No. 11 TCU Rallies Past No. 9 Boise State, 17-16, in Poinsettia Bowl

Aaron Brown scores in the second quarter for TCU, which trailed 13-0.
Aaron Brown scores in the second quarter for TCU, which trailed 13-0. (By Denis Poroy -- Associated Press)
  Enlarge Photo    
Associated Press
Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Joseph Turner's 17-yard run midway through the fourth quarter gave No. 11 Texas Christian its first lead, and the Horned Frogs held on for a 17-16 victory over ninth-ranked and previously undefeated Boise State last night in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.

The Broncos (12-1), trying to finish 13-0 for the second time in three seasons, 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 the fast, aggressive defense of TCU (11-2).

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.

"We didn't stop them like we needed to," Boise State's Jeron Johnson said. "The better team won tonight."

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.

But that defense was on the field too long. The Horned Frogs rolled up 472 yards, the most allowed by all season by Boise State. Texas Christian converted 9 of 18 third downs and held the ball for more than 36 minutes.

On the game-winning drive that concluded with Turner's run for a 17-13 lead, TCU went to the ground on seven of the 10 plays, including the final five.

Boise State had a chance to rise up and stop the Horned 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 minute 47 seconds left.

Boise State's biggest issue wasn't TCU's offense as much as its own. After jumping out to a 13-0 lead, the Broncos were unable to mount any lengthy drives to give their defense a breather.

Boise attempted a lateral after completing a pass on their only play after getting the ball back with six seconds left, but the flip was picked from midair by TCU, sparking a celebration for the Horned Frogs and their fans.

Virginia Bolsters Staff

Virginia Coach Al Groh says former Bowling Green head coach Gregg Brandon will be charged with redesigning the Cavaliers' offense, and former Richmond and Tennessee assistant Latrell Scott will be along to help.

Brandon and Scott were announced as two new hires by Groh, who fired his son Mike as offensive coordinator just over two weeks ago, along with two defensive assistants.

Groh said the Cavaliers would change their offensive philosophy, and the appointment of Brandon suggests Virginia will go to a spread attack. It's the offense his team ran during his six seasons as the coach at Bowling Green.

© 2008 The Washington Post Company