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The Broncos' first score of the game came on a well thrown ball to Boldewijn in the front corner of the end zone, easily Southwick's best throw of the day because of its length (across the field), accuracy (on his hands), and timeliness (red zone touchdown - huzzah!). If you are looking for a big play that led to this big play, how about Southwick's dump off to D.J. Harper, over a blitzing Bulldog, to pick up five yards on third and four two plays before the touchdown?
2. D.J. Harper's 28-yard touchdown run
Boise State fans like me - and maybe you - have developed a wary feeling any time the Broncos start a long march down the field toward the end zone. The feeling is wary because these drives often look good for 50 yards and then fizzle in a field goal. Until Harper's twisting, spinning score, this Bronco drive felt destined for disappointment, but not so. If you're bad at scoring in the red zone, go ahead and score from outsid ethe red zone.
3. Fresno State's roughing the passer penalty that nullified an interception
With the Broncos up a score early in the second quarter, Joe Southwick ducked for cover from Fresno pressure and threw a late pass over the middle that was easily intercepted. But Southwick's ducking made the contact on the quarterback look worse than it was, and out came a yellow flag and Boise State kept posession (the drive eventually ended in a field goal).
(Speaking of bad calls, the "uncatchable" ball that Southwick threw to Dallas Burroughs landed six inches in front of Dallas Burroughs. Fresno coach Tim DeRuyter must be the most
4. Fresno State's (first) goalline stand
This game had the feeling of a blowout, though the scoreboard never reflected as much. That was due to Boise State's two 19-yard field goals, the first forced by the Bulldogs after Boise State drove to the one-yard line with consecutive chances to punch it in. Super credit to the Fresno State defense for stopping Jay Ajayi twice in a row after not stopping him any times on the drive to that point.
5. Bryan Douglas' third-down tackle
You thought I would go with a Demarcus Lawrence sack here? Any of the tackles-for-loss by Mike Atkinson or Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe? Dextrell Simmons' interception? Those are all good and deserving, but I thought Douglas' tackle was as huge or huger. Early in the fourth quarter with the Bulldogs trailing by 14, Fresno receiver Victor Dean caught a 10-yard pass on third and 11, and were it not for Douglas' tackle, Dean would have had much more - and at least a first down instead of a punt. It wasn't Demarcus Lawrence-spectacular, but still.
What did you think were the game's biggest plays? Share your thoughts in the comments.