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Boise State’s legendary Statue of Liberty play vs. Oklahoma needs a deep rewind | 2007 Fiesta Bowl

September 15, 2019


– It’s January 1st, 2007. The Oklahoma Sooners
and Boise State Broncos are in Glendale, Arizona. Facing off in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Boise State just matched
Oklahoma’s touchdown in overtime, but is
passing on the extra point, choosing to end it now,
one way or the other, with a two point conversion. One snap will decide this game, but everything that got us to this point, deserves another look. Let’s rewind. (soft music) 42-41 doesn’t do justice
for the game this has been. Entering tonight, Oklahoma
was a touchdown favorite in a matchup many viewed
as, David versus Goliath. On the Broncos first
offensive series though, they reminded everyone that it worked out pretty well for David. Third year started, Jared
Zabransky caught Oklahoma on a filthy play action and 49 yards later, the first
points were on the board. – [Announcer] Touchdown, Drisan James! – [Narrator] On the next
play from scrimmage, the Broncos got to Paul Thompson, who fumbled and the
defense came up with it. This set up an Ian Johnson score and just halfway through
the first quarter, it’s 14, nothing. Zabransky threw his second touchdown pass of the game to close out the half and Boise State headed to
the locker room up 21-10. – [Announcer] Now into the
corner of the end zone! Touchdown! – Boise State controlling the game was mostly unexpected, but looking back at how they got here, it shouldn’t have been
all that surprising. Boise State announced its presence back in 2003. That year they lead the nation in scoring and beat number 19 TCU
in the Fort Worth Bowl to cap off a 13 and one season. The next year they went undefeated, finished second in scoring, and total yards per game, but had to settle for a
Liberty Bowl appearance. They had a down year in 2005 and head coach Dan Hawkins left for the same gig at Colorado. Offensive Coordinator,
Chris Petersen stepped up and with the help of
Zabransky and Johnson, the Broncos finished
the 2006 regular season, once again, undefeated. Sharing that feat with only Ohio State. They were just one of two teams that year to run and throw for
over 200 yards per game. The only downside to this success was that the NCAA stepped and told Ian Johnson to stop selling the beanies he crocheted in his spare time. On the plus side, they wouldn’t get snubbed this time around and we’ve gotten a pretty good game out of it, but we’re here in overtime, which also means Boise
squandered a pretty big lead. Going back to the third quarter, the Broncos did snag their
third interception of the game. A pick six that made it 28-10, but, they also failed to pick up a single first down in the third. Had a punt return miscue
that set the Sooners up at Boise’s 11 and let
Oklahoma start getting back in the game as time ticked away. Having to dig themselves out of a hole was a bit of a theme
for Oklahoma all season. In August, the starting QB, Rhett Bomar, was kicked off the team and former back-up, turned wide receiver, Paul Thompson, returned to quarter back, just one month before the season began. In week three, officials
used the new-fangled review system, to blow
a call on an onside kick that should have let the
Sooners kneel out the clock and remain unbeaten. The week after a lopsided
Red River rivalry game, Adrian Peterson, while
diving into the end zone to cap off a route against Iowa State, broke his collar bone. From there, with their Heisman hopeful out the rest of the regular season and a QB who, less than a year ago was catching passes
instead of throwing them, Oklahoma actually managed to run the table and win the Big 12. So, jumping to the fourth quarter, now down eight with under three to play, Oklahoma stayed calm. They covered 72 yards in five plays, before Thompson completed this pass to Quentin Chaney, to
put them just a two point conversion away from tying it up and after defensive pass interference by Orlando Scandrick and after an Oklahoma illegal shift, Thompson
found Juaquin Iglesias on their third attempt. 1:26 remaining, tied ballgame. That wouldn’t hold for long, as Boise’s offense took
the field with two timeouts and looked to end it in regulation. On the first snap Zabransky threw left and straight to Oklahoma’s Marques Walker, who tight-roped his way to the end zone. This was Zabranskys’
first pick of the game and while putting your team down seven with under a minute to go is never ideal. He at least did it with
some time remaining. Boise got the ball back, but after taking a sack on first down, two incompletions let to fourth and 18. A situation that no coach has a play for, well, maybe everyone not
named, Chris Petersen. Boise’s first year head coach has been loving called Dr. Frankenstein, when it came to his offensive play book. With 800 plays at his disposal, frequent pre-snap motions, and shifts. He created mismatches and
sniffed out defensive schemes. Part of why Boise ranked
top two in scoring, three of the last four seasons. So, while Oklahoma danced on the sideline and the Stoops brothers and Brent Venables barked out orders. Facing 4th and 18, Peterson
kept his poker face and his team did the rest. – [Announcer] Down the
middle, change, the lateral! To the corner of the end
zone, can you believe that? – [Narrator] The execution of this play needs another look. Gerard Rabb faked the
screen, just long enough to buy time and separation. Zabransky found Drisan James
short of the first down, but in the open area of the zone, which defenders had to converge on. Rabb caught up to the play, James flipped him the ball and the defense caught on too late. These teams combined for
22 points in the final 86 seconds, just to get to overtime, in order to get to this
two point conversion. That means even more points. It’s only fair we were
treated to more opportunities for Adrian Peterson. The Broncos defense had bottled him up for most of the night, which no other team could say that year. Before breaking his collar bone, Peterson was averaging
over 150 yard per game on the ground. Putting him on pace for a
2,000 yard regular season. Unfortunately, that dream
ended in Oklahoma’s sixth game, with his father in the
stands for the first time after serving eight years in prison. He hadn’t suited up until tonight and aside from an eight yard touchdown, was still looking to leave his mark. On the first play of
overtime, he got his chance. He took the handoff, burst to the left, and was off. – [Announcer] Down the sideline,
touchdown Adrian Peterson, that did not take long. – With Boise needing
to match the touchdown, Coach Petersen went to his bag of tricks. They tried to setup a
throw-back to Zabransky, but had to settle for no gain. They went for a far from a traditional tight end screen, that
fared a little better. After picking up a first down, plus Ian Johnson nearly
fumbling the game away, the Broncos once again faced fourth down. As Zabransky motioned out wide, converted receiver, Vinny
Perretta took the snap and sprinted to the right,
before lofting the ball up to his tight end, Derek Showman and here we are. They easy part, just one
play to decide the game. Peterson sent out his offense and Bob Stoops immediately
called a timeout once he saw the personnel. Going back to the regular season, the Broncos only attempted
two point conversions, three times all year. The first, came on a successful, fake point after attempt, but the other two tries
were near identical. Against New Mexico
State, Zabransky motioned a receiver left to the right to make a trips bunch, which he then rolled out behind and attempted to throw a jump ball. Somehow he didn’t spot the open guy at the corner of the end zone, but they must have liked what they saw, because three weeks later
against San Jose State, they ran the exact same play, this time though, Zabransky connected on the jump ball. Stoops no doubt saw these plays and while the sample size is small, it’s all the they showed that year for him to plan against. So, coming out of the timeout, Zabransky lines up under center, with a three receiver bunch to his right. Oklahoma waits for the snap, having battled all season, just to get to this point. Boise State is looking not just to score, but to prove their place in
the ranks of college football. Everything comes down to this play. So know, welcome to a moment in history. – [Announcer] Boise State for the win. They hand it off to Johnson. Boise State has won the
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Can you believe it?

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