Bowl Countdown: 2008 Poinsettia Bowl
Dec. 16, 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 Boise State's first trip to the Poinsettia Bowl in 2008. On that trip the Broncos faced TCU in one of the most anticipated non-BCS bowls of the season. Boise State entered the contest ranked ninth in the Associated Press Poll, while the Horned Frogs were 11th.

Both teams made their case for inclusion in one of the BCS games, but due to the rules regarding programs outside of the six BCS conferences (TCU was in the Mountain West at this time), Boise State (ninth in the final regular-season BCS rankings) and TCU (11th) could only watch as the automatic, non-BCS conference berth went to No. 6 Utah, which, like the Broncos, finished the regular season 12-0. The Broncos and Horned Frogs, despite still being in the top 12, were each snubbed for additional spots.

The snubs didn't take away from a tight, heated contest in San Diego, as the Broncos and Horned Frogs engaged in a low-scoring, defensive battle. Despite Boise State taking a 13-0 lead late into the second quarter, TCU would score 17-straight points then hold off the Broncos for the 17-16 win.

(Recap below from the AP)

TCU’s Joseph Turner’s 17-yard run midway through the fourth quarter gave the No. 11 Horned Frogs their first lead of the night, which they preserved for a 17-16 victory over No. 9 and previously undefeated Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Boise State (12-1) was trying to finish 13-0 for the second time in three seasons. The Broncos took a 10-0 lead on Ian Johnson’s 20-yard touchdown run midway through the first quarter, but their high-scoring offense bogged down against TCU’s fast, aggressive defense.

TCU (11-2) piled up yards if not points until finally wearing down the Broncos’ defense in the fourth quarter. The Horned Frogs moved 80 yards in 10 plays on the winning drive, with Turner finishing it off by shedding a tackle inside the 5-yard line and diving into the end zone for a 17-13 lead.

There wouldn’t be a crazy, victorious finish for Johnson and the Broncos as there was two years ago in their memorable, highly entertaining overtime win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

After Turner’s TD, Boise State got to the TCU 14 before having to settle for Kyle Brotzman’s 33-yard field goal to pull to 17-16.

The Broncos got the ball back with 6 seconds left on their 33 and tried to lateral the ball after a catch, but Jeremy Childs’ desperation flip was grabbed by TCU’s Matt Panfil.

TCU outgained Boise State 472 yards to 250. BSU had only 28 yards rushing.

Boise State came in averaging 39 points and 456 yards, one of the benefits of dominating the Western Athletic Conference.

Johnson scored on a 20-yard run midway through the first quarter. It was his 58th career rushing TD, breaking former San Diego State star Marshall Faulk’s WAC record and giving the Broncos a 10-0 lead.

Broncos quarterback Kellen Moore faked a sweep handoff to Childs, then handed to Johnson, who broke outside and found an open field. Officials brought to the ball to the sideline for Johnson to keep.

The Broncos needed the cushion, because TCU’s fast, aggressive defense finally clamped down.

Boise State defensive end Byron Hout intercepted Andy Dalton midway through the second quarter, and his 62-yard return included a nice spin move to get away from one TCU player and a stiff arm against another Horned Frog. Hout was a running back in high school.

Hout returned the ball to the TCU 11, but the Broncos had to settle for Brotzman’s 24-yard field goal and a 13-0 lead.


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