What a great way to start the new sports year! Beginning final selections this week for the Florida Film Festival has not allowed for much non-submission TV watching, but boy was I thankful Tuesday morning was my assigned time to make my Sundance Package “A” picks. Since I needed to sit down with the schedule and Film Guide anyway on Monday night, I figured why not turn on a bowl game. And just like that I found myself witnessing one of the greatest endings in college football history.
Boise State, despite their unblemished 12-0 record, was supposed to get crushed by mighty Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl (you know–weak conference, easy schedule, blah, blah, blah…) Instead, they played inspired ball and roared out to a 28-10 lead midway through the 3rd quarter. From there though, the heavily favored Sooners scored 25 straight points, including a 33 yard touchdown interception with just over a minute left. Things looked grim for the upstarts, but Boise State’s Broncos connected on a miraculous 4th-and-18 from midfield with a hook-and-ladder play (!) and tied the game with only seven seconds left–Overtime!
Oklahoma ran it in for a touchdown on the very first play in OT, and Boise State’s defense looked spent–it’s now 42-35 Sooners. The Broncos then come right back and score themselves, and it’s 42-41 before the extra point is attempted for the tie and to send the game into a second overtime. But the Boise State coach, Chris Petersen (who did a phenomenal job with his kids on such a big stage), had the balls to go for a 2-point conversion instead and win it or lose it right there. The biggest call in Boise State history, a Statue of Liberty play (!!) run to absolute perfection, caught Oklahoma off guard and the Broncos’ destiny was complete. Tailback Ian Johnson, who ran left untouched for the winning 2-point conversion and the 43-42 BSU victory, then got down on one knee and proposed to his cutie cheerleader girlfriend in front of the frenzied crowd and the millions watching on live TV. She accepted. Did this guy have a good day or what!?
Simply amazing drama and excitement–you couldn’t make up if you tried. Or at least no one would buy it.