Bowl Countdown: 2014 Fiesta Bowl
Dec. 22, 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 last year's trip to the VIZIO Fiesta Bowl, in which the Broncos defeated No. 10 Arizona, 38-30, to capture its third Fiesta Bowl title.
Recap from the AP
The Boise State Broncos are no longer just trick-play ponies.
They did score on a Statue of Liberty play. This was the Fiesta Bowl, so of course they did.
But once the tricks were used up and the offensive fireworks dulled, Boise State had to grind out this Fiesta Bowl victory with its defense.
Donte Deayon returned an interception for a touchdown in third quarter and sack specialist Kamalei Correa had his biggest takedown of the season on the game’s final play, lifting No. 21 Boise State to a 38-30 victory over No. 12 Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl on Wednesday.
Boise State (12-2) lived up to its unpredictable reputation in the first quarter, pulling off the Statue of Liberty play while racing to a 21-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes. Jay Ajayi scored two of his three touchdowns in the first quarter - one on the trick play - and finished with 134 yards rushing. Grant Hedrick was perfect through his first 14 passes and threw for 304 yards and a touchdown. Thomas Sperbeck had 12 catches for 199 yards.
The bulk of those numbers came in the first half, though. Once the second rolled around, the Broncos bogged down, allowing Arizona to cut the lead to eight in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats had a final chance, using their quick-strike offense to march down the field, but Correa sacked Anu Solomon at Boise State’s 10-yard on the game’s last play.
The Broncos charged onto the field after Correa’s sack, celebrating a successful first season under coach Bryan Harsin with their third Fiesta Bowl victory.
Arizona (10-4) was overrun by Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship and seemed to still have a hangover against the Broncos.
Once the Wildcats shook out of their daze, they shut down Boise State’s high-powered offense and began chipping away at the lead.
The problem was that they needed to take bigger chunks.
Instead of scoring touchdowns, Arizona mostly dinked its way back, settling for three field goals after driving deep into Boise State’s end.
Turnovers also hurt. Solomon threw for 335 yards and a touchdown, but had two interceptions that led to touchdowns for Boise State, including Deayon’s pick six late in the third quarter.
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