Your usual Three Stars presenter is out with a case of the sads, so you're stuck with me for the highlights of the lowlight of the season. The top players from Saturday's game get their due after the jump, along with a goat or two. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.
Star No. 1 - Casey Pachall
Versus color commentator Shaun King said on the broadcast that Casey Pachall was the best quarterback on the field on Saturday, and while that's just a big fat lie and everyone knows it, Pachall did finish Saturday with the best numbers of any quarterback on the field. He deserves Star No. 1 status for single-handedly delivering 36 points for the TCU offense, which had no running game and no real threat other than the deep ball. Now I realize that's a little like saying Pakistan is no real threat except for all those atom bombs they're hiding, but still, Boise State knew what was coming and Pachall still found a way to make it happen. Other QBs have tried and failed. I'll give Pachall credit where credit is due.
Star No. 2 - Kellen Moore
I got an email shortly after the game on Saturday from a Bronco fan who just wanted me to know he was sad. Specifically, he was sad for Kellen Moore. What more can this guy do? He played better against a TCU defense than he has ever played before. He made zero critical mistakes. He put the Broncos in position to score the game-winning field goal (helped by a hometown pass interference). Apart from playing against his own secondary, I don't think he could have had a better game.
Star No. 3 - D.J. Harper
I should probably give this star to TCU receiver Josh Boyce who made two easy touchdown grabs and two much more difficult scoring grabs (a touchdown and two-pointer). But I don't want Harper's performance to be forgotten. Harper finished with 125 yards and two scores. His run of 32 yards eclipsed Boise State's entire team total from the last time BSU played TCU. It was incredible to watch a back who was not Doug Martin shred through the TCU defense the way Harper did, which made it all the more cruel that Harper had to watch from the sideline with a last-minute injury when Boise State fumbled away its penultimate drive. Still, Harper's play made me excited for next year when he'll be the featured back and one of the team's biggest stars. Is it too much pressure to hope for 1,500 yards?
Drew Wright and Dan Goodale
In the strictest sense of the euphemism, Wright and Goodale will always be remembered as the goats of this game, no matter how many team-first quotes were said afterward or how much film study confirms that others deserve just as much blame. Such is football life.
Coach Pete is right when he says that no single player is responsible for losing a game. But I do believe that a game can turn on a single play. We saw that multiple times in Saturday's loss. Unfortunately for Wright and Goodale, their wrong turns came at the end of the trip, and there was no time left for a detour.
Who are your Three Stars from Saturday's game? Who or what should be the goat? Share your thoughts in the comments.