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THE GREATEST BRONCO GAMES OF ALL TIME: LUCKY NUMBER FIVE

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AKA Dennis Erickson pleads the Fifth

NCAA FOOTBALL: DEC 22 MAACO Las Vegas Bowl - Arizona State v Boise State Photo by Marc Sanchez/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The NFL draft has come and gone, and we’ve all been subjected to giddy Michael Jordan fans reliving the past on Sunday evenings, but we’re still waiting on real sports. While look forward to the fall with hope, the OBNUG staff has endeavored to pick their favorite games from memory to tide you through.

The only rules?

  1. No Fiesta Bowls (too obvious)
  2. It must be awesome

This will be a short series, with each member of the staff picking a game from the past, and writing a bit about why it was awesome. With that in mind, here’s our next entry:

CASEY’S PICK: 2011 LAS VEGAS BOWL

Watch the game here! (shout-out to Mark the Bronco!)

I have a few favorite game memories, but one that stands out is my trip to the 2011 Las Vegas Bowl. I had never been to an out-of-town bowl game and my father-in-law got us tickets for Christmas. I had been on a long trip with my FIL before so I wasn’t worried about it or anything.

I remember I had to work the day before we were supposed to leave. I lived in Boise and he lived in Idaho Falls, so we were going to drive from Idaho Falls. After I got off work, I had to rush home, eat some dinner and bolt out of there. I got in late and went to sleep. We had to leave early the next working so we could get there in time. Bright and early the next morning we headed out. It was a 7-8 hour drive to where we were staying in Beaver Dam, AZ. I hadn’t ever driven through that part of Utah so it was cool to see, and I had a lot of great discussions with my FIL.

We arrived in Beaver Dam and got settled in. My brother-in-law was stationed in Vegas so we came and met up with us to go to the game. We were staying with my FIL’s parents, so it was nice to see them as well. We had bacon and eggs the morning of the game and shoved off early to get some lunch before we went to the stadium. We hit up In-N-Out Burger on the way because people couldn’t stop talking about it. My opinion, it’s overrated. I mean it was fine, but nothing to write home about. With full bellies, we headed down to the stadium.

The Sun Devil fans were hitting the tailgates hard. We saw A LOT of fans already trashed and it was a few hours until kickoff still. We made our way in. The sun was shining, but we were on the shaded side of the stadium. It was also the Sun Devil side. This worried me, but we appeared to be clustered in a small group of BSU fans, so we hunkered down in solidarity.

Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous. ASU had a 6-6 record, which was not surprising for an Erickson-led team, but the idea of an 11-1 team losing to a 6-6 PAC team made me ill. It was brisk at kickoff, so all 3 of us got hot chocolate. We kept our comments to ourselves before kickoff so as not to rouse the inebriated Sun Devil faithful. That quickly changed when the tone of the game we set by Doug Martin’s 100-yard opening kick-off return.

The Broncos took off and never looked back. To see Kellen Moore and Martin go to town was awesome, not to mention Jamar Taylor’s 100-yard interception return for a touchdown. It seemed any time ASU sniffed at trying to start a comeback, the Broncos quickly snuffed it out. We cheered so loud we lost our voices by halftime, as did the rest of the Bronco fans around us. The stadium had a ton of Blue in it anyway, but after halftime, it was nearly all Blue. It might have been one of the most fun games I have ever been to. After the game, of which we stayed for every second, we we walking out of the stadium and a guy selling bowl shirts was walking around was trying to get rid of the rest of his inventory. We each got one for $5 each.

The next morning we said goodbye to our hosts and left for Idaho Falls, this time with my BIL. We shared more stories and gushed at how awesome of a beat down that was. I’ll never forget that trip.