Monday, January 01, 2007

One of the most exciting college football games ever

I just finished watching quite possibly the most exciting college football game I have ever seen. Boise State beat OU 43-42 in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl. OU, the champion of the big-time Big 12, was heavily favored against 12-0 Boise State from the small time WAC. Although Boise was undefeated, people dismissed that record as having come against less than superior opposition.

Boise took control of the game and led 28-10 in the 3rd quarter, and then OU starting clawing its way back. First there was an Adrian Peterson TD with 4:29 left in the 3rd. 28-17. Then the 4th quarter started with an OU field goal. 28-20. Late in the 4th, OU started at its own 23, and the QB who wasn't supposed to be the QB (long story), Paul Thompson, calmly marched the Sooners right down the field and threw a TD pass with 1:26 left. OU had to go for 2, and that's when things started going crazy. OU tried a fade to the left corner, which went incomplete, but Boise committed interference on the play, giving OU another chance. OU ran a beautiful play which result in a completed pass to a tight end, but the play was nullified because of an illegal shift. Then, on the third try, Thompson showed supreme poise and field awareness as the play started to break down, and he found an open receiver and delivered a perfect pass under pressure. 28-28. It looked like OT was assured. Boise got the ball after the kickoff, and on the next play, QB Jared Zabransky made a horrible pass which was interecepted and returned for a touchdown. OU led 35-28 with 1:02 remaining. Boise--and especially Zabransky--showed tremendous heart. They moved the ball into OU territory and looked in control. A sack and incomplete pass later, Boise was facing 4th and 18 on the 50. Zabransky completed a pass to Drisan James at about the OU 35--three yards short of the first down marker. James turned and started running laterally toward the middle of the field and straight towards the OU defenders. I thought he had lost his mind, and then he stopped, pivoted, and pitched the ball to Jerard Rabb. It was the old hook and lateral play, and it was executed to perfection. By running toward the center of the field, James got all the OU players to move in that direction. Meanwhile, Rabb was going in the opposite direction and had a clear path to the end zone. Touchdown! Extra point good. 35-35 with :07 on the clock.

Then came overtime. OU had the ball first, and Adrian Peterson took a handoff on the first play and went 25 yards for the score. With the extra point, it was OU 42, Boise State 35. Boise had to score a TD and an extra point; otherwise OU would win. After trying a halfback option pass which turned into a halfback keeper for a loss and then a short gain on the following play, it was 3rd and 7. A pass over the middle to the tight end Derek Schouman and great effort after the catch resulted in a first down. Boise had a 3rd and 1 from the 4, tried a run up the middle, and it was stuffed. There was also a fumble, but it came after the runner was down. 4th down again. Zabransky, the QB, lined up as a reciever while RB Vinny Perretta lined up as QB in a shotgun. Perretta took the snap, starting running to the right, then pulled up and threw a strike to Schouman for the score.

Then came the real drama. Kick an extra point, and the OT continues. Go for two, and either win the game or lose it. Boise decided to go for two. All the recievers lined up on the right. Zabransky was in the shotgun. He took the snap, immediately pivoted to the right, set his feet, and whipped his right arm (his throwing arm) as if throwing a quick pass. I say "as if" because in reality, he had the ball in his left hand down by his side. Also by his side was RB Ian Johnson, who took the ball, ran to the left, and went into the end zone untouched. Boise 43, OU 42.

What a game!


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