Bronco Stadium was besieged by the Vandals today in support of the 2009 Humanitarian Bowl.
The pregame festivities were filled with as expected activities not uncommon for a typical BSU home game. While the Vandals throng filed in late to the beginning of the game, I thought the stadium filled up better than expected, following the 3-4 inches of snow that plastered the Treasure Valley overnight. Eventually the sun came out, but the wind was a lil bit of annoyance towards the end of the night. The game was pretty close throughout, with the Vandals squandering a 14 point lead in the third quarter. Bowling Green kept throwing the ball and the Idaho defense could not remember to check Freddie Barnes (H Bowl MVP), and eventually ceded the lead with under 35 seconds left in the game. A few hundred Vandal fans (and quite possible the casual local fan) started to head to the parking lot grumbling at their missed chances. The 7 year old youngster sitting behind me, was somewhat upset as his Father explained there was some time for some trickeration and something crazy to occur. I reminded the youngster that crazier things have happened, quietly thinking that the Vandals had lost the game. The ensuing Vandals kickoff was brought out, approximately, to the 40 yard line. Not bad with 2 timeouts left but the ball was in the hands of suspect quarterback, Nathan Enderle. Enderle had a marginal day at best completion-wise but ended up with 4 throwing td's. First down and 60 yards to pay dirt, Enderle rolls to his left, and throws what appeared to be a lucky/underthrown heave but WR Preston Davis comes back for the ball and makes the catch.
Clock winds down into around 16 seconds left and Enderle throws the ball away on the next pass, missing a wr near the goal line- safe play. After a short dump pass down to the 16 yard line, Enderle hits pay dirt to Max Komar (who was much maligned during the first 3 quarters)....and the stadium goes wild.
The next question was if Coach Akey would go for two points and the win with four seconds left ( ala Coach Tormey in 1998). Akey chose to go for it, and I thought they would bull rush BGSU and hand off to power back Woolridge. Instead, Enderle hits a wide open Preston Davis in the back of the end zone, standing all by himself.
The safety jumped the 2 under neath routes and Preston Davis was completely alone. Well executed play and I love the gutsy play call (even though the call was made easier with the Idaho defense being as porous as it was in the second half). Lot of reminders of the BSU 2007 Fiesta Bowl Game...the final score 43-43....the two point try decision/execution. I salute the fans who stormed the field and even more so the security staff that tried to stem the flow of such fans. After the final kickoff/ final play, there was a meek attempt at stopping the field crashers, unfortunately, the security staff tried there best. I will tip my hat to the police men and security staff who showed great restraint....I will blame the Vandals fan for lack of experience in this area of field storming. At the end of the video clip below, you will see the fans gently storm the field from the south endzone....just seemed odd how polite these fans were!
I know this is a PRO-BSU blog and the Vandals are the despised red headed stepchild of the Western Athletic Conference, but if this game did not include the Vandals, this finish would be in my top 5 of all time (at least seen live).
Sidenote I...the ESPN coverage was very favorable towards the Vandals, and they even mentioned the Corner Club in Moscow. Hat tip to ESPN
Sidenote II... 3 Alleged Vandal Fans made their appearance sans shirts and painted their chests in a purple hue, spelling T-C-U....kudos to these kids and their ideas
Sidenote III.... Has anyone stopped/defended Freddie Barnes yet?