With 7:04 remaining in the game, Fresno State took possession of the ball facing their first deficit, down by six. Quarterback Derek Carr led the offense with 11 consecutive pass attempts for 83 yards before the Bulldogs needed to convert a third down. The Bulldogs turned to running back Josh Quezada to cap off the drive despite struggles in the run game. Quezada converted on third-and-two, and then punched in a one yard touchdown to put the Bulldogs back on top with 2:09 remaining.
"I told our guys at halftime we had to run to win the game, run to finish," Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "To see Josh [Quezada] score that last touchdown was special. I thought he ran the ball particularly hard today.”
Boise State had one last drive to try to win the game, needing only a field goal to take the lead. The Broncos had turned their last three drives into touchdowns, but the Fresno State defense held strong in the game’s closing minutes. The Broncos faced fourth down with six yards to go near midfield when cornerback Jonathan Norton broke up a pass intended for Kirby Moore that put the game away for the Bulldogs.
“Boise hadn't really been able to run the ball on us during the game, but they were running good routes and were hard to stop,” safety Derron Smith said. “We just went with what coach told us, and Jonathan Norton was able to make a big play."
The final stop sent 41,031 fans and a sideline of Fresno State players and staff into a frenzy. The win snapped a seven game losing streak against Boise State and their second win in a 12 year stretch that started with Boise State’s upset win in 2001.
“It means a lot,” Carr said. “Just because of how good of a football program they are. What a great win for our school. What a great win for our fans and for our community. It was phenomenal, especially for my family. I remember sitting up there at ten-years-old watching number eight Fresno State get beat by a last sack by Boise State. From that moment on I wanted to come here and win games and beat them.”
Boise State Rally
Boise State trailed 34-19 with 58 seconds remaining in the third quarter when everything started going their way. The Broncos got back within one possession just 17 seconds later after a 58 yard kick return, followed by a 35 yard touchdown run by Aaron Baltazar.
The Broncos opened the fourth quarter with a 13 play, 89 yard touchdown drive, but a failed two point conversion left the Broncos trailing by two points. Boise State got the ball right back after a muffed kick return, and soon after took a 40-34 lead with 7:04 remaining. In a stretch of just under nine minutes, Boise State turned a 15 point deficit into a 6 point lead, leaving the Bulldogs stunned.
"Can't say enough about the resolve about the guys in that locker room," Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter said. "They never lose faith in each other, they trust each other, and they love each other. When you do those things, you can do special things. We got some tremendous athletes, but that glue we have is special and I think those guys realize that."