Frogs in 11th Heaven with Poinsettia Bowl Win
Dec. 23, 2008
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- TCU's Joseph Turner dove into the end zone for the winning touchdown, and LaDainian Tomlinson went nuts on the sideline.
It was a good night to be a Horned Frog, current and past.
Turner's 17-yard run midway through the fourth quarter gave the No. 11 Horned Frogs their first lead of the night, which they preserved for a 17-16 victory over No. 9 and previously undefeated Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl.
Boise State (12-1) was trying to finish 13-0 for the second time in three seasons. The Broncos 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 TCU's fast, aggressive defense.
TCU (11-2) piled up yards if not points until finally wearing down the Broncos' defense in the fourth quarter. The Horned Frogs moved 80 yards in 10 plays on the winning drive, with Turner finishing it off by shedding a tackle inside the 5-yard line and diving into the end zone for a 17-13 lead.
Tomlinson, the former TCU standout in his eighth season with the San Diego Chargers, jumped in celebration and pumped his fist near the TCU bench.
There wouldn't be a crazy, victorious finish for Johnson and the Broncos as there was two years ago in the memorable, highly entertaining overtime win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.
After Turner's TD, Boise State got to the TCU 14 before having to settle for Kyle Brotzman's 33-yard field goal to pull to 17-16.
The Broncos got the ball back with 6 seconds left on their 33 and tried to lateral the ball after a catch, but Jeremy Childs' desperation flip was grabbed by TCU's Matt Panfil.
TCU outgained Boise State 472 yards to 250.
BSU came in averaging 39 points and 456 yards, one of the benefits of dominating the Western Athletic Conference.
Johnson scored on a 20-yard run midway through the first quarter. It was his 58th career rushing TD, breaking former San Diego State star Marshall Faulk's WAC record and giving the Broncos a 10-0 lead.
Broncos quarterback Kellen Moore faked a sweep handoff to Childs, then handed to Johnson, who broke outside and found an open field. Officials brought to the ball to the sideline for Johnson to keep.
The Broncos needed the cushion, because TCU's fast, aggressive defense finally clamped down.
Johnson is best known as scoring the winning 2-point conversion against Oklahoma on a "Statue of Liberty" play, then proposing to his cheerleader girlfriend moments later.
Johnson's wife, Chrissy, spoke with Tomlinson on the sideline after doing a TV interview during the first quarter.
Boise State defensive end Bryon Hout intercepted Andy Dalton midway through the second quarter, and his 62-yard return included a nice spin move to get away from one TCU player and a stiff arm against another Horned Frog. Hout was a running back in high school.
Hout returned the ball to the TCU 11, but the Broncos had to settle for Brotzman's 24-yard field goal and a 13-0 lead.
TCU finally scored on Aaron Brown's 16-yard run just before halftime.
Brown had 102 yards on 14 carries while Turner had 83 yards on 16 rushes.