Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Boise State Coach Adds a Surprising Detail

Last night, I was up late listening to the radio and I stumbled on an interview with the coach of the victorious Boise State football team. I deliberately waited a couple of days before posting on this remarkable victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, because I wanted to hear someone else's opinion.

At the time I said to myself that it was the greatest college football game I have ever seen, but that happens every few years. The only flaw was having it settled by the college overtime system, although, as a football fan I know pointed out, that beats the pros where the single most dominating factor in overtime is who wins the coin flip.

If you didn't see this game, I can't begin to go through the monumental momentum swings, and trick plays. This team played with a cinematic level of the right stuff. It's why football fans watch - to see reality merge with some story line that nobody would dare dream up. I was very pleased last night when the sports radio DJ said, "It's being called the most exciting finish in the history of college football." That's how I saw it, but I didn't want to get caught up in hyperbole. Heck, last year's Rose Bowl between USC and Texas was pretty impressive and that was just a year ago. Certainly the talent level was higher then with legendary players like Reggie Bush doing his thing.

So in the interests of restraint I'll just say - if the category is David versus Goliath - nothing comes close to Boise State over Oklahoma. But what did the coach say that was interesting?

Okay, there is some debate on whether the big trick play to score the long touchdown with 7 seconds left in regulation is called the hook and ladder play, or the hook and lateral. I prefer the first. The coach just called it the circus play. And get this: He said they only really ran two-thirds of it. There was supposed to be a second lateral! He said if you see the replay you'll see another player streaking down the sideline and he was also supposed to get a lateral. So, one of the bigger trick plays of the season and they actually toned it down!

The coach also said that a backup quarterback had made the suggestion on the Statue of Liberty play, to make the throwing motion with an empty right hand, while wrapping the ball behind the back with your left hand. It showed how backups who don't play can still make a contribution. Then you have the player proposing right after the victory and it was perfect.

Oh well, I don't want to sound excessive. It was definitely the best game of the New Year. It was definitely the best game of this past season. And it really might have been the best college football game of all time. Really. I mean it.


At 10:35 AM, Blogger Kari Chisholm said...

Saw another interview where Coach Petersen said that the two backup QBs had been 'bugging' him all game long to call the Statue play. So, finally, he caved - and said, "this one's on you."


At 10:37 AM, Blogger Ruben Bailey said...

Of course the NFL OT system stinks, but if you've ever seen one, you might notice an interesting stat the networks ALWAYS post before start of the extra period:

"Coin toss winners only win the game about 50% of the time"

Not sure how to get absolute confirmation on this, but I know I've seen that stat several times...

At 10:39 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

I hope you're right because I heard coin toss winners have a decided advantage.
In college, it's unfair because the second team knows what they have to shoot for, but at least both teams get a shot.

At 10:44 AM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

Actual Portland Freelancer Research!
You're right Ruben Bailey, it is a split. The unfair feeling comes when the first team to get the ball wins and the other team never gets a chance. Jim Nance recently said that happens 28% of the time.

At 10:47 AM, Anonymous Amanda Fritz said...

Y'know what else is great? Oklahoma fans whining on message boards about whether that one player's knee was/wasn't down on a fumble, and if not for a (shock, horror) bad replay call, Oklahoma would have won. And what is REALLY great, is that this time, the guys who outplayed them are getting all the attention.

At 10:52 AM, Blogger Torrid said...

I think this game at LEAST matches USC-Texas, because there were multiple do or die moments between BSU and OU. While last year's game had the ultimate prize on the line, there really was only one heroic play. I count SIX separate climactic plays from Monday's game:

1) OU comes back from 18 down, scores late TD.
2) OU makes 2-pointer to tie at 28.
2) OU takes the lead with an INT.
3) BSU ties the game at 35 with the hook and ladder.
4) OU's Peterson scores on the 1st play of OT.
5) BSU scores to pull within 1.
6) BSU makes winning 2-pointer.

And all of that came from the last 2 minutes of the 4th quarter. Wow.

About the only thing that bummed me out about that game, was that I'd predicted at LO that no BCS coach would be so ballsy as to go for two for the win, like Mike Riley did with the Beavers. Maybe I get half credit since no one counted BSU as BCS worthy befor the game? :)

At 10:53 AM, Blogger Torrid said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:00 AM, Anonymous butch said...

I read an interview from another Boise St. player who said they practice the Statue of Liberty play (the one they used to get the 2 pt conversion) several times in almost every practice......and it almost NEVER works.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

One other thing on the Oklahoma 2-point conversion:
There were three attempts with the first one failing but with a defensive penalty, the second one working but with an offensive penalty and finally, the third one working. Anyone of those 3 plays could have meant the end of the game for Oklahoma, as Boise would have had the ball with less than a couple of minutes.
So they showed a lot of the right stuff, too.
As for the Ducks game, Oklahoma was clearly screwed over badly, but then again, spending the next ten days whining about it didn't endear them to the football gods, either.

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Bill McDonald said...

One other screenplay twist: The blow-out scenario was in full force when that one punt took a long reverse bounce and hit the Boise player's foot. That's when Goliath came alive. Having the momentum swing be the result of bad luck seemed epic to me, like one of those old battles from Spencer, etc...


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