Swing Snaps: Boise's dreams go wide right
Snap Judgments from the Week 11 swing shift. For early shift Snaps, click here. For late shift Snaps, click here. For Andy Staples' account from Penn State, click here. For a recap of all the Top 25 action click here, and for highlights from SI.com click here.
• TCU 36, No. 5 Boise 35: Understand this: It's nigh impossible to dislike either of these teams. It's also tough to think of them as scrappy have-nots anymore, since they've become such fixtures on the national scene the past few years. But barring some very strange twists, we won't see either one in a BCS bowl this season, and for that we really are the poorer.
With a secondary grossly depleted by injuries, the Broncos were picked clean by TCU quarterback Casey Pachall, who finished the night with 473 passing yards, five touchdowns and an interception. More importantly, immediately after winging a 25-yard touchdown to Brandon Carter, Pachall completed an unbelievable go-ahead two-point conversion to Josh Boyce with 1:19 remaining in the game. It turned out to be all the difference.
From there, Boise's season fell apart like this: Three incomplete passes from Moore, all downfield slings. A questionable call of defensive pass interference on fourth down, which gave the Broncos life again. A 10-yard dart to Tyler Shoemaker, which provided a fresh set of downs. Three plays later, Boise had seven yards to go from TCU's 22. If you watched the Broncos crumple against Nevada last season, the symmetry is excruciating. Dan Goodale missed wide right on a 39-yard kick, and the Broncos were out of the national-title discussion.
They'll drop more slots than a one-loss team deserves to fall, and they'll pop up in some December bowl that doesn't deserve them. The cold comfort, if there's any to be had, is this: The game was aired on Versus, narrowing sharply the odds that anybody saw it at all. [RECAP | BOX]
"This is real-life football. You don't win all your games all the time." -- Chris Petersen, via Chadd Cripe, back to business.
"Kellen Moore has won more games than any other quarterback, but missed field goals cost him two BCS bowls." -- Stewart Mandel
• No. 17 Kansas State 53, Texas A&M 50: Here we have a quadruple-overtime conference game featuring a ranked team that ended with 103 points scored and perilously close to 900 yards of offense gained. It is reduced to second billing. THANKS BUNCHES, BOISE. Collin Klein, beast that he is, had a career night in the air (282 yards on 17 completions) and added 102 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. Himself. He made the first overtime overly exciting by fumbling the ball away, but was saved by the speedy ball-recovery skills of receiver Tramaine Thompson, who ran it in for the first score of four extra frames. At the end of a very long night, the Wildcats again turned to Klein in their direst hour, and he punched it in for the win.
But I'm leaving out the best part. Did A&M have, at some point during this game, a double-digit lead that was surrendered down the stretch? Yes, gentle reader. Death, taxes, England and ... that. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• No. 14 Georgia 45, No. 24 Auburn 7: When Mark Richt's in a repaying mood, things can get unpleasant for his targets. The mild-mannered Bulldogs skipper kept his starters in late enough to make a resounding 35-7 romp a 45-7 stomp. Aaron Murray had a very good night, completing 14-of-18 attempts for 225 yards and four touchdown passes, and breaking Matthew Stafford's single-season touchdown record with his 27th strike. But let's talk about the tailbacks, who were without the services of stalwart Richard Samuel. Isaiah Crowell and No. 3 back Carlton Thomas combined for 258 yards on 39 carries, with Crowell scoring the game's final touchdown halfway through the fourth quarter. (Nice for him, that, after committing the Dawgs' only two turnovers in the afternoon with a pair of fumbles.) Georgia has only Kentucky left to hurdle in conference play and the SEC East will be won. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]
• Baylor 31, Kansas 30: We know that any given team can cough up a real hairball of a game in any given season. But the No. 2 offense in the FBS versus the dead-last defense should be something of a foregone conclusion, right? Not today! Kansas actually led 24-3 going into the fourth quarter, before Robert Griffin, presumably remembering he was Robert Griffin, rocketed loose for a 49-yard touchdown run, the first of three touchdowns he would score in the period to tie the game and force overtime. Griffin would score again, hitting Tevin Reese for a second consecutive scoring hookup. Jordan Webb then winged a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tim Biere, and then Kansas got cute. The Jayhawks tried to go for the win; Webb threw into double coverage, and just like that, the Bears are bowl-eligible. Who would've thought in September they'd have a hard time getting there? [RECAP | BOX]
• Colorado 48, Arizona 29: Let's decide as a group: Are we happy Colorado's got a conference win in Jon Embree's first year and delighted that after all the turmoil at the position, Tyler Hansen not only threw two touchdown passes, but caught one from Rodney Stewart? Or are we just horrified that Nick Foles committed four turnovers against the 101st-ranked defense in the FBS? [RECAP | BOX]
• Wyoming 25, Air Force 17: Don't look now, but Wyoming could be back to bowl eligibility for the second time in Dave Christensen's three-year tenure with a victory over winless New Mexico next week. Do not adjust your television screens. [RECAP | BOX]
• No. 16 Wisconsin 42, Minnesota 13: Mention of this game is an excuse to show you what the mascots did. How this was allowed to happen, we may never know, but we celebrate that it happened at all. [RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS]Navy 24, SMU 17: [RECAP | BOX]