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2008 Poinsettia Bowl – Texas Christian Beats Boise State, Destroys Broncos Perfect Season

The beauty of the Western Athletic Conference is not lost on Boise State. The Broncos waltzed to the WAC title with a perfect 8-0 record, then went on for a perfect 12-0 regular season, scoring win after win against weak, sometimes pathetic opponents.

The Broncos have only played two noteworthy teams all season – Oregon (whom they barely beat 37-32) and the weaker Fresno State Bulldogs (whom they down 61-10 in their regular season finale, proving the Bulldogs were more barking than biting).

Boise State came to the Poinsettia Bowl (12-23-08) ranked No. 9 in the AP Top 25 poll to meet the No. 11-ranked Texas Christian University Horny Frogs, yes, those Horny Frogs. The result was predictable, if not laughable. TCU won 17-16, ruining Boise State’s perfect season.

TCU was trailing 13-10 midway through the 4th quarter when Joseph Turner scored on a 17-yard run to put TCU ahead 17-13. Boise State then had to settle for a field goal and lost 17-16. End of the story. The comeback victory for TCU was not as close as the score would indicate.

TCU beat Boise State in almost every critical category – first down (28-15), third-down efficiency (9-of-18-3-11), rushing yards (275-28) and total yards (472-250) . Boise State beat TCU passing for just 25 yards (222 to 197). In the end, TCU’s defense held and Boise State’s didn’t.

“They had better athletes than we’ve ever seen,” Boise State running back Ian Johnson said. “They played with so much heart. You didn’t look over there once and say, ‘We broke them. They knew they were coming back and they believed in themselves the whole time.”

So what happened for Boise State to see its dream of a 13-0 second season in three years vanish?

Just this: Boise State took on a tough opponent, Oregon, to go 12-0. TCU faced two even tougher opponents — Oklahoma and Utah, losing to both — to reach a 10-2 regular season mark.

The Horned Frog’s fast and aggressive defense shut the door on the Broncos. Boise State entered the Poinsettia Bowl averaging 39 points and 456 yards per game, mostly against weak opponents, and left scoring 16 points and gaining 250 yards.

Boise State finished its season at 12-1 while TCU was at 11-2.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

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