5 Thoughts - 2008 Poinsettia Bowl
TCU QB Andy Dalton
TCU QB Andy Dalton
Posted Dec 24, 2008

TCU beats Boise State 17-16 ... 5 Thoughts on the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl.

5 Thoughts ... 2008 San Diego Country Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl

TCU 17 ... Boise State 16

GAME REVIEW: TCU comes back and hangs on
- 2008 Poinsettia Bowl Preview
2008 Poinsettia Bowl Player Profiles, Histories, & More

1. There are family reasons why Chris Petersen has been lukewarm about leaving Boise, but it boggles the mind that no one has pried Gary Patterson out of Fort Worth. Hey, no disrespect is intended to TCU, which has been one of the nation’s premier mid-majors over the past few seasons, but Patterson has earned a chance to coach at a school, where 10 wins equals more than a second-tier bowl game in December. Year-in and year-out, his teams are among the most physical and defensively-sound in America. His guys just wear you out with ball control and 60 minutes of ferocity on defense. Heck, if Dennis Franchione can use Fort Worth as a launching pad for jobs in the SEC and Big 12, Patterson has surely positioned himself for similar promotions with five 10-win seasons in the last seven years. - Richard Cirminiello   

2. The debate now ends. I have a theory that when it comes to the NCAA basketball tournament, if your team is on the bubble it doesn’t deserve to be in, but if your team gets in and it wins its first round game, it proved itself worthy. When it comes to the BCS, if your team didn’t get in and you’re mad about it, then it had better win its bowl game impressively. Boise State fans were all up in arms about being passed over by the Fiesta Bowl for a lower ranked Ohio State team, and they had a point considering the Broncos were 12-0 with a strong road win over Oregon. But with the loss to TCU, now it might be tough for Boise State and the WAC to get the benefit of the doubt the next time around. It’s not like the Broncos played poorly, but a loss to the Mountain West’s second best team is still a loss to the Mountain West’s second best team. For all the great things Boise State has done over the last decade, and for all the wins, there’s still no margin for error because almost no one with a pulse wants anything to do with this team in non-conference play. Dominating the WAC is nice, but Boise needed this win.
- Pete Fiutak

3. I am in awe of Boise State coach Chris Petersen. Call it a "man crush" if you will, but it's just impossible not to love the boss Bronco. His team had just 29 rushing yards when TCU took a 17-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Yet, Petersen and his offensive coordinator, Bryan Harsin, were still able to draw up pass plays with wrinkles and misdirection principles that fooled TCU's secondary. Any coach who can design pass plays that prove to be very effective--and enable a not-very-strong-armed quarterback (Kellen Moore) to deliver balls early in the face of a talented TCU pass rush--is a first-rate football mind. Yes, TCU won a very entertaining ballgame, and Gary Patterson's coaching stock should only continue to rise, but Petersen's display of X-and-O wizardry was almost as good as the 2007 Fiesta Bowl. That's saying a lot... even in defeat. 
- Matthew Zemek

4. How screwed is Utah going to feel if it upsets Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and finishes the season as the nation’s lone unbeaten? Now that Boise State has suffered its first loss, a 17-16 squeaker to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl, the Utes are the last team left without a blemish. That ought to count for something, right? Listen, I recognize that Utah isn’t Florida or Oklahoma, but a perfect record would surely net the program a few first-place votes when the final polls are released. Plus, the resume would include victories over Michigan, Oregon State, BYU, the Frogs and the Tide. It’s not the SEC or the Big 12, but it’s certainly not too shabby. The Broncos’ loss in San Diego opens the door for an element of controversy and debate if Utah can keep the Mountain West rolling this year.
- Richard Cirminiello   

When you get a change to score against a top-shelf defense, you had better do it. Boise State had its chances to put TCU away early, but the Horned Frog defense was able to rise up when the offense kept making mistakes and held the score to a reasonable 13-0 deficit before Aaron Brown got into the end zone late in the first half to cut the lead to six. This bowl season, outside of the USC-Penn State Rose Bowl, will be all about offense. Several of the minor bowls will be shootouts, and Oklahoma got into the national title game because of its attack. TCU showed just how good it is because of a defense that put the clamps down and held Boise State to 28 yards rushing. Even though the pass rush wasn't its normal, devastating self, the D still came through time and again. Boise State has a defense of its own, and it did a solid job even though TCU marched up and down the field, but the offense didn't come through. Considering the talent across the board for the Bronco O, and with an innovative head coach like Chris Petersen, the TCU defense pitched a gem. Credit the Horned Frogs for tightening up, but blame the Broncos for three field goals when they needed touchdowns. - Pete Fiutak