The Boise State Broncos won their third Fiesta Bowl in program history behind an enormous first half Wednesday afternoon. Bryan Harsin's squad scored 31 of its 38 points in the first 30 minutes of the game en route to a 38-30 win.
The Arizona Wildcats had several chances to grab the game away from the Broncos, especially after allowing just two yards of total offense in the third quarter. On the last drive of the game, Arizona made its way down to the Boise eight yard line after a great catch from Cayleb Jones. But Anu Solomon took a sack with no timeouts, and that ended the game.
After a Boise State pooch punt (so Pac-12 of them), Arizona was pinned at its own six yard line down 31-20. Three plays later, Anu Solomon made a horrible decision, and threw what ended up being a pick-six to Donte Deayon which ended up being the difference.
Solomon finished the day 28-of-49 for 335 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. He looked uncomfortable making reads the entire game though, and kept overthrowing open guys. The receivers didn't exactly help at all with several drops from the likes of Trey Griffey and Samajie Grant.
Solomon also had a career-high 23 rushing attempts. He's not a runner, and some of the decisions were curious ones at best. After the last couple games, most Arizona fans will spend the offseason wondering if a change will be coming next season behind center.
While the defenses dominated in the second half, all of the exciting stuff happened in the first half.
The Broncos got off to a quick start, taking a 28-7 lead at one point. But Arizona responded in a nice way, making it a 31-17 game at halftime after two late field goals from Casey Skowron and Dan Goodale. Grant Hedrick's only incompletion of the first half was an Cam Denson interception that he brought back 31 yards after a few nice moves.
The Wildcats were outgained 397 to 196 in the first half.
Junior running back Jay Ajayi wasted no time showing why he's a highly-touted NFL Draft prospect, taking his very first carry of the day 56 yards to the endzone to put Boise up 7-0.
Continuing the big play theme, the Broncos made it 14-0 on a 57-yard TD pass to Chaz Anderson. Jarvis McCall was covering Anderson, and spent the play watching the ball in the air instead of covering his man. The redshirt freshman also came up lame on the play.
Then, in typical Boise fashion, they busted out the ol' "Statue Left" play to Ajayi for his second touchdown of the game. On the play, Jared Tevis was injured, suffering an elbow injury that ended his game and his career.
Arizona's first points came on an Anu Solomon rushing touchdown, his second of the season. but the Boise lead went back to 21 on Ajayi's third touchdown of the day. Nick Wilson responded with a touchdown of his own, but was not seen for the rest of the game because of a possible head injury suffered.
The Wildcats still finish the 2014 season 10-4, the first ten-win season for the program since 1998. But even with that, people are left wondering 'What if?'.