|Broncos worn out defense can't come through at end|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 23 December 2008 18:43|
With Boise State's vaunted fastbreak offense brought to a slow crawl by TCU's aggressive, swarming defense, the chance for Boise's second unbeaten season in the last three seasons was placed at the feet of the Broncos' defense.
This time, the Broncos got bucked.
Fatigued after spending most of the final three quarters on the field, the Boise State defense couldn't come up with enough key stops in the final quarter, and watched TCU walk away with a 17-16 win.
hat couldn't make enough stops and an offense that didn't help out by sustaining drives and giving the Broncos defenders a break.
Boise State's defense was statistically among the best in the country for much of the season, but always got overshadowed by the Broncos' potent offense.
They were in the spotlight on Tuesday night for their inability to get off the field, especially in the second half. The Horned Frogs (11-2) rolled up 472 yards, the most allowed by all season by Boise State. The previous high was 464 allowed to Oregon in the Broncos wild 37-32 win at Oregon in September. The Frogs converted 9 of 18 third downs and held the ball for more than 36 minutes.
The Broncos tightened early when the Frogs drove inside the BSU 35. They intercepted TCU receiver Jeremy Kerley on a trick play in the first quarter and stopped Kerley on a fourth down run at their 32 in the second.
Cracks started to show at the end of the first half when TCU needed less than a minute to drive 60 yards for a critical touchdown that made it 13-7. Those problems continued in the second half and were most obvious in the fourth quarter when TCU pounded away for the winning score.
Boise State had a chance to rise up and stop the Frogs after Kyle Brotzman's third field goal made it 17-16. The Broncos finally stopped TCU near midfield and forced a punt, but any hopes of a last-second scoring drive ended when redshirt freshman quarterback Kellen Moore was intercepted by Stephen Hodge with 1:47 left.
Moore's mistake, one of the few in his first season, was part of Boise State's biggest issue Tuesday night. It wasn't TCU's offense as much as the Broncos own. After jumping out to a 13-0 lead, the Boise State offense went into park, unable to mount any lengthy drives to get its defense a breather on the sidelines.
Boise attempted a lateral after completing a pass on their only play after getting the ball back with 6 seconds left, but the flip was picked from midair by TCU, sparking a celebration for the Horned Frogs and their fans.