4:30 PM ET, December 28, 2005
Bronco Stadium, BOISE, ID
BOISE, Idaho -- Boston College got offended watching a simple pregame banquet turn into a rally for its opponent.
The No. 19 Eagles got even by spoiling Dan Hawkins' last game at Boise State and ending the nation's longest home winning streak.
Matthew Ryan threw three first-half touchdown passes and Ryan Glasper intercepted Jared Zabransky's pass in the end zone with 37 seconds left as Boston College held on for a 27-21 win in the MPC Computers Bowl on Wednesday.
"We go to a banquet that turns into a pep rally; I didn't have to say anything to this team. I ought to thank the mayor and the people of Boise for getting this team ready to play," Boston College coach Tom O'Brien said. "There wasn't anything I had to do to get this team ready."
A number of Boston College players said MPC Computers CEO Mike Atkins made fun of defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka's name during the Monday night banquet.
"As far as motivation goes, if we didn't have it before two days ago, we definitely found it," Kiwanuka said. "I think that had a lot to do with why we came out so strong."
Turned out the Eagles needed the strong start. Down 27-0 late in the third quarter, the Broncos tried to rally for their departing coach in the closing moments.
Boise State started its final possession at the BC 47 with 1:56 left, and Zabransky completed a 32-yard, fourth-down pass to Vinny Perretta to the 14.
A pass-interference penalty moved the ball to the 5, but Zabransky was sacked by Nick Larkin, and then Glasper came up with his interception.
"I just want that throw back," Zabransky said.
The Eagles (9-3) extended the nation's longest bowl winning streak to six and snapped Boise State's 31-game home winning streak. BC's last bowl loss was to Colorado in the 1999 Insight Bowl, and Boise State's last home loss was in 2001 -- a 41-20 loss to Washington State in Hawkins' first home game after taking over for Dirk Koetter.
The game was Hawkins' last with the Broncos (9-4), who failed to win 10 games for the first time since 2001. He's headed to Colorado after signing a five-year contract worth $900,000 per year on Dec. 16 -- with the stipulation that he be allowed to coach Boise State in the bowl game.
"It came down to one play against a very good football team. They made the play and we didn't," Hawkins said. "I would have loved to have a win for seniors and the effort they put forth but I told them they can hold there heads up I was proud of them."
The Broncos were lethargic and lifeless, and bullied by the Eagles in the first half. Ryan took full advantage.
The sophomore was rarely pressured and picked apart Boise State's secondary. He threw for 178 yards in the first half and finished with 256 on the famed blue turf that had a slight coat of white after a brief hail and sleet storm in the third quarter.
"When the guys are making plays, it makes your job as the quarterback a lot easier," Ryan said.
By the time Will Blackmon outmanuevered three Boise State defensive backs for a 35-yard TD reception with 1:16 left in the first half, Boise State fans were already headed to the tent vendors outside the stadium.
It almost became 31-0. On the last play of the half, Ryan completed a 52-yard pass to Blackmon. He caught it at the 6, but was tackled by Colt Brooks at the 1.
Blackmon finished with five catches for 144 yards and Ryan Ohliger kicked field goals of 26 and 30 yards for BC.
Ryan's first two TD passes went to Tony Gonzalez. The first came on BC's opening drive, when on fourth-down, Ryan sidestepped defensive tackle Nick Schlekeway and found Gonzalez streaking across the back of the end zone for a 35-yard play.
Gonzalez's second TD came late in the second quarter after the Eagles came up with a critical turnover.
Down 10-0, Boise State put together its most productive drive, marching inside the Eagles 40. Zabransky threw to Jeff Carpenter, who ran to the BC 32, but was hit by linebacker Jolonn Dunbar and fumbled. Ray Henderson scooped up the ball on one bounce and raced 55 yards to the Boise State 13. Ryan connected with Gonzalez on the next play.
Boise State was scoreless until late in the third. Zabransky threw a 53-yard TD pass to Drisan James with 1:24 left and then scored on a 2-yard TD run early in the fourth, the Broncos' second score in 2:09.
The Broncos got to 27-21 with 3:51 left after Quinton Jones returned a punt 92 yards for a TD. Jones broke two tackles inside his own 10, broke two more and traversed the field for the longest punt return in the bowl's history.
"I was trying to find anything to give us some momentum. It wasn't that we lacked confidence, we just needed something to give us momentum," Jones said.
Boise State lost for the first time in its hometown bowl. The Broncos beat Iowa State (2002), Texas El-Paso (2000) and Louisville (1999) in the game.
Wearing a blue pullover with orange piping and the Boise State logo planted firmly on his chest, Hawkins crisscrossed the field before kickoff, making sure to give every player a pat, handshake and for some, a brief hug.
It was over when... Boston College safety Ryan Glaspar picked off Boise State QB Jared Zabransky in the end zone with 37 seconds left to end the Broncos' comeback attempt.
Gameball goes to... Matt Ryan. The sophomore quarterback gave Boston College what turned out to be an insurmountable lead with 3 first-half TD passes. He finished 19-for-36 with 3 TDs and 1 INT.
Stat of the game... 31. Boise State suffered its first loss at home in 31 games, a streak that spanned coach Dan Hawkins' tenure. Hawkins lost his first home game as coach in 2001 and his last on Wednesday before leaving to coach Colorado.
The Fan Pick
70.5% of Bowl Pick'em players picked Boston College to win the game.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||5-16||8-20|
|4th Down Conversions||1-4||1-1|
|TD||11:31||TONY GONZALEZ 24 YD PASS FROM MATT RYAN (RYAN OHLIGER KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 69 yards.
|FG||12:22||RYAN OHLIGER 30 YD FG|
Drive info: 15 plays, 53 yards.
|TD||2:27||TONY GONZALEZ 13 YD PASS FROM MATT RYAN (RYAN OHLIGER KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 13 yards.
|TD||1:16||WILL BLACKMON 35 YD PASS FROM MATT RYAN (RYAN OHLIGER KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 50 yards.
|FG||3:52||RYAN OHLIGER 27 YD FG|
Drive info: 7 plays, 72 yards.
|TD||1:24||DRISAN JAMES 53 YD PASS FROM JARED ZABRANSKY (ANTHONY MONTGOMERY KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 53 yards.
|TD||14:15||JARED ZABRANSKY 2 YD RUN (ANTHONY MONTGOMERY KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 33 yards.
|TD||3:51||QUINTON JONES 92 YD PUNT RETURN (ANTHONY MONTGOMERY KICK)||21||27|