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Déjà vu in Blue: Another missed kick seals Boise State’s BCS fate

Graham Watson
Dr. Saturday

TCU 36, Boise State 35.
If there's certainty in college football, it's Boise State on the blue turf: Before today, the Broncos hadn't lost at home since 2005, hadn't lost a regular season game at home since 2001 and hadn't lost a conference game at home since 1998. Even that was three conferences ago. They're so money at home, the Mountain West voted to move this game from Fort Worth to Boise specifically to spite the outgoing Frogs and boost its standing in the BCS. The annual speculation and complaints about the Broncos' impending snub in the BCS Championship Game were warming up.

Then, like something out of a bad horror movie, an all-too-familiar ending began to unfold: The kicker did it.

A year ago, steady senior Kyle Brotzman lined up for what would be the game-winning field goal to preserve a winning season against underdog Nevada, shanked two kicks — one at the end of regulation, one in overtime — that cost the Broncos a BCS bowl.

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Today, trailing TCU 36-35 with three seconds remaining, Dan Goodale hooked a 39-yard field goal right and, like Brotzman, stood in disbelief as TCU rushed the field. Once again, Boise State's dream season was over.

Before there was Dan Goodale, though, there was the most consistent, bankable outfit in America going under with a fourth quarter lead: Up 35-28 with the clock ticking under three minutes and the ball in TCU territory, coughed the ball up, setting up a 73-yard Frog drive for a touchdown to pull within one point and a two-point conversion to go ahead. With a little over a minute to play, Moore answered with five consecutive incomplete passes, twice getting bailed out by dicey pass interference calls to set up Evans' miss.

For the game, Moore was outplayed by Casey Pachall, who bombed the Boise secondary for 473 yards and five touchdowns, including the eventual game-winner to Josh Boyce from 25 yards out. Before today, Boise hadn't allowed 30 points in any game; TCU scored 36. Boise was allowing barely 300 yards; TCU went for 504. Boise hadn't trailed in the second half; TCU led at halftime and rallied from a touchdown back on two separate occasions in the final 18 minutes. Just like that, the Horned Frogs are back on top of the Mountain West.

With the Broncos' fall comes a hail of broken winning streaks on the blue turf:{YSP:MORE} Sixty-six straight in regular season games, 35 straight in all games, 47 straight in conference play. It's the first home loss ever for Chris Petersen as a head coach. With the loss and the head-to-head tiebreaker in TCU's favor, Boise is on the verge of falling short of a conference championship for just the second time in ten years. Its hopes for a fifth perfect season in eight years are finished.

As are their hopes, however distant, of crashing the BCS title game. Given . But they won't be crashing any other BCS, either, a coveted consolation prize that now falls to Houston, which won't be nudged out of the on-deck position, after all. The Frogs are shouldering the underdogs' burden alone. For Boise State, the debate is over. The dream is dead, again. Cinderella is taking the carriage back to the Poinsettia Bowl.

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Graham Watson is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham.
Matt Hinton also contributed to this post. Follow him @DrSaturday.

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