broncos were selected to be in the Division I-AA Playoffs.  In the first round, Boise State hosted North Texas.  The game was a battle with the Mean Green holding the advantage for a good part of the game, with the Broncos trailing by three with six minutes left in the game.  North Texas sought to finish off the Broncos, beginning a drive with the ball in their own territory.  Then, DaWuan Miller stepped in front of intended receiver Troy Redwine of North Texas for a 25-yard interception, taking it to the Eagle 6 with 5:43 left.  The Broncos scored a dramatic touchdown on the next play to secure a 24-20 victory.


#66.  Morioka’s Eye-Popping Return in 1988

In a 1988 home game against Weber State, return specialist and defensive back Keith Morioka took the kickoff at his own 10-yard line and headed to the left side.  A defender dove at the 25 and missed.  Morioka broke a tackle at the 30 and then broke through another at the 35 that completely spun him around.  He reset, and then turned on the engine again.  Morioka broke two more tackles at the 50, another at the 30, turned around again and headed to the middle of the field.  Finally, two defenders stopped him at the 24-yard line.  Keith Morioka made an incredible return of 66 yards.  The Broncos went on to defeat the Wildcats 31-27.  




#64.  Moran Clears 56 Yards for School Record in 1985

In 1985, Boise State hosted UC-Davis, who had a quarterback at the time by the name of Chris Petersen.  UC-Davis controlled much of the game in a hard-fought defensive struggle.  In the fourth quarter, Davis still had a 9-7 lead when strong-legged Roberto Moran ran onto the field to try a 56-yard field goal.  Moran’s kick cleared the bar for the game-winner, and then Moran added another late field goal to give the Broncos a 13-9 win.  Moran’s 56-yarder set a school record as the longest in Boise State history, a mark that still stands today.   




#63.  Johnson Carries Two Beavers into the End Zone in 2006

In 2006, Boise State hosted Oregon State in a nationally-televised game and had exploded for 28 straight points to take a 28-14 lead.  The Broncos had driven to the OSU 19.  Quarterback Jared Zabransky handed off to Ian Johnson.  Johnson spurted through a huge hole created by the Bronco offensive line.  He was hit at the 14, two Beavers grabbed him at the 10, and Ian carried both of them all the way to the goal line for another Bronco score.  Boise State won 42-14.


#62.  Carr Slips and Speeds for 78 Yards against SMU in 2004

2004 was Chris Carr’s senior year at Boise State, a year in which he capped a career as the all-time Bronco punt returner.  With the score knotted at 7-7 in the first quarter, Carr went back to field an SMU punt.  It was a towering kick.  Back, back, back he drifted, forcing Carr to retreat fifteen yards, finally catching it way back at the Bronco 22.  Carr juked to the left, and then cut towards the middle of the field.  He broke one tackle and then just used pure speed to outrun the SMU defenders all the way to the end zone.  Boise State won 38-20.


#61.  Alexander Greets Utah’s Poston in 2006

In 2006, Boise State traveled to Salt Lake City to take on Utah—a key showdown between non-BCS conference contenders.  Boise State was leading 26-3 as Utah had the ball on their own 25-yard line.  Ute quarterback Tommy Grady handed off to Darryl Poston who ran the ball around the right side.  He had a full head of steam at the 30 when Bronco safety Gerald Alexander came up and hit him with such force that it knocked his helmet off, punctuating the dominating performance by the Bronco defense.  Boise State went on to win 36-3. 




#60.  Flea Flicker (1994 Style) Beats Nevada

In the 1994 Big Sky opening match against Nevada, quarterback Tony Hilde handed off to running back K.C. Adams, who handed off to wide receiver Ryan Ikebe on a reverse.  Ikebe then pitched to Hilde on the flea flicker, and Hilde hit a streaking Jarrett Hausske with a perfect 47-yard touchdown pass.  The play proved to be the game-winner over the WolfPack, as Boise State went on to win 37-27.


#59.  Mikell’s run of Beauty vs. Idaho in 2003

In the 2003 edition of this in-state rivalry, Boise State played up north in Moscow.  The Broncos had the ball at their own 22-yard line.  David Mikell took the handoff, broke two tackles at the 25, danced his way outside at the 40 to escape another Vandal and cut inside to avoid a defender at the 50.  At the Idaho 40, two Vandals fell over each other trying to maneuver with Mikell, and the path from that point on was clear for a sensational 78-yard run.  That play clinched a 24-10 victory in enemy territory.



#57.  Bronco Defense Puts Up a Wall against Grambling in 1980 Semifinals

In 1980, Boise State was somehow clinging to a 14-7 lead in the Division I-AA semifinal game against Grambling.  Two minutes and 20 seconds was all that separated the Broncos from their first appearance in the national championship game.  Grambling was dominating nearly every statistic except the scoreboard.  They had just blocked a Bronco punt and were salivating with a first down and goal on the six-yard line.  Doug Williams handed off to the talented Trumaine Johnson, who had already gained 98 yards on the afternoon.  Michel Bourgeau and Larry Lewis broke through and stopped Johnson for a one-yard loss.  1:46 left, second and goal on the 7.  Williams fired into triple coverage—incomplete.  1:42 remaining, third and goal at the 7—Williams spots Johnson open in the end zone…briefly.  Linebacker Dan Williams converged and almost picked it off.  1:37 left—fourth and goal on the seven.  Williams faked a pass, and then scrambled to his left, sensing a shot at a touchdown.  But Idaho Falls’ Ron Chatterton catches him from behind on a diving tackle.  The amazing Bronco defensive stand had stopped Grambling cold.  Boise State took over on downs and went on to win the game 14-9 to advance to the national championship game.


#56.  Gilligan’s Amazing Return in Corvallis Stuns Oregon State in 2003

In 2003, Boise State began a four-game series with Oregon State of the Pac-10 in Corvallis.  OSU held a 16-10 lead just before half but the Bronco defense stiffened a forced a Beaver punt by Carl Tobey from their own goal line.  Tim Gilligan was set to receive the kick at the 50, but he drifted back, back to his own 39.  Gilligan made a move to his left to elude the Beaver racing to nail him.  He then made a cut up the middle as a Beaver coming from the left lunged at him and fell to the ground.  Gilligan outran two other Beavers and Richard Seigler dove and missed.  Three Oregon State players were directly ahead of him, one to his left and two to his right.  Gilligan outran them all to the 30, where he found Harvey Whiten coming up from the right and Tobey right in front of him.  Tobey dove and missed.  Whiten and Sabby Piscitelli converged on Gilligan at the 10, so Gilligan cut left towards the corner of the end zone.  Whiten dove and tackled him as he reached the end zone for a 61-yard touchdown that gave Boise State a 17-16 lead at halftime.  OSU prevailed, however, 26-24. 



#55.  Tadman Goes 98 Yards for Pick Six against Louisiana Tech in 2006

In 2006, Boise State hosted Louisiana Tech.  Bulldog quarterback Zac Champion had moved Tech into Bronco territory.  Champion wanted to go end zone, but Marty Tadman was in front and intercepted the pass.  Tadman broke to the outside, got a key block and broke a tackle at the Tech 45-yard line.  From there, Tadman’s speed took him all the way into the end zone for a 98-yard return, the second longest in Bronco history.  Boise State whipped Tech 55-14.


#54.  Mikell takes it 98 Yards on the Islands in 2001

In 2001, Boise State joined the Western Athletic Conference.  The Broncos traveled to Oahu to take on Hawai’i, a program that had bested the Broncos in their two previous on-conference encounters.  After the Rainbow Warriors had tied the game at 6, David Mikell took the ensuing kickoff at his two, churned up the middle, cut to the left and outran everyone to the end zone  Boise State downed Hawai’i 28-21.


#52.  Spadafore Catches Own Punt to Prevent Grambling TD in 1980 Semifinals

In 1980, Boise State hosted Grambling in the Division I-AA national semifinal game.  There was 3:40 left and the Broncos were clinging to a 14-7 lead.  Boise State was forced to punt and Tom Spadafore dropped back to his 30.  The Tigers surged through the Bronco line and Robert Smith blocked it up in the air, where four Tigers were waiting to carry it into the end zone for the tying touchdown.  Amid all those defenders, the alert Spadafore recovered and caught the blocked kick, preventing a sure touchdown.  The Bronco defense held Grambling on four downs and Boise State went on to win 14-9 to advance to the national championship game.


#51.  Jones' 92-Yarder Changes Hawai’i Game in 2005

In 2005, Boise State played Hawai’i on the Island.  The undefeated Broncos were tailing 20-14 with under six minutes remaining in the third quarter  Quinton Jones drifted back to take a Rainbow Warrior punt at his own eight-yard line.  Jones cut to the sideline and received a great block from Lawrence Bady at the 45.  Jones broke a tackle at the 47 and no one could catch him after that.  Jones raced into the end zone for a 92-yard punt return, breaking a 36-year-old mark set by Henry Jenkins.  The Broncos needed that score to bring about a 44-41 victory.



#50.  Hilde and Hausske Turn Third and 49 into 6 in 1994

In 1994, Boise State hosted Cal State-Northridge.  Spotting the Broncos a 19-point lead, the Matadors came fighting back with 19 points of their own to tie the game.   Clearly, momentum was on their side.  The fired up Northridge defense then pushed Boise State into a deep hole with a combination of deep sacks and Bronco penalties.  With the ball on the Bronco 16, Boise State faced a 3rd down and 49.  The upstart Matadors were poised to get the ball back and take the lead on the surprised Broncos.    Instead, Tony Hilde dropped back, received excellent protection and hooked up with Jarret Hausske for an 84-yard touchdown.  Boise State went on to win the game 40-19.  The momentum not only shifted in that game, but for the rest of the season for the Broncos.


#49.  Carpenter Surprises TCU in Fort Worth Bowl

In 2003, Boise State received their first invitation to a Division I-A bowl game outside of Boise, the Fort Worth Bowl, which happened to be the home field of TCU.  The Horned Frogs were leading 21-7 in the second quarter when quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie brought the Broncos to the line at their own 48-yard line.  Dinwiddie dropped back to pass and spotted running back Jeff Carpenter, who had snuck behind the entire TCU secondary.  The pass perfectly struck the streaking Carpenter; Carpenter caught it at the 25 and outran all four defensive backs for a 52-yard touchdown that cut the lead to 21-14.  The Broncos went on to win 34-31. 


#48.  Hendricks Makes Acrobatic Catch in 2000 Humanitarian Bowl

In 2000, Boise State played UTEP of the Western Athletic Conference in the Humanitarian Bowl.  Boise State held an eight-point lead at 31-23.    The Broncos had the ball at the UTEP 11, and Coach Dirk Koetter sent wide receiver Andre Banks in motion from the left side.  Quarterback Bart Hendricks handed off to Banks, who headed across the field.  All of a sudden, he whipped around and floated a pass to Hendricks, who had run out on a pattern near the goal line.  The pass was slightly underthrown, but Hendricks transformed into a receiver and leapt to steel the ball away from the UTEP defensive end, then twisted into the end zone for a touchdown to put the game away.  It was the final score in a 38-23 Bronco victory.


#47.  Acree and Boise State Sneak by Cougars in 2004

In 2004, BYU had upset hopes, leading the Broncos 27-22 with four minutes remaining.  With the game on the line, wide receiver T.J. Acree broke loose in the Cougar secondary and Jared Zabransky hit him with a perfect, over-the-shoulder pass.  Acree scampered the last five yards into the end zone for a 44-yard score that gave the Broncos the 28-27 victory. 


#46.  Miller Closes the Door on Marshall in 1994

In the 1994 Division I-AA semifinals, the Bronco defense made a tremendous stand.  With Marshall facing a 4th and seven on the Boise State 28 and 2:09 left, Marshall Quarterback Todd Donnan was forced to unload a quick short pass to the left side.  Bronco cornerback DaWuan Miller reached in front of Shaun Goodwyn to slap the ball away, and Boise State ran out the clock to upset #2 Marshall by a score of 28-24 and advance to the Division I-AA National Championship game.




#44.  Ikebe Gets Winning Score in 1994 against Idaho

In 1994, Boise State needed one more win to clinch the Big Sky Conference title.  The Broncos hosted Idaho, and controlled the entire game.  In the second half, however, the Moscow school tried to make a comeback and cut the lead to 20-17 entering the fourth quarter.  The Broncos came charging back, putting together a drive that took them to the Idaho 45.  Quarterback Tony Hilde went back to pass, received a crushing block from running back K.C. Adams, and drifted to his right.  He saw Ryan Ikebe, whose route had created ever-so-slight distance between himself and his opponent.  Ikebe made a leaping catch at the ten, and it looked like he would be driven out of bounds at the three.  As he was falling out, Ikebe stretched his entire body inbounds and towards the goal line.  He reached towards the end line with both hands cradling the football.  Touchdown Boise State.  The play gave the Broncos a 27-17 lead and proved to be the winning score in a 27-20 victory.      


#43.  Montgomery’s 37-Yard Field Goal Beats San Jose State in 2006

For the second time in three years, Boise State was galloping towards an undefeated regular season. For the second time, they headed into San Jose for a game against the heavy underdog Spartans. And, just like in 2004, San Jose battled the nationally-ranked Broncos to the end. Boise State had not been particularly effective on offense, but somehow managed to tie the score late in the fourth quarter. The Bronco defense held on San Jose’s next possession, and then Marty Tadman’s amazing punt return into Spartan territory set the Broncos up for a game-winning field goal try. Anthony Montgomery's dead center field goal as time expired gave Boise State a three-point win over San Jose State, enabling the Broncos to keep the Perfect Season alive.


#42.  Hilde to Bowens Defeats North Texas in 1994 Playoffs

In 1994, Boise State was behind 20-17 with 5:36 left in the Division I-AA quarterfinals against North Texas State at Bronco Stadium.  Cornerback DaJuan Miller had just picked off a Mean Green pass and returned it 25 yards to the 6.  On the next play, quarterback Tony Hilde rolled right and hit Willie Bowens for the winning touchdown.  The Broncos had come from ten points down to win it 24-20 and advance to the I-AA semifinals.


#41.  Jones Boots 46-Yard Field Goal to Beat Tulsa in 2004

In 2004, Boise State faced a “trap game” in its effort to produce an undefeated season.  The Broncos traveled to Tulsa for a game against the Golden Hurricanes with Boise State favored by well over two touchdowns.  To Tulsa’s credit, they didn’t care about that and played a great football game instead.  In a tumultuous back-and-forth game, Boise State trailed 42-35 before tying the game on a 90-yard drive with 1:24 left.  The Bronco defense forced a three-and-out and got the ball back at its own 38 with 46 seconds left.  Boise State then drove down to the Tulsa 29 and Tyler Jones nailed a 46-yard field goal with three seconds remaining to defeat Tulsa 45-42.  The Broncos in fact did finish with that undefeated regular season.


#40.  James Stuns Sooners in Opening Minutes of 2007 Fiesta Bowl

In 2007, the Fiesta Bowl had just gotten underway.  Boise State had the ball on the Oklahoma 49.  Quarterback Jared Zabransky faked a handoff to Ian Johnson, received excellent protection from his offensive line, and looked over the field.  Wide receiver Drisan James had gotten behind Oklahoma defensive back Marcus Walker and Zabransky let it fly.  James caught the ball at the five and ran into the end zone as Boise State drew first blood.  Broncos 7, Sooners 0 with 9:32 left in the first quarter.  Boise State went on to post a historic 43-42 overtime win to capture the Fiesta Bowl trophy. 



#38.  Gilligan Speeds 73 Yards for TD vs. Fresno State in 2003

In 2003, Boise State played at arch-rival Fresno State.  The Broncos went out to a 7-0 lead in the first quarter and had an opportunity for more.    With the ball at the Boise State 27, quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie tossed a short pass to favorite receiver Tim Gilligan at the 35.  Gilligan eluded a Fresno tackler who dove but came up empty and then Gilligan was gone for a 73-yard touchdown.  The Broncos went on to win 31-17 to earn a share of the Western Athletic Conference title and then won the championship outright with a win the following week.



#37.  Fanucchi’s Speed Burns Louisiana Tech in 2002

In 2002, Boise State hosted Louisiana Tech on Senior Day.  Cornerback Gabe Franklin of the Broncos had just intercepted a pass to thwart an opening Bulldog drive, but Boise State had the ball deep in their own territory at the 3.  Quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie went straight back to pass.  Dinwiddie threw a bomb to Lou Fanucchi at the 45.  A hapless Bulldog defensive back got a hand on him at the Tech 45, but forget about it after that.  The speedy Fanucchi was off to the races, and it was a one-horse race with this Bronco scoring a 97-yard touchdown.  Boise State turned back the Bulldogs 36-10.




#34.  Alexander’s Vertical Blocks Field Goal vs. San Jose State in 2004

With a wild Saturday morning battle threatening Boise State's perfect season in 2004, San Jose State lined up for a chip shot field goal that would give them a 45-42 lead with 1:11 left in the game.  Gerald Alexander used his entire amazing vertical leap to block the field goal, and the game went to double overtime which Boise State eventually won, 56-49 in double overtime.


#33.  Zabransky Runs Past Hawai’i in 2004

In 2004, Hawai’i’s Timmy Chang was looking to set an NCAA record for passing yards in a career, but it was Boise State’s Jared Zabransky that was the quarterback to watch.  Zabransky took the snap at the Bronco 15 and dropped back to pass.  Flushed out of the pocket by a strong Hawai’i rush, Zabransky raced to the east sideline, picked up a great block from running back Jeff Carpenter and outran the entire Hawai’i secondary for an 85-yard touchdown.  Boise State went on to post a 69-3 win. 


#32.  Minter Penetrates the Trees of Terror in 1980 Semifinals

Boise State had defeated Jackson State on the road the week before to earn a Division I-AA Semifinal battle against tradition-rich Grambling and legendary coach Eddie Robinson.  Grambling had more players in the National Football League than any other college.  With the Broncos behind 7-0 in the second quarter, Boise State quarterback Joe Aliotti dropped back to pass then changed direction, running towards the east sideline.  The Grambling players adjusted, and Aliotti soon was running for his life.  Running back Cedric Minter was in the pass pattern and floated towards the end zone, breaking free behind the Tiger secondary.  Aliotti fired the pass prior to getting hit, and Minter caught the ball at the 10 before rambling in for the 31-yard score.   It would be Boise State’s only score until the fourth quarter; thus was crucial in Boise State’s 14-9 win. 




#31.  Sasser Sacks Carr as Broncos Shock #8 Fresno State

In 2001, Boise State surprised the nation by going ahead of #8 Fresno State in Fresno 35-30.  Heisman candidate and eventual #1 NFL draft pick David Carr would have one more chance, however.  Carr led the Bulldogs down the field to the shadow of the Bronco goal line.  With a 4th and 4 at the Bronco 5-yard line and with 57 ticks of the clock left, Carr went back to pass. Boise State’s Greg Sasser collared the popular quarterback for a sack, and the Broncos ran out the clock to seal one of the monumental upsets of the year. 


#30.  Nurse and Boise State Make Statement vs. BYU in 2003

BYU had the tradition, the national championship, the respect that usually does not come to schools the size of BYU and Boise State.  Yet on this very snowy day in 2003, with thousands of Boise State fans venturing to Provo, Boise State shocked the Cougars with a dominating performance.  After a shaky start in the cold, Boise State shook it off for a 14-2 lead.  BYU quarterback Matt Berry fired a pass hoping to get the Cougars back in the game.  Boise State safety Wes Nurse gravitated towards the ball and picked it off.  He had just one man to beat, but he niftily broke that tackle and went into the end zone to put Boise State up 21-2.  The Broncos had established command of the game and were about to make a statement, viewed by millions on national television, in a 50-12 rout.  Boise State would be a team to deal with in the future, and not just for BYU.


#28.  Johnson’s 59-Yard Run Through Beaver Defense Ignites Broncos in 2006

In 2006, Boise State hosted Oregon State, an eventual Top 25 team.  As in 2004, the visiting Beavers ran out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.  The favored Broncos were sputtering but had the ball at their own 41-yard line.  Quarterback Jared Zabransky handed off to Ian Johnson, who raced through a huge hole in the right side of the Bronco line.  Johnson was into the secondary before any Beaver was close to him.  As he sped towards the north end zone, Johnson was being chased by OSU defensive backs Coye Francies and Keenan Lewis.  Neither could catch him as Johnson crossed the goal line for a 59-yard run and the Broncos’ first score.  Boise State went on to post an impressive 42-14 victory. 


#27.  Colledge Blocks Field Goal, Scandrick Returns for 68 Yards vs. Hawai’i

In 2005, Boise State faced a crucial road test in an effort to win their fourth consecutive Western Athletic Conference title.  Behind 10-0 at the half, the Broncos rallied to tie the game at 28 with 11:37 left to play.  Hawai’i lined up for a 50-yard field goal.  Daryn Colledge got penetration and swatted the ball away at the line.  The ball skidded to the right side of the Bronco line, and Orlando Scandrick picked it up at the 38.  Scandrick followed Marty Tadman and Cam Hall upfield and picked up a wall of blockers that now included Colt Brooks and Colledge.  Scandrick broke a tackle at the 45 and cut left, eluding another tackle as he made another cut left to the sideline.  From there, he outran the Hawai’i players into the end zone for a 62-yard return.  The Broncos went on to post a thrilling 44-41 win.


#26.  Mikell Explodes for 75-Yard Run in Fort Worth Bowl

In 2003, Boise State played in the inaugural Fort Worth Bowl, the home of TCU.  Texas Christian had the lead 21-14 in the second quarter.  Boise State took over on the 25 yard-line.  Michael Ansel pulled to the left, as quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie faked the reverse to Lawrence Bady and handed off to David Mikell.  Ansel made a great block to spring Mikell, followed by another key block from Jason Turner.  Mikell cut to the right and five Horned Frog defenders had him circled.  Somehow, Mikell made a cut to the right on a dime that got rid of all five.  Bady ran all the way downfield and, spotting his teammate, Mikell paused and cut to the sideline.  Bady made an incredible block, allowing Mikell to head to the end zone.  TCU’s linebacker caught up to him as he tumbled into the end zone for a 75-yard touchdown that tied the game at 21. Boise State went on to defeat the Horned Frogs 34-31. 



#25.  Hall’s Double Tip for Touchdown vs. Oregon State in 2004

In 2004, Oregon State came to Bronco Stadium. The Beavers, coming off a last-second defeat to the second-ranked Louisiana State Tigers, came to Bronco Stadium to take out their frustrations.  Although Boise State was favored, the offense could not get on track. The Beavers took advantage for an early 14-0 lead after the first quarter. Boise State responded with a field goal but faltered again on its next possession. Oregon State took over and had the ball on their own 35-yard line. OSU’s Derek Anderson dropped back to pass and fired. Bronco linebacker Andy Avalos got his right hand on the ball, tipping it up in the air as he tumbled to the turf. Chris Carr leaped up and tipped it again at the 45. Sophomore Korey Hall finally came down with it, broke a tackle, and sprinted up the east sideline. He got a block to spring him and then another at the 10. Hall raced into the end zone for a 46-yard interception return as Bronco Stadium went crazy. Boise State went on to win 53-34.


#24.  Tadman Takes Away Sooner Threat in Fiesta Bowl

In 2007, Boise State had shot out to a 14-7 lead over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.  Oklahoma faced a second-and-10 at their own 35-yard line.  Sooner quarterback Paul Thompson drifted back to pass and let it fly for the end zone.  Safety Marty Tadman had a beat on the ball and at the last second, moved in for the interception at the goal line.  The Oklahoma threat was stopped and the Broncos went on to a historic 43-42 win in overtime.


#23.  Forsey Catapults over Bulldogs for Tying Touchdown in 2001

In 2001, with Boise State behind 28-21 to Fresno State and less than three minutes left in the third quarter, Ryan Dinwiddie handed off to Brock Forsey at the 5.  As Forsey hit the four-yard line, he eyed the goal line and saw four Fresno defenders waiting for him.  Forsey went airborne and catapulted over all four into the end zone for the tying touchdown.  Boise State shocked the nation’s #8 team 35-30.


#22.  Hendricks Outruns Miner Secondary in 2000

In 2000, Boise State was primed to leave the Big West Conference for the Western Athletic Conference.  The Broncos won the Big West and automatic berth in the Humanitarian Bowl.  UTEP was the WAC Co-Champion in 2000 and received the Humanitarian berth opposite Boise StateBoise State led their soon-to-be conference mates 17-10 at the half.  After the teams came out of the locker, the Broncos held UTEP and received the ball on a punt at the 23.  On the first play, quarterback Bart Hendricks took the snap and went over the left side of the Bronco line on a designed run.  Hendricks found a hole, headed towards the middle of the field and outran three Miner defensive backs on the way to a 77-yard touchdown to give Boise State a two-touchdown advantage.  The Broncos won 38-23.




#18.  Schrack Catches Game-Winner against Marshall in 1994

In 1994, Boise State had come from 17 points down against Marshall in the Division I-AA national semifinal game in Bronco Stadium.  With less than ten minutes left, though, the Broncos were still down 24-21.  Quarterback Tony Hilde went back to pass.  Lee Schrack had snuck behind the Thundering Herd secondary.  When he caught Hilde's pass, no one was within 20 yards and Schrack sped into the end zone for the game-winner.  Boise State shocked #2 Marshall 28-24 to advance to the I-AA national championship game.




#16.  Jones Shocks Boston College with 92-Yard Punt Return in 2005

In 2005, Boise State fell behind Boston College 27-0 in the MPC Bowl.  The Broncos then mounted a charge, scoring two touchdowns in the second half.  The fans were on their feet cheering for more when BC went back to punt.  Quinton Jones fielded the ball at his own eight-yard line, and was nearly stopped in his tracks twice.  “Q” broke out of both of those and headed to the east sideline.  By the time an Eagle defender dove at nothing but air, Jones had already shifted into high gear.  He made a great cut at the 35 towards the middle of the field that made the lone remaining Eagle wonder what happened.  Quinton was gone for a record-tying 92-yard punt return for a touchdown.  Boise State was within six at 27-21, but it was the final score of the game.  




#14.  Monumental Tadman Return Keeps Broncos Unbeaten in 2006

In 2006, Boise State traveled to San Jose in an effort to continue their unbeaten season.  No one told the Spartans they were supposed to lay down for the Broncos, and they didn’t.  Boise State had just put together a long scoring drive to knot the game at 20 and then the Bronco defense did its part forcing San Jose to punt late in the game.  Marty Tadman took the punt at his own 19-yard line and raced by everyone, fearlessly running up the middle of the field.  He sidestepped a Spartan and continued upfield.  Finally, the San Jose kicker brought him down at the 36 for a 45-yard return.  The dramatic run by Tadman put Boise State in position to win, and Anthony Montgomery nailed a field goal to survive the upset bid. 


#13.  Hall Deflects to Tadman for Fiesta Bowl TD

In 2007, Boise State had taken a 21-10 halftime lead over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.  The Sooners faced a 2nd and 10 at their own 35-yard line.  Oklahoma quarterback Paul Thompson went back to pass and threw for Juaquin Iglesias.  Bronco linebacker Korey Hall, however, played the seams perfectly and got a hand on the ball.  The pass deflected right to safety Marty Tadman, who had an easy path to the end zone for a 28-10 Bronco lead.  The Broncos went on for a thrilling 43-42 overtime win over the Sooners.  



#12.  Dinwiddie Hits Schouman for Fort Worth Bowl Trophy

In 2003, Boise State traveled to the Fort Worth Bowl against the hometown TCU Horned Frogs.  With 12:43 left in the game, TCU held a slim 31-27 lead.  After Chris Carr made a great heads-up fumble recovery at the Horned Frog 29, the Broncos did not let opportunity slip through their hands.  Quarterback Ryan Dinwiddie rolled left, and then threw right for a 19-yard touchdown to tight end Derek Schouman that won the game 34-31.


#11.  Avalos is Escorted on Record 92-Yard Interception Return in 2004 Liberty Bowl

In 2004, Boise State battled Louisville in one of the premier postseason matchups in the Liberty Bowl.  Louisville had gone out in front 7-3 and was driving for another score in the first quarter.  The Cardinals had a third down and 12 at the Bronco 17.  Senior quarterback Stefan Lefors went back to pass and fired for senior wide receiver Joshua Tinch.  But Bronco linebacker Andy Avalos leaped to snatch it at the 8.  Avalos dashed to the left sideline, picked up key blocks from Gerald Alexander and Chris Carr, and, escorted by nearly the entire Bronco defense, went all the way--a 92-yard interception that set Boise State and Liberty Bowl records. 


#10.  Colledge Block, Scandrick Return Beats Hawai’i

In 2005, Boise State led Hawai'i 42-41, as Hawai'i had just scored a touchdown with 3:03 left in the game and was about to tie the score with an extra point.  However, Boise State’s Daryn Colledge got great elevation and blocked the kick.  The ball bounced right to Orlando Scandrick, who ironically had run back a blocked field goal for a touchdown earlier in the game.  Scandrick picked up the ball at the 20, received a great block from Colt Brooks, and was escorted all the way to the end zone by Austin Smith.  Scandrick's two points provided the final scoring.  Hawai'i did not score again, magnifying the significance of the play.


#9.  Harts Turns the Tide in 1999 Humanitarian Bowl 

After four years of Division I-A football, Boise State captured the Big West Conference title and berth in the 1999 Humanitarian Bowl vs. Louisville.  Many said Boise State wouldn't have a chance against Louisville --the experienced Cardinals would crush Boise State.  They featured Coach John L. Smith and future NFL quarterback Chris Redman.  Pro scouts already were salivating over Redman.  Louisville was leading 17-14 and driving for another score, at the Boise State 32.  Redman tossed a pass towards the Boise State sideline.  But Shaunard Harts had a beat on it, intercepted the pass and sprinted untouched into the end zone for a 68-yard touchdown, completely changing the face of the game.  The Broncos went on to win 34-31 and take their first-ever Division I-A bowl trophy.


#8.  Aliotti to Bedard Flea Flicker Ignites Bronco Stadium in 1980


  A surreal atmosphere surrounded Bronco Stadium on a freezing winter day in December of 1980. Inversions were just beginning to make their presence known, and the entire Treasure Valley was enveloped in fog. The official temperature was 28 but it felt much colder in the stands. Frost covered the trees along the Boise River and the field itself. Fans could barely see the light towers on the opposite side. Boise State had been stymied by Grambling all afternoon long during the 1980 Division I-AA National Playoffs.  The powerful Bronco attack was held in check until the second play of the fourth quarter. With the score tied 7-7, quarterback Joe Aliotti handed off to Terry Zahner. The quick Tiger defense once again surged over the line to make the play. But then Zahner tossed the ball back to Aliotti, who saw Kipp Bedard wide open downfield. Aliotti reared back and fired. Bedard caught the ball at the 20 and streaked towards the end zone. Future National Football League star Everson Walls caught him at the 10, but Bedard was not to be denied--not this close in one of only two real Boise State threats the entire game. Bedard carried Walls into the end zone to complete a 63-yard scoring play as Boise State fans went delirious. The Broncos would go on to win 14-9 to advance to the National Championship.



#6.  Swillie Ricochets off Bulldog to Cap 2001 Shocker


 In 2001, this may have signaled a future changing of the guard.  In front of the first nationally-televised regular season game in Boise State history, a great game was brewing between #8 Fresno State and Boise State. The teams were tied at 28 with less than eight minutes left.  Boise State had just gotten a great defensive stand and got the ball back at their own 46.  Ryan Dinwiddie hit Jay Swillie with a perfect pass against double coverage.  Swillie caught the ball, and then to everyone’s amazement, he ricocheted off of, spun to the left along the left sideline and raced to the end zone for the winning touchdown.  Boise State would hold on to shock the Bulldogs 35-30.


#5.  19 to 91--Halfback Option Matches Sooner Score

In 2007, Boise State saw Oklahoma come all the way back from an 18-point deficit to first tie the game, and then take the lead in the Fiesta Bowl.  The Broncos got a late score to force overtime, and then Oklahoma scored a touchdown in OT.  Boise State faced a fourth-and-two with the game on the line.  All-purpose star Vinny Perretta was lined up in the backfield in shotgun formation.  Quarterback Jared Zabransky went in motion to the left side.  Perretta took the snap and headed over to the right side behind blockers.  At the last minute, tight end Derek Schouman slipped through the Sooner line, Perretta floated a perfect pass to him in the corner of the end zone, and the Broncos pulled within one.  Boise State then pulled off a two-point conversion on Statue Left and emerged victorious 43-42.



#4.  James Wheels and Deals for Fiesta Touchdown

In 2007, Boise State held a 14-10 lead over Oklahoma in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.  Coach Chris Petersen’s team was moving down the field in an effort to get another score before halftime.  The Broncos had a first and 10 on the Oklahoma 36, not quite in Anthony Montgomery’s field-goal range.  Quarterback Jared Zabransky went back to pass and received good protection at first.  All of a sudden, senior defensive lineman Calvin Thibodeaux came charging up the middle and made an athletic dive at Zabransky.  “Z” saw him just in time and stepped out of it, only to see C.J. Ah You making a beeline for him.  Zabransky wheeled around to his right and spotted Drisan James standing near the sideline.  The only way he could get off the pass was to throw a quick sidearm pass.  James caught it just in bounds at the 32.  All-American linebacker Rufus Alexander closed in for the tackle but James put on a great move to the middle of the field and sprinted between lineman Larry Birdine and defensive back Marcus Walker.   Walker dove right as James went back to the outside.  Defensive back Nic Harris closed in and made a last desperate dive at James, who was already airborne.  He stretched the ball with both hands over the goal line for a monumental touchdown that gave Boise State an 11-point lead going into the locker room.  The Broncos won in dramatic style 43-42 in overtime. 




#3.  Aliotti Finds Dlouhy to Win National Championship  

In 1980, disaster had occurred for Boise State.  The Broncos were on the verge of victory against Eastern Kentucky in the I-AA National Championship game when EKU scored on a long pass with a minute left.  Quarterback Joe Aliotti led a desperate march for Boise State from their own 20, taking the Broncos to the Eastern Kentucky 13-yard line.  Three straight passes had failed however, bringing up a 4th and 10 with 20 seconds remaining.  Boise State had been denied in 1979 due to the scouting violation and was ineligible despite a 10-1 record.  They led the national championship game at halftime and the entire second half until 55 seconds remaining when David Booze surprised the Bronco defense with a long touchdown.  Victory had been snatched from Boise State, who felt 1980 was their destiny year.  Or was it?  Aliotti had guided the Broncos from the 20 to the EKU 14 with three straight passes to favorite receiver Kipp Bedard.  Fourth down.  Aliotti back to pass.  EKU’s star nose guard Buddy Moore broke through the Bronco interior.  Moore slipped and fell, buying Aliotti some scrambling time.  This was when he was at his best.  He ran towards the west sideline.  Joe looked over the entire field, waiting, waiting, waiting for someone to get open.  Just as Moore and the other Colonel defenders were about to get to him, the ever-instinctive Aliotti turned his head to the left.  He spotted a wide-open Duane Dlouhy in the left corner of the end zone.  Aliotti let it fly.  Now Joe’s passes were never known to be objects of beauty, but somehow he was highly accurate.  Fans watched as the ball floated towards its destination.  A 13-yard pass took forever, because it was from one sideline of the field to the other.  Dlouhy stood there, alone in anticipation.  He cradled the ball with both hands.  Touchdown Boise State!  One of the most incredible drives in Boise State history had taken the Broncos back from defeat to victory.  The Boise State sideline went wild as Coach Jim Criner tried to contain bedlam.  Boise State won the Division I-AA National Championship, 31-29.



#2.  Statue Left Wins Fiesta Bowl


In the wild two minutes that preceded this play in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma had scored a touchdown, scored the tying two-point conversion after three attempts and scored the go-ahead touchdown on an interception return for a touchdown, then Boise State scored the tying touchdown with 18 seconds left, then Oklahoma scored on a 25-yard run in overtime and finally Boise State scored on a halfback option pass.  With the score Oklahoma 42, Boise State 41 in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, Coach Chris Petersen of Boise State elected to go for two points rather than kick the tying extra point.  Three receivers lined up to the right of the formation, quarterback Jared Zabransky took a step back and fired the ball to set up the screen.  At least that’s what everyone watching thought.  The aggressive defense of Oklahoma adjusted to the right to stuff the play.  It turns out that Zabransky never had the ball in his throwing hand, but tucked it down in his left hand.  Then he calmly put it behind his back, running back Ian Johnson grabbed it and dashed into the left side of the end zone untouched.  The Broncos defeated Oklahoma 43-42


#1.  Broncos Execute Flawless Hook & Lateral

In 2007, Boise State saw a certain victory in the Fiesta Bowl turn into disaster when a last-minute interception gave Oklahoma their first lead of the game.  Quarterback Jared Zabransky and the Broncos fought back, but faced a fourth-and-18 from the 50.  18 seconds remaining.  Last Gasp for the Broncos.  Zabransky dropped back to pass and had great protection from his offensive line.  Drisan James ran a Hook pattern and broke free.  Zabransky hit him with a perfect pass at the 35 and James took a couple of steps towards the middle of the field.  Three Sooner defenders moved in for the stop.  But out of nowhere came a streaking Jerard Rabb who was running across the field from the opposite direction.  James made a perfect Lateral to Rabb who caught it in stride and was speeding down the sideline before the shocked Oklahoma defenders realized what had happened.  Sooner linebacker Lewis Baker gave chase to Rabb and angled for the goal line, hoping to get Rabb before he scored.  Boise State’s Ian Johnson, Jared Zabransky and Jeremy Childs all trailed the play should Rabb need to pitch it.  It wasn’t necessary, as Rabb dove into the end zone and stretched the football over the goal line just as Baker got to him.  The game went into overtime and the Broncos won a classic 43-42. 

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