(6) Boise State 17, (4) TCU 10

#6BSU (14-0)730717
#4TCU (12-1)073010


8:00 PM ET, January 4, 2010
Cardinals Stadium

Fake punt, TCU's INTs spark Boise State to 14-0, Fiesta win


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Bowl Overview
It was over when... Boise State safety Winston Venable intercepted a pass that bounced off TCU receiver Antoine Hicks' helmet.
Gameball goes to... Boise State's D, which held TCU to 36 rushing yards and made three picks, returning one for a touchdown.
Stat of the game... 2-2. The Broncos were perfect on their two fourth-down conversions. The second one sparked the winning TD.
Team Stat Comparison
1st Downs1617
Total Yards317308
3rd Down Conversions6-181-12
4th Down Conversions2-20-1
Air/Ground Leaders
Boise State Passing
TCU Passing
Boise State Rushing
TCU Rushing
Boise State Receiving
TCU Receiving
Scoring Summary
TD11:28Brandyn Thompson 51 Yd Interception Return (Kyle Brotzman Kick) 70
FG08:02Kyle Brotzman 40 Yd 100
TD00:49Curtis Clay 30 Yd Pass From Andy Dalton (Ross Evans Kick) 107
FG03:52Ross Evans 29 Yd 1010
TD07:21Doug Martin 2 Yd Run (Kyle Brotzman Kick) 1710
Associated Press

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Boise State pulled "Riddler" out of its bag of tricks.

Presto: the Broncos stunned Texas Christian in a Fiesta Bowl duel of unbeaten BCS busters.

More from ESPN.com

Boise State and TCU had the BCS stage all to themselves. What did they do? Turn in a decidedly underwhelming, and at times ugly, display, Gene Wojciechowski writes. Story

Boise State reached back into its bag of tricks to pull off another memorable play and spark another Fiesta Bowl win, Ted Miller writes. Story

Much had been made of TCU's defense heading into the Fiesta Bowl. But it was Boise State's D, led by Brandyn Thompson, that earned the plaudits, Graham Watson writes. Story

TCU wilted in the heat of the Fiesta Bowl spotlight, ESPNDallas.com's Richard Durrett writes. Story

After a gutsy fake punt at the Broncos' own 33-yard line, Doug Martin scored the decisive touchdown to give No. 6 Boise State a 17-10 victory over third-ranked TCU on Monday night.

For the second time in four years, the Broncos (14-0) won the Fiesta Bowl with a YouTube-
worthy play.

"I think that's what they expect us out of us, so we're happy to deliver," said Boise State coach Chris Petersen.

Last time, the victim was Oklahoma. This time it was TCU (12-1), which fizzled in its BCS debut.

A 10-10 stalemate came alive with a play straight out of Boise State's goofy playbook.

It's called "Riddler," and TCU couldn't solve it.

Petersen called it on fourth-and-9 at the Broncos' 33. Punter Kyle Brotzman hit wide-open Kyle Efaw with a 30-yard strike on fourth-and-9.

Fast Facts

• Boise State joined the 2002 Ohio State Buckeyes as the only teams to go 14-0 in college football history.

• TCU's win streak ended at 14 as Boise State won their 14th straight.

• Kellen Moore ended the season with 39 passing touchdowns and three interceptions, breaking the FBS record for highest touchdown-to-interception ratio (minimum of 30 pass touchdowns).

• Boise State joined Utah as the second school from a BCS non-automatic qualifying conference with a pair of BCS bowl wins.

• TCU is the first team from the Mountain West Conference to lose a BCS game.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

TCU coach Gary Patterson said the Horned Frogs had worked on the fake in practice, but they were caught flat-footed.

"The fake punt was a great call," Patterson said. "They outcoached us on that play."

Brotzman said he was certain the play would work as he surveyed the Horned Frogs' return formation.

"For us to run a fake like that is gutsy," said Brotzman, who also hit a 40-yard field goal. "That's Boise State football."

TCU never recovered. Broncos quarterback Kellen Moore, who threw for 211 yards, connected on three straight passes to move Boise State to the TCU 2-yard, and then Martin vaulted over a tackler from 2 yards out to put the Broncos up 17-10 with 7:21 to go.

"That was huge, an emotional play," TCU All-America defensive end Jerry Hughes said. "They obviously had the momentum on their side."

The trickery evoked memories of Boise State's BCS debut three years ago, when it pulled out a passel of gadget plays to defeat Oklahoma on the same field.

"Our coaches are creative and they dial stuff up and it works a lot of the time," said Efaw, whose team became the second in modern history to go 14-0, joining Ohio State in 2002.

Unlike the thriller against OU, this game offered little drama for the first three quarters.

It was the first time two schools from conferences without automatic BCS bids have met in one of college football's biggest bowls. But for long stretches TCU and Boise State played as if they belonged in the Poinsettia Bowl, site of TCU's 17-16 victory over Boise State in December 2008.

Just A Dash Of 'O'

The Fiesta Bowl was heavy on defense and light on high-flying offense. It was one of the lowest-scoring Fiesta Bowls in the history of the game.

Year Total points Final score
1978 20 Arkansas 10, UCLA 10
1974 22 Oklahoma State 16, BYU 6
1987 24 Penn State 14, Miami (FL) 10
1979 26 Pittsburgh 16, Arizona 10
2010 27 Boise State 17, TCU 10

Boise State entered as the nation's highest-scoring team (44.2 points per game), and the Horned Frogs were fourth (40.7). But their expected offensive duel turned into a tedious series of punts.

Neither team could muster an offensive touchdown until the final minute of the first half, when TCU's Andy Dalton hit Curtis Clay for a 30-yard score to make it 10-7 at halftime.

TCU's Ross Evans kicked a 29-yard field goal to tie it at 10 heading into the fourth quarter.

The game appeared to be dragging toward overtime until Petersen's gutsy call. After taking the lead, the Broncos called on their unheralded defense to lock up the win.

TCU took over at its own 1 with 1:06 remaining and marched to the Boise State 30 before cornerback Brandyn Thompson disrupted a pass by Dalton, and Winston Venable picked it off with 18 seconds remaining.

Thompson had two interceptions. He returned the first 51 yards for the game's first score, and his second one set up the Broncos' winning drive.

Dalton had thrown only five interceptions in 279 pass attempts during the regular season, when he earned first-team All-Mountain West Conference honors. But the Broncos put pressure on Dalton from the start; late in the first quarter, unblocked defender Kyle Wilson blitzed and flattened Dalton, who came out for one play.

"We stressed all week just swarming to the ball, collectively as a defense," Thompson said.

Dalton finished with 272 yards and a score through the air, but was intercepted three times.

Western Athletic Conference champion Boise State earned its second BCS victory -- as many as Michigan, Penn State and Alabama have combined.

The Broncos are one of only three remaining unbeatens, along with Texas and Alabama, which will play for the national title on Thursday night.

Petersen has resisted entering the national title debate, but it's clear he thinks his spunky team can play with anyone.

"I just know that these kids have the most unbelievable heart," Petersen said.

Some wondered whether the Broncos deserved a shot at the national title. On this night, they were just barely good enough to edge Mountain West champion TCU, snapping the Horned Frogs' 14-game win streak.

Asked if he thought Boise State should be No. 1, Efaw replied, "Probably not. But I mean, maybe next year. I don't know. We have a great team and we fight hard and we're undefeated."

College Football Scores

Other Scores:

Today's Games
Central Michigan 7:00
Troy PM ET
Saturday, December 19th
Fresno State 28 Final
Wyoming 35 2OT
UCF 24 Final
Rutgers 45
Sunday, December 20th
Southern Miss 32 Final
Middle Tennessee 42
Tuesday, December 22nd
18 Oregon State 20 Final
14 Brigham Young 44
Wednesday, December 23rd
23 Utah 37 Final
California 27
Thursday, December 24th
Nevada 10 Final
Southern Methodist 45
Saturday, December 26th
17 Pittsburgh 19 Final
North Carolina 17
Boston College 13 Final
24 USC 24
Marshall 21 Final
Ohio 17
Sunday, December 27th
Kentucky 13 Final
Clemson 21
Monday, December 28th
Texas A&M; 20 Final
Georgia 44
Tuesday, December 29th
15 Miami (FL) 14 Final
25 Wisconsin 20
UCLA 30 Final
Temple 21
Wednesday, December 30th
20 Arizona 0 Final
22 Nebraska 33
Bowling Green 42 Final
Idaho 43
Thursday, December 31st
11 Virginia Tech 37 Final
Tennessee 14
Oklahoma 31 Final
21 Stanford 27
Houston 20 Final
Air Force 47
Navy 35 Final
Missouri 13
Minnesota 13 Final
Iowa State 14
Friday, January 1st
3 Cincinnati 24 Final
5 Florida 51
8 Ohio State 26 Final
7 Oregon 17
13 Penn State 19 Final
12 LSU 17
16 West Virginia 21 Final
Florida State 33
Northwestern 35 Final
Auburn 38 OT
Saturday, January 2nd
19 Oklahoma State 7 Final
Mississippi 21
South Florida 27 Final
Northern Illinois 3
South Carolina 7 Final
Connecticut 20
Arkansas 20 Final
East Carolina 17 OT
Michigan State 31 Final
Texas Tech 41
Monday, January 4th
6 Boise State 17 Final
4 TCU 10
Tuesday, January 5th
10 Iowa 24 Final
9 Georgia Tech 14
Thursday, January 7th
2 Texas 8:00
1 Alabama PM ET