Boise State chills Louisville in Humanitarian Bowl
Posted: Thursday December 30, 1999 09:26 PM
Louisville QB Chris Redman threw for 300 yards for the 25th time in his career, but it was not enough to save the Cardinals. AP
BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Freshman Brock Forsey typifies Boise State. Given an opportunity to show his stuff, the seldom-used running back demonstrated that he could play.
Just like the Broncos.
Forsey rushed for 152 yards and helped Boise State, in its fourth season since moving up from Division I-AA, to a 34-31 victory Thursday over Louisville in the Humanitarian Bowl.
"I didn't expect to have this good of a game," Forsey said. "I knew I'd do a good job running the ball, but I have to give a lot of credit to the offensive line. They opened a lot of holes for me."
Five years ago, the Big West champion Broncos (10-3) played in the I-AA Big Sky Conference. In their first I-A bowl game, they matched the Cardinals (7-5) of Conference USA push for push.
It was an emotional victory for Boise State and it came on the third anniversary of the death of former coach Pokey Allen, who died of cancer.
"This game was definitely an emotional experience for all of us," said junior quarterback Bart Hendricks, who was recruited by Allen. "This win is great for the seniors. After all we've been through, it's great for them to finish on top."
Forsey, seeing the most action of his season, was named the game's most valuable player.
"At the start of the season, Brock came to me and said he was mad that he wasn't getting to play more," Boise State coach Dirk Koetter said. "I said he needed to improve in some areas, and he did."
Meanwhile, Hendricks outdueled Louisville's Chris Redman, a top NFL prospect playing his last college game.
Hendricks, who didn't have an interception, was 20-of-39 for 335 yards and a touchdown. He also seemed to come up with big plays when the Broncos needed them most, scrambling for a first down or finding an open receiver.
Forsey was just as hard to stop. He ran for 86 yards in the second half, with a 26-yard burst that keyed the game-winning drive. The 60-yard scoring drive began after Forsey's 39-yard kickoff return.
He returned two kickoffs for 67 yards and also caught a 50-yard pass to the Louisville 27 to set up Nick Calaycay's 26-yard field goal that tied the game 24-24 early in the third quarter. He finished with 269 all-purpose yards.
Redman was 26-of-47 for 314 yards but his three interceptions, one returned 80 yards for a TD by Shaunard Harts, were too much for the Cardinals to overcome. The NCAA career leader with 1,031 completions and 1,679 attempts, Redman was selected Louisville's MVP.
The Cards also limited their chances by committing 14 penalties for 120 yards.
"We just needed to do things better," coach John L. Smith said. "We made coaching mistakes. That's a lot of it, but offensively, we turned it over and that hurt us. Defensively, we were not able to stop them when we needed to."
Louisville's final chance was a slim one after Jeff Edwards pinned them inside the 1-yard line with a 44-yard punt inside the last 2 minutes.
When Boise State's Kareem Williams intercepted Redman's pass with 46 seconds to play, the Humanitarian Bowl record crowd of 29,283 erupted in cheers while the Broncos, who went 8-0 at home this fall, jumped and danced on the sideline.
"We just had an awesome team meeting," said Koetter, who showed up 10 minutes late in the interview room. "Every one of our 23 seniors spoke to the team, and I cried about 15 times. I can honestly say that I never doubted for one second that we were going to win that game in the fourth quarter."
Redman said he was pleased with his college career but wanted to win his last one.
"You can't judge your career on one throw," Redman said. "There are other things in life bigger and better. This program will continue to grow."
Boise State took the lead for good when Davy Malaythong ran up the middle for a 5-yard touchdown with 9:28 to play.
Louisville went ahead 31-27 with 12:10 remaining when Frank Moreau capped a six-play, 60-yard drive on a 3-yard scoring plunge. Redman was 4-of-4 on the drive and had another completion nullified by a penalty.
It was a frosty day under an overcast sky, with the temperature at kickoff 22 degrees. The teams kept things heated up on the field, combining for nine lead changes and two ties.
Boise State scored on its first two possessions of the second half, getting field goals of 26 and 46 yards by Calaycay to take a 27-24 lead with 3:30 remaining in the third quarter.
The Cardinals drove to the Broncos 5 on their first possession of the second half. Redman threw toward Lavell Boyd and Zek Parker but Boise State's Damien Schilling made the interception.
Calaycay, who missed from 49 and 45 yards on Boise State's last two second-half possessions, caught a break when his 46-yard attempt hit the crossbar and bounced over to give the Broncos the lead.
Boise State, which won the national junior college title in 1958 and the NCAA Division I-AA championship in 1980, was making its first postseason appearance since moving up to I-A four years ago.
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