When the Boise State football team produced that memorable, improbable upset of No. 8 Fresno State in 2001 at Bulldog Stadium, a rivalry was born.
And youd think, a string of great games ensued.
But as the Broncos and Bulldogs head into another anticipated matchup Friday night, fans are still waiting for a second dramatic finish.
The Broncos are 11-1 against the Bulldogs since joining the WAC in 2001 and all but that first game, a 35-30 thriller, have been decided by double digits.
The Bulldogs lone victory, in 2005, was a 27-7 decision.
That (2001) game was a unique, exciting, different game for sure, Boise State coach Chris Petersen said. I dont know why it hasnt been (closer since).
Fresno State second-year coach Tim DeRuyter and quarterback Derek Carr think they have an idea the Bulldogs, they say, have wanted to end the seven-game series losing streak so badly that they havent performed well on game day.
Theyre trying a different tack this year even though theyre surrounded by fans who circle one game on their calendars.
As I travel along the (Central) Valley, theres one team the people in the Valley want to beat, DeRuyter said this week, and its this one.
Carr is the younger brother of star quarterback David Carr, whose Heisman Trophy campaign was derailed in that 2001 game. Nobody in red wants to beat the Broncos more. David, in fact, famously hung a Boise State flag in Dereks residence as a challenge.
When I went out to the Boise game last year, once I got out there (on the field), it was just like another game. I got caught up way too much in my head.
This year he has adopted the just another game mantra.
Im glad I can say that and have more peace in my heart about it than saying it last year and not really feeling that way, he said.
Boise State has taken that flat-line approach to games for years. Its one reason Petersens teams rarely play significantly below their potential.
Coach Pete does a great job of instilling that philosophy of one day at a time and just trying to get better each and every day, senior wide receiver Kirby Moore said. And it pays off in the long run.