Boise State’s Fiesta Bowl magic strikes again

Boise State secured its third Fiesta Bowl victory after beating the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats 38-30 in a hard-fought battle. Jay Ajayi got his train rolling down the tracks as he ran for 134 yards and three touchdowns in his final game in a Bronco uniform.

The Broncos jumped out to a 7-0 start after Ajayi broke out for a 56-yard touchdown on the Broncos first possession.

Grant Hedrick picked up where Ajayi left off by hitting Chaz Anderson for a 57-yard pass downfield on the very next possession, putting the Broncos up 14-0. After forcing another Wildcat punt, the Broncos marched 80 yards downfield to set up a 16-yard touchdown by Ajayi. Shades of Boise State’s 2007 Fiesta Bowl.

Arizona’s quarterback Anu Solomon got his team rolling the next possession by leading the Wildcats to their first score of the game.

On the first Arizona drive in the second quarter Cleshawn Page picked off Solomon, setting up Ajayi’s third and final touchdown of the night.

But the Wildcats were not to succumb to defeat that easily. Arizona marched 83 yards downfield to setup a Nick Wilson touchdown run. Dan Goodale and Casey Skowron would each add a field goal for their teams, putting the score at 31-17 at the half. Skowron would knockdown his second of three field goals on the night before a pick-6 by Donte Deayon. The pick-6 would be the Broncos third in each of their Fiesta Bowl games starting in 2007.

Solomon hit Smajie Grant for a 51-yard touchdown pass late in the third to pull the Wildcats within 13. Skowron’s final field goal put Arizona within one-score of the Broncos.

Arizona’s defense stalled the Broncos offense the rest of the night before setting a final Wildcat drive.

Starting at their own 20 yard line, the Wildcats marched down the field to set up what would be the game-tying touchdown. On the final play of the game from the Boise State 8-yard line, Anu Solomon rolled out right looking for an open receiver before Kamelei Correa pulled him down for a sack. Time ran out as the teams tried to place the ball.

The Broncos are now 3-0 all time in the Fiesta Bowl, all wearing blue helmets, white jerseys, and orange pants. Boise State did not break from tradition with their uniforms, nor giving fans a wild ride.

Boise State finishes 12-2 on the season after a slow 3-2 start. The Broncos picked up steam after beating rivals Nevada, Utah State, and San Diego state before playing Fresno State in the Mountain West Championship game a second time that season.

Washington and former head coach Chris Petersen will travel to Bronco stadium in a sure record-breaking sellout game to open the season.

Thank you for the fun ride, Fiesta Bowl.

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About Steven Rodriguez

Born-and-raised in Southern California, Steven loves all teams LA, but Bleeds Blue now more than ever. After graduating Boise State University's business school, Steven continues to support his beloved alma mater. He has a passion for all things sports, but loves analyzing college football plays and statistics. He is also an Internet Marketer by day and enjoys all outdoor activities when he is not devoting his time to following Boise State athletics.

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