One of the key moments of the 2008 Poinsettia Bowl was the final big moment, when Stephen Hodge intercepted a pass from Boise State quaterback Kellen Moore.
Hodge sealed a 17-16 TCU victory that ruined the Broncos' perfect season. But it might have been where Moore's 2009 season started.
He wanted to be better, though it was hard to complain much about what he did as a freshman. But Moore has been better, leading the country in passing efficiency as the Broncos enter the Fiesta Bowl next week against TCU.
"He had that turnover at the end of last year's game, and I think that's something that he's worked pretty hard not to do this year," Boise State offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin said. "He walked out of there saying, 'That is a good football team. These are the things I need to get better at to beat this kind of team.' That really carried over into spring, fall camp and this season."
Moore has thrown for school-record 39 touchdowns and been intercepted only three times. His efficiency rating of 167.35 outpaced all other quarterbacks. TCU's Andy Dalton is fourth at 159.59.
The Broncos' toughest opponent this season was their first, and Moore did what he was needed in a 19-8 victory over Oregon. While his numbers (19-for-29, 197 yards, 1 TD) weren't spectacular, he managed the game against the fast defense Boise State faced.
TCU, though, is even faster. That means Moore won't have the same margin for error he had against, say, Hawaii or San Jose State. He probably won't be able to sit in the pocket and throw with this feet set against a TCU defense that pressures the quarterback with a variety of blitzes.
To his credit, he knows what he will be up against Monday at Univesity of Phoenix Stadium.
"They don’t give up many big plays, and they don’t screw up ever," said Moore, the Offensive Player of the Year in the Western Athletic Conference. "They’re in the right place. They’re executing. You don’t see 60-yard touchdowns. You don’t see 30-yard runs. You have to take what they give you and get positive gains the whole game. If you score, it’s going to take about 12 plays. That’s just the way they play."
-- Jeff Wilson