Broncos' BCS Bubble Bursts; Fresno Fights To Finish
There will be no repeat performance for the Boise State Broncos, barring a most-bizarre 12 weeks to come. And if a Western Athletic Conference mate is going to take Boise's place, it won't be Fresno State -- but not for lack of trying.
The Bulldogs were a miserable 4-8 a season ago, but it looks like it didn't take long for Pat Hill to turn things around. Fresno State took No. 23 Texas A&M to three overtimes, battling extreme heat and humidity and the Aggies' raucous "12th Man" before falling 47-45. The Bulldog defense had no answer for bruising Aggie back Jorvorskie Lane, who pounded his way to four touchdowns and the decisive two-point conversion.
Yet in the loss, Fresno State made a statement: winning the WAC crown won't come without a fight. A new star might have emerged before our eyes in quarterback Tom Brandstater, who completed 69 percent of his passes, had three scoring strikes and accrued 299 yards of total offense.
As for the Broncos, Boise State made numerous critical mistakes. Taylor Tharp was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter, and a fourth down would-be touchdown pass with 4:10 to go was clanked. Another near-touchdown was lost on a holding call during Rashaun Scott's kickoff return in the first half.
The loss ended Boise State's NCAA-best 14-game win streak.