Tuesday, August 16, 2011
If you were in tune with Horned Frog football during the first month of the 2005 season, you have a pretty good idea what it's like to be a manic depressive. The win in Norman, followed by the loss in Dallas, followed by the OT victory against Utah at home felt like a roller-coaster designed by evil executives from Pepto Bismol looking to increase sales. That's why it felt like more of the same when the Frogs fell behind BYU 34-16 in the 3rd quarter during their first trip to Provo as members of the MWC on September 24, 2005.
To add insult to the injury of what looked like a sluggish road loss that would've dropped the Frogs to 2-2, quarterback Tye Gunn went down with his 1,000th career injury late in the third quarter. In came little-used junior Jeff Ballard, who had previously been working his way toward the "at least he's getting a free education"-type of career. But he drove the bus for the final 30 yards-all rushing- of the touchdown drive that Gunn had started, getting the Frogs to within 34-23 at the end of the frame.
In the fourth quarter, Ballard led the Frogs on touchdown drives of 12 yards (set up by a David Roach interception), 80 yards and 76 yards by going 8-of-12 passing for 150 yards and two touchdowns through the air. TCU actually took a 44-41 lead with 1:25 remaining. With no timeouts, John Beck led BYU 59 yards and Cougars' kicker Jared McLaughlin forced OT with a last-second 39-yard field goal.
Beck through a 25-yard touchdown pass to Todd Watkins on the first play of overtime to give BYU the lead back at 50-44, but McLaughlin shanked the extra point. On the Frogs' possession, Cory Rodgers scored his fourth touchdown of the game with a 3-yard run on 3rd & 1. Chris Manfredini's PAT was good, and the Frogs had pulled off the upset with the ridiculous, this was made up by the writers of some bad TV show on either the Disney Channel or TGIF-type score of 51-50 in overtime.
When combined with the OT win against Utah the week before, the incredible comeback by the Frogs gave them a 2-0 start against the toughest two teams in the MWC in their first year as members of that conference. It catapulted them to a perfect 8-0 conference record in year that they would end up with a Top 10 ranking in the coaches' poll, and for the first time gave Patterson a reliable starting quarterback. No offense to the guys who came before Ballard, but the inconsistency of Casey Printers and Sean Stilley and the aptness for injury of Gunn and Hassell made QB a constant question mark for this program until Ballard took the reins.
Interestingly enough, this was also the first football game I ever tivo'd, and believe you me I spent much of the rest of that fall watching the replay what most girls, who make networks millions of dollars by watching trash like The Bachelor and Keeping up with the Kardashians, would consider "too much."
Posted by Lyle Lanley at Tuesday, August 16, 2011