The 2007 Fiesta Bowl ranks as the 2nd best finish since 1970

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No. 2 Boise State 43 … Oklahoma 42, Fiesta Bowl, January 1, 2007
At the time: 12-0 Boise State broke through the barrier and got a BCS bid, but almost no one thought it’d have much of a shot against Oklahoma, the Big 12 champion, despite being eighth in the BCS rankings, while OU was tenth. The Sooners had gone through adversity from the start of the year, from losing starting quarterback Rhett Bomar to suspension to losing to Oregon, helped by a controversial missed call, to losing star runner Adrian Peterson for a stretch with a broken collarbone. The Broncos had one nice win over Oregon State earlier in the year, but didn’t get too much national respect after winning the WAC.

The setup: Boise State had stunned the Sooners on the way to a 28-10 third quarter lead. While the Broncos had been sharp and productive, OU didn’t help its cause with several mistakes and generally poor play. A Peterson touchdown run and a Garrett Hartley field goal cut the lead to eight early in the fourth, but the real fun didn’t begin until Oklahoma’s offense started to move with 2:14 to play.
The ending: Oklahoma fought back to tie the game with a five-yard Quentin Chaney touchdown catch with 1:26 to play. After penalties forced a third two-point conversion try, Sooner quarterback Paul Thompson found Juaquin Iglesias for the tie. On the next play from scrimmage, Boise State’s Jared Zabransky was picked off by Marcus Walker for a 33-yard interception return for a score and an improbably 35-28 OU lead. With under a minute to go, Boise State went 78 yards in five plays, converting on 4th and 18 for a 35-yard touchdown on a hook-and-lateral with Drisan James catching the ball and pitching it to Jerard Rabb, who took it for the score with seven seconds in regulation. In overtime, Peterson ran for a 25-yard score on OU’s first play. Boise State, facing another big fourth down, ran a trick play for a touchdown on a five-yard touchdown pass from backup wide receiver Vinny Parretta to tight end Derek Schouman. Instead of forcing a second overtime, the Broncos went for the win, and got it, on a Statue of Liberty play, with Ian Johnson taking the ball around the left side for an untouched two-point conversion and the win.

How they ended up: Boise State finished the season fifth in the AP Poll and sixth in the Coaches’ Poll, while Oklahoma ended up 11th in each. While only time will tell the true impact of the Broncos’ win, it might have been a landmark victory for the “mid-major” programs when it comes to national respect.

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