Boise State Outlast Oregon 41-40 to Advance to Fantasy National Championship Game!
Chip Kelly awoke from an awful dream. It was the morning of the big GridIron Gauntlet 16 Team College Football Playoff Semi-final game in Glendale Arizona. He thought it couldn't be. Could it be true that a Pac 10 team actually lost to the Big 10? it seemed so vivid! It seemed so true! He thought it is not possible for the team that killed USC to lose to a team that lost to USC in the game that USC always wins.
Yes, he was having a nightmare about the 2010 Rose Bowl, but not the one where they had just flattened Miami. It was the other one! What other one he thought. We are in a playoff and we don't have those long breaks that kill momentum, unless you are Pete Carroll's USC Trojans and routinely cream your bowl opponents no matter how long the break is (Apologies to Texas fans (05) and the Emerald Bowl doesn't really count!).
Coach Kelly feel back asleep knowing that the vivid 26-17 loss to Ohio State never happened. No, they were playing the "small conference boys" from Boise State and it was all about revenging that ugly early season loss. Besides, we simulated this game before that ugly Rose Bowl loss or is it a dream?
The Boise State coach Chris Petersen was having no such nightmares. He believed Boise State could beat everyone! He thought if we ever got a chance to play TCU in this stadium we'd probably beat them 17-10 on a couple of great defensive plays and maybe a trick punt. He thought great idea, "we will run the old trick punt against Oregon and see where it takes us!"
Coach Peterson was certain that Boise State could control Oregon's offense by simply keeping the ball away from them. He said afterward that, "I saw this strategy work in a dream so we decided to use our offensive weapons but also work to control the game and not strike as quick as we normally do. It ended up working but just barely because we got into a track meet at the end!"
It worked as Boise State controlled the first half and moved out to a 24-21 halftime lead behind Kellen Moore 16-20 (200) and Jeremy Avery's 65 tough rushing yards. The Oregon defense felt over matched all day and was frustrated that they couldn't Stop Boise State at all. The defense missed a couple of big sacks and the Bronco's converted one third down after another to cruise to three touchdowns and a 52 yard field goal to close the score to 24-20 Boise State because of a missed extra point by Oregon towards the end of the first half.
The second half saw Oregon strike quickly behind Jeremiah Masoli and LeGarrette Blount who was seen encouraging Boise State players the whole game. In fact, he was voted the most inspirational player after the game proving good things can happen when you are given a second chance. Suddenly Oregon was ahead 27-24. That's when Boise State when on a 16 play 8:36 drive that set the tone for the rest of the game, well, until they reverted to a track meet at the end. Behind the controlled passing game of Kellen Moore and the punishing rushing of Jeremy Avery, the Broncos methodically moved to the go ahead score with Avery wiggling up the middle for the final five yards and the Bronco's now were clinging to a 31-27 lead moving into the fourth quarter.
it's time to queue up the "Rudy" music because great underdog stories do great things when it counts. Behind Kellen Moore, Jeremy Avery and Titus Young, Boise State ditched their ball control strategy and went back to being, well, Boise State. Their offense was scoring so quick that their defense was getting tired as Oregon was equal to the task because they were the "real" Oregon. With 12 minutes gone in the final quarter both these teams showed they belonged as combined they ran up 235 yards in the final stanza alone. The score was now 40-38 Oregon with footballs flying all over the joint!
Who would play in the National Championship at Cowboys Stadium in Irving Texas? Who was tough enough to win this great game? Well, it was the "little engine" that could, Boise State? All these guys do is win every year and get trashed for it. We are even hearing that schools won't play them because of their blue field? Wow! Well, in our fantasy world Oregon played them to the last 5 seconds with the lead. It was after a beautiful broken play of 36 yards from Moore to Austin Pettis that left a 51 yard field goal for the win. Bring in our hero Kyle Brotzman for the long field goal and the win. Boise State escapes from the Ducks and wins as time runs out 41-40.
Could this actually happen. Could Oregon have played a better dream of a Rose Bowl had there not been such a long layoff? Is Boise State good enough to beat the big boys in four consecutive games? Demand a Playoff and find out! It's on to the National Championship Game. Who will win? Check back to see!