Congratulations! World's best Mountain West football team! They did it!
It was halfway dominant and halfway terrifying, yet when all is said and done, Boise State rattled off eight straight wins, won a conference championship, and figure to be headed to the Fiesta Bowl for a big-time bowl game. Forget all that stuff, and just rewatch the final five minutes of the CBS broadcast and witness the unbridled joy on the faces of Bryan Harsin and the players. This team deserves all the good that has come to them, and I'm super glad it's going to be a lot of good.
Now then, about those top five plays.
1. Tanner Vallejo INT return TD
In hindsight, this play was huge, especially since the Boise State offense was somewhat uncharacteristically slow and choppy tonight. Vallejo's pick six made the score 14-0 and put all the momentum on Boise State's side. Nice blocking and nice convoy, by the way. And nice pressure to force the hurried throw. Niceness all around!
2. Jay Ajayi's 9-yard TD run
Ajayi's burst up the middle gave the Broncos seven points when they were on the brink of settling for three. Turns out those extra points came in handy later.
3. Grant Hedrick's third-down run on the Broncos' opening second half possession
This happened to be the last possession where Boise State scored, and it only came to be because Hedrick picked up 13 yards on a third-and-five on the first series of the half. Without that third down, Boise State would have punted, which was something they did all the rest of the second half. Instead, Hedrick passed to Jeremy McNichols for 41 yards on the next play and then Hedrick ran it in himself from 21 yards out two plays later.
4. Fresno State chop block penalty
With the game getting nervy and Boise State holding a 28-14 lead, Fresno had the ball in Bronco territory with five minutes left. Then came this penalty, following a five-yard gain on second-and-seven. Instead of a third-and-doable, the Bulldogs had second-and-forever, and they ended up falling 12 yards short of the first down, turning the ball back over to Boise State.
5. Beau Martin INT
This play probably had little bearing on the final outcome; Boise State was going to win at this point no matter what. But the cosmic relevance of Martin - one of the key seniors and team leaders - wrapping up the game, his final game on the Blue Turf, was just too great. It got a little dusty in the Kevan living room, if you know what I mean.
Thoughts, feelings, odes to joy about this one?