Game No. 5 – Oklahoma Sooners vs. Boise State Broncos – 2007 Fiesta Bowl
With the end of the decade nearing, Sportmeisters Derek and Ryan have decided to present their top ten games of the past decade. Today’s discussion is on the fifth best game from 2000-2009. What follows is a transcript of their discussion.
Sportmeister Derek: Ryan, today we are here to discuss something that will be debated for the next few weeks. With 2010 on the horizon, we are naming our top ten games of the decade.
Sportmeister Ryan: Absolutely Derek, these games will bring an enormous amount of discussion, as it did in just us figuring out our list. We’ve made it halfway through, and sitting in the fifth spot, the 2007 Fiesta Bowl between Oklahoma and Boise State.
SD: Let’s go to the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Boise State had gone 13-0 during the season and was ranked seventh. They thought that they belonged in the BCS Championship game.
SR: Nine of their twelve victories came by double digits. Boise State was destroying opponents. Unfortunately, they were not in one of the “Big Six” – the BCS automatic qualifiers, which diluted their perfect record heading into the game. Nevertheless, the WAC Champions were in their first BCS game, and only one of two undefeated teams.
SD: Oklahoma was eighth after an 11-2 campaign, but still won the Big 12 title over Nebraska, earning the qualifying spot and making it to their fourth BCS bowl in five years
SR: Oklahoma was a seven point favorite in the game, and, even though a non-automatic qualifier had already won a BCS Bowl (Utah-2004 Fiesta Bowl), a lot of critics and pundits expected Boise State to get manhandled.
SD: Boise State used that expectation to surprise Oklahoma early, scoring touchdowns on their opening drives thanks to a 49 yard pass from QB Jared Zabransky to WR Drisan James, and a two yard touchdown run by RB Ian Johnson.
SR: Quick note; after Boise State’s first touchdown, the defense forced a fumble on the next possession, with it being recovered on the Oklahoma nine yard line. Two plays later, Johnson was in. Great special teams and defense made that second touchdown happen.
SD: Oklahoma, like all good teams, found a way to fight back, scoring on a QB Paul Thompson to WR Manuel Johnson touchdown and a K Garrett Hartley field goal to cut the lead to 14-10.
SR: Using an effective two minute drill, Boise State used the Zabransky to James connection again, this time for 32 yards, to give the Broncos a 21-10 halftime lead. That was big with the Broncos getting the ball half to start the second half.
SD: Fortunatley for Oklahoma, they held Boise State scoreless until a Thompson pass was intercepted and returned 27 yards for a touchdown. At 28-10, this game is getting out of hand, right Ryan?
SR: It started to, but on the next drive, Oklahoma marched the field, getting to the Boise State 45, but the drive stalled, and they punted. Boise State fumbled the recovery, and Oklahoma recovered on the Boise State 11.
SD: Two plays later, RB Adrian Peterson, in his first game since breaking his left collarbone in October, scores from nine yards out to make it 28-17.
SR: This would end up being Peterson’s last game, but he made it count, and Oklahoma really used the Peterson/Allen Patrick combination well the entire game.
SD: That touchdown would just be the start. A field goal at the top of the fourth quarter by Hartley made it 28-20, and then, the final 2:40 seconds would make for some exciting football.
SR: Both teams traded drives until Oklahoma took the ball over with 2:40 to play at the Oklahoma 23. Thompson played his best drive right there, accounting for 62 yards to move Oklahoma to the Boise State 15.
SD: A ten yard pass interference would place the ball at the Boise State five, and then Thompson, perfect for the drive, finished it with a five yard touchdown pass to Quentin Chaney. The ensuing two point conversion tied the game up at 28-28.
SR: That's 18 unanswered points! Momentum had switched sides, and was wearing Sooner Red!
SD: Boise State took over at their 25 yard line, and on the first play from scrimmage, Zabransky threw a pass that was intercepted by Marcus Walker, and he went 34 yards untouched for the score to give Oklahoma their first lead all game 35-28.
SR: I remember watching when Oklahoma scored those two touchdowns in a 30 second span. I was ready to turn the TV off and go to bed. There was no way Boise State could recover from Oklahoma scoring 25 straight points, including 15 in a matter of seconds.
SD: Ye of little faith, Ryan. With 54 seconds left on the clock, Boise State took over at their own 22. On the first play, Zabransky hit Derek Schouman for a 36 yard gain, putting Boise State on Oklahoma’s 42 yard line. An eight yard sack on the next play would force Boise State to use their final timeout.
SR: Two straight incompletions followed, putting Boise State at 4th and 18 on the 50 yard line. The next play was magical.
SD: Using a play they rarely ran successful in practice, Zabransky hit James 15 yards across the middle, who then lateraled to Jerard Rabb who ran the final 35 yards to score and tie the game 35-35.
SR: What just happened there? Boise State was down for the count, and with the game on the line, they ran a hook-and-ladder gimmick play? The Broncos played with nothing to lose, and everything to gain, and it showed right there on that play.
SD: We move to overtime, where on what would be his last college snap, Adrian Peterson ran 25 yards right into the end zone, giving Oklahoma the 42-35 lead.
SR: Peterson finished with 77 yards and two touchdowns. Not a bad game for a guy who missed over half the season.
SD: Boise State would get down to the six yard line, but once again, met fourth down. Once again breaking out the gimmick play, WR Vinny Perralta took the snap, rolled right, and then hit Schouman in the end zone to put Boise State down 42-41.
SR: Instead of going for the extra point, Head Coach Chris Petersen decided to roll the dice one more time, lining up for a two point conversion to decide the game.
SD: Using another trick play, Zabransky took the snap, faked a quick throw right, then put the ball behind his back where Johnson grabbed it and scooted untouched for the two point conversion, giving Boise State the lead, and the win, 43-42.
SR: Johnson would go on to run to his then-girlfriend Chrissy Popadics, and propose to her, where she enthusiastically said yes. What a way to end the game. Three trick plays to tie and win the game, and a proposal too. What a finish.
SD: This game had it all and that is why we have named it our number five game of the decade. Stay tuned for the rest of our top 10 coming up in the next few weeks. Any questions or concerns, feel free to email us at Derek@Sportmeisters.com or Ryan@Sportmeisters.com .