Bowl Countdown: 2007 Fiesta Bowl
Dec. 14, 2015
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State's matchup against Northern Illinois at the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego on Dec. 23 will mark the program's 14th-straight bowl appearance. In the lead up to the contest, BroncoSports.com will look back at the Broncos' 13 bowl games since the start of this streak in 2002.
Today BroncoSports.com looks back at one of, if not the most famous game in college football history, the 2007 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Any Boise State fan can tell you where they were when the ninth-ranked Broncos scored a huge victory for the underdogs by defeating No. 7 Oklahoma, 43-42 on a play that has become etched into college football lore: "Statue Left."
"Statue Left," and before it, the "Hook and Lateral" and the "Halfback Pass" wrapped up a wild final seconds of regulation and the overtime period that lives on forever in highlight packages every bowl season. The win left Boise State as the only undefeated team in the country, finishing the year 13-0.
In one of the most dramatic finishes in BCS history, the Sooners and the Broncos combined for 22 points in the final 86 seconds of regulation.
Boise State lost an 18-point lead midway through the third quarter, then twice rallied from 7-point deficits.
The Broncos appeared to be finished when Oklahoma cornerback Marcus Walker intercepted Jared Zabransky’s pass and returned it 33 yards for a touchdown to put the Sooners ahead 35-28 with 1:02 remaining.
The magic began on a stunning 50-yard touchdown play on fourth-and-18 in the final seconds of regulation. Zabransky hit Drisan James at Oklahoma’s 35, and James pitched the ball to Jerard Rabb, who raced into the end zone with seven seconds to play.
That play merely set the stage for more Bronco magic.
Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson opened the overtime with a 25-yard touchdown run. The Broncos answered with Vinny Perretta’s fourth-down touchdown pass to Derek Schouman. With Boise State down by a point, Petersen decided to go for the victory.
On the decisive play, Zabransky looked at three wide receivers to his right, then handed the ball behind his back to tailback Ian Johnson, who raced untouched into the end zone for the winning 2-point conversion.
The wild finish came after Boise State dominated the first 40 minutes, making it clear that the Western Athletic Conference champion deserved a BCS berth.
The Broncos stunned the Sooners with two quick touchdowns to take a 14-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The first came on a 49-yard touchdown pass from Zabransky to James. Zabransky froze the defense with a play-fake to Johnson, then fired to James, who was all alone 10 yards behind Walker. On the next series, defensive end Mike T. Williams sacked Sooners quarterback Paul Thompson, jarring the ball loose and recovering at the Oklahoma 9. Two plays later, Johnson scored from 2 yards out to give the Broncos a 14-0 lead with 7:28 left in the first quarter.
The Sooners cut the lead to 14-10 before Zabransky and James connected again shortly before the half for a 21-10 lead.
Boise State’s lead was extended to 18 points midway through the third quarter when Marty Tadman intercepted a Sooner pass and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown.
But Oklahoma didn’t go away quietly. The Sooners scored a field goal and two touchdowns to cut the Bronco lead to 28-26, with the extra point still to come with 1:26 remaining in regulation. After penalties on their first two 2-point conversion tries, Oklahoma finally converted on a pass play to tie the score at 28.
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