BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Casey Pachall threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Carter with 1:05 left, then connected with Josh Boyce on the go-ahead 2-point conversion, and Boise State’s Dan Goodale booted a 39-yard field-goal attempt wide right as time expired to give TCU a 36-35 victory against the fifth-ranked Broncos on Saturday.
Pachall threw for 473 yards and tossed long scores of 75, 74 and 69 yards in the first half. But his most important throws came in the final minutes when he rallied the Horned Frogs (8-2, 5-0 Mountain West) to a stunning victory that spoiled any Boise State hopes of playing for a national title.
The loss also snapped Boise State’s 35-game home winning streak, which had been the nation’s longest.
The Broncos were in control in the final minutes and driving into field goal range when backup running back Drew Wright fumbled at the TCU 27-yard line with 2:26 remaining.
Pachall took over, calmly marching TCU down the field before connecting with Carter, who leaped over a defender to make the grab in the end zone and pull TCU within 36-35 with 1:05 remaining.
TCU coach Gary Patterson made a gutsy call, opting to put the game in Pachall’s hands and go for the lead instead of the tie. It worked. Pachall tossed a short pass to Josh Boyce, who fought his way into the end zone, putting TCU up 36-35 and quieting a raucous Bronco Stadium crowd.
Boise State (8-1, 3-1) and Kellen Moore made a final run.
With the help of a pass interference penalty on fourth down, Moore drove the Broncos down the field in the final minute and put the Broncos in position to win with a field goal. But Goodale’s kick was way wide.
For the second year in a row, Boise State’s run at a perfect season has been done in by a missed field goal. Last year, Broncos’ kicker Kyle Brotzman missed twice from short range — once at the end of regulation and again in overtime — in a loss at Nevada.
After Goodale’s kick sailed right, TCU players stormed the field to celebrate a win that clears the path for the Horned Frogs to win the Mountain West Conference title in their final year with the league.
TCU has now won a league record 22 straight games against conference foes and set an MWC record with 12 straight conference road wins.
The game — the first and last conference matchup between these two perennial BCS busters — was a back-and-forth battle from the start, with Boise State jumping out in front early and TCU storming back to take a 20-14 lead at the half.
Moore was 28-of-38 passing for 320 yards and two touchdowns. He led a Boise State offense that rolled up 446 total yards, including 125 rushing yards from D.J. Harper.
The Horned Frogs amassed 506 total yards.
Pachall hit Josh Boyce on a 74-yard touchdown on their second possession to tie the game 7-7.
Two possessions later, Pachall fired a 75-yard touchdown to Carter to go up 14-7. The next time TCU got the ball, Pachall struck again, this time tossing a 69-yard strike to Boyce, who had three touchdown catches on the day.