Countdown to Opening Day: Remembering 10 Great MW Football Moments - 1. TCU at Boise State, 2011

If you've been with us the last ten days, then you know that i've been doing a Countdown of Great Mountain West Football Moments. Lets recap the last 9:

10. MWC Inaugural Season

9. 2005 Fiesta Bowl

8. TCU at Oklahoma, 2005

7. Colorado at CSU, 2002

6. Air Force at Navy, 2011

5. BYU at CSU, 2008

4. 2009 New Mexico Bowl

3. 2009 Sugar Bowl

2. 2011 Rose Bowl

And now, the number one moment (at least in my opinion) is TCU vs Boise State at Bronco Stadium.

Boise State had just joined the Mountain West and TCU was on their way out heading to the Big 12. The Horned Frogs had lost Andy Dalton, their hero from the 2011 Rose Bowl, however Casey Pachall had proved so far to be a decent replacement. Boise State had looked unstoppable, with the small matter of their secondary. Even without Titus Young and Austin Pettis, the Broncos still had Kellen Moore. Throw in the fact that the Broncos had not lost in 65 home games during the regular season? Any normal person would have bet on the Broncos to pull this win out. Gary Patterson had a different plan, one that matched his er...anatomical enhancements.

BSU started off in typical fashion, with a Kellen Moore touchdown pass to Matt Miller 22 yards out. Less than three minutes later, TCU struck back exposing the secondary for the first time, in many times this game. Casey Pachall launched a 74 yard touchdown pass to Josh Boyce. The first quarter would end tied.

TCU drove quickly in the second quarter though. Losing 3 yard on the final two plays of the first quarter, Pachall struck again with a 75 yard pass to Brandon Carter. The nightmare for the Broncos delayed when D.J. Harper rushed 17 yards to pay-dirt to tie the game. Pachall would find Boyce long again though as TCU scored again through the air, this time on a 69 yard pass. A missed PAT would give Bronco fans some relief as the halftime score showed 20-14.

The first play of the third quarter proved disaster for the Horned Frogs as Antoine Hicks coughed up the ball and Tyrone Crawford picked it up and ran for the touchdown, and with the successful PAT, BSU would have their first lead since the first quarter. After another TCU punt, Kellen Moore took to the air, and D.J. Harper raided the ground as the Broncos extended their lead to 28-20. TCU responded with a touchdown, plus a Pachall run for a 2-point conversion to tie the score at 28, which would lead to an epic fourth quarter.

With the fourth quarter beginning and fresh on a new set of downs after a silly holding penalty, Kellen Moore struck through the air again, this time finding Dallas Burroughs on the slot. BSU went up 35-28 with a lot of time left. TCU started driving again, and after a 25-yard screen pass to Antoine Hicks, two plays later, Pachall decided to go deep again. Lee Hightower had other plans, as the pass went up and Hightower picked it, and returned it to the 10. The tension picked up as more drives stalled. Finally, as Boise State started to put a good drive together, maybe to finally finish off TCU, Harper went down with an ACL injury. Drew Wright took over and three plays later, fumbled the ball. TCU would recover with maybe one chance left.

The hot Casey Pachall, completed passes left and right, finally hitting up Brandon Carter yet again to score. Gary Patterson then showed the reason why he always adjusts his pants in the middle of the game. Patterson had balls of steel. He lined up TCU to go for two. Pachall took the snap, stood in and completed a pass to Boyce for the successful 2-point conversion. With 1:05 on the clock, the General took the field again and with the help of a very questionable pass-interference call, Boise State lined it up perfectly for a 39-yard field goal attempt. This is how the game finished:

The upset was complete. TCU ruined a potential National Championship appearance, a definite BCS bowl appearance and a 65-game home win streak.

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