Boise State reached into its bag of tricks and pulled out another dramatic victory in the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. The Broncos used a nervy fake punt in their own territory to stun Texas Christian 17-10 in a duel of unbeatens and the first BCS match-up of non-automatic qualifiers.
The Broncos had dazzles Oklahoma with trick plays in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. Against TCU, they waited until the game hung in the balance to spring a surprise.
With the score tied 10-10 in the fourth quarter, Boise State faced fourth-and-9 at its own 33-yard line. Coach Chris Petersen sent in a play called “Riddler.” Punter Kyle Brotzman hit wide-open Kyle Efaw with a 30-yard strike, and that led to Doug Martin’s 2-yard run for the decisive touchdown.
Until then, the much-anticipated showdown had been a defensive struggle. Boise State jumped ahead 7-0 in the first quarter when Brandyn Thompson picked off an Andy Dalton pass and raced 51 yards for a score.
After Brotzman nailed a 40-yard field goal to put the Broncos up 10-0, Dalton atoned for his mistake with a 30-yard scoring strike to Curtis Clay late in the second quarter. The Horned Frogs tied it at 10-10 on Ross Evans’ 29-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
Down 17-10, TCU took over at its own 1-yard line with 1:06 to go. The Horned Frogs marched to the Boise State 30 before Thompson deflected a pass by Dalton, and Winston Venable intercepted with 18 seconds left to seal the Broncos’ victory.
Dalton was intercepted three times, but he also threw for 272 yards and became the Horned Frogs’ all-time passing leader with 7,396 career yards.