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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly: TCU @ Boise State 2011

In their only conference showdown, the game did not disappoint

TCU v Boise State Photo by Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

We are starting a new series of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly,” where we take a look at some of the most memorable games in Mountain West history. 2011 was Boise State’s first year in the Mountain West and the final year in the conference for TCU. Boise State was the heavy favorite headed into the game and was the fifth ranked team in the country. But some injuries and struggles in the secondary resulted in an unexpected outcome.

The Good:

Quarterback Play

Both quarterbacks played an outstanding game. Kellen Moore was his usual surgical self. Moore completed 28 of 37 passes for 320 yards, completing passes to 10 different receivers.

TCU quarterback Casey Pachall had to shoulder the load for an offense that could not get their run game going. Pachall finished the game completing 24 of 37 passes for 473 yards and 5 touchdowns. Pachall showed off his tremendous arm strength and repeatedly torched a beat up secondary with the deep ball.

DJ Harper

Harper was filling in for an injured Doug Martin and had a great first three quarters before going down with an injury of his own. Harper finished the game with 24 carries for 125 yards, but his injury in the fourth quarter opened the door for a TCU comeback.

Josh Boyce and Brandon Carter

This game was a dream come true for Boyce and Carter. The Boise State secondary was banged up and did not have the speed to keep up with the electric receivers. The duo accounted for 283 yards receiving and all five of TCU’s touchdowns. I have been following Boise State football for a long time, and I can’t think of a more impressive performance by a group of opposing receivers.

The Bad:


The Broncos were down a first round draft pick in starting running back Doug Martin. That injury alone was a major loss; his backup, DJ Harper, went down with an injury in the fourth quarter which led to third stringer Drew Wright getting the carries late in the game. (We will see how that played out.)

The Ugly;

The Last 3:00 for Boise State

With just over 3 minutes to go, Boise State had the ball in TCU territory with a 35-28 lead and a chance to seal the game. DJ Harper had just left the game with an injury, and third string running back Drew Wright was trying to run the clock out. Wright fumbled the ball; TCU quickly marched down the field for a touchdown and a two point conversion to take a 36-35 lead. Boise State had the ball at the TCU 22 yard line and missed a 39 yard field goal. With the loss, Boise State was no longer in the conversation for the national championship or a BCS game and was relegated to the Las Vegas Bowl for the second consecutive year.

Boise State’s Play in the Secondary

Boise State gave up passing touchdowns of 74, 75, and 69 yards. The secondary struggled to make adjustments and keep TCU’s speedy receivers in front of them. Ultimately, it cost them the game.

That’s it for this edition of “The Good, the Bad, the Ugly.” If you have any requests for games you would like to see covered, please leave them in the comments below.