The Game I'll Never Forget: Korey Hall


Korey Hall didn't do anything particularly noteworthy in his Boise State Broncos' 43-42 overtime upset of Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl last Jan. 1.

But simply being a part of a game that will go down as one of college football's greatest makes it the most memorable of Hall's career.

"I didn't even really have that great a game. I didn't have any picks or a ton of tackles or anything," said Hall, who for the record had three solo tackles, three assists, and tipped a pass Oklahoma QB and new Green Bay teammate Paul Thompson that led to an interception.

It was the final game of Hall's four-year career as a Boise State linebacker, and perhaps his last as a linebacker, period, after being drafted in the sixth round by the Packers, who are converting him to fullback.

Hall recalled how his team embraced the underdog mentality but didn't sell itself short.

"It was a real big game for us, and everybody on our team felt like we deserved a shot in that game," Hall said. "We knew there were a lot of people doubting us, people that thought we shouldn't be there and weren't going to win, and I think that type of stuff motivates you to play harder and really try to pull out a win. That's probably the one thing that helped our team the most."

That, and a wild finish full of trick plays that will be replayed on the highlights every time a non-BCS school like Boise State appears in a BCS game.

To recap, with Boise State trailing by a touchdown in the waning moments, the old-fashioned hook-and-ladder play worked beautifully for a 35-yard touchdown with 7 seconds left to tie the score at 35.

Then, trailing 42-35 in the overtime, a halfback option pass brought the Broncos within a point, and a perfectly executed Statue of Liberty produced the game-winning two-point conversion.

Hall said the hook-and-ladder play, during which the receiver who makes the catch immediately laterals the ball to a teammate running full speed, was the trick play of the bunch with the most shock value.

"That's probably the most surprising play to me that worked, because in practice it never works," Hall said. "And everything worked out perfect."

The Statue of Liberty play, on the other hand, was as good as money in the bank. Hall, like most of his teammates, was watching intently on the sidelines and couldn't wait to see it work.

{sportsad300}"We knew what the call was before they ran it, and we knew we were going to win the game as soon as they called it, just because it's a terrible play to try to guard," Hall said. "We knew that was the game."

The gutsy decision by the Boise State coaching staff to go for 2 in that first overtime was the right one, too, according to Hall. Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson had broken off a 25-yard TD run on the Sooners' first play of overtime, signaling that the Broncos' defense had simply run out of gas.

"It was tough on defense just because we were so worn out," Hall said. "Most of the defensive guys played every special team, so by the end of the game - I felt defensively we played a good game - but by the end we were so drained.

"I think it was a good call going for the 2, because I don't know if we could have gone back out there."

He also doesn't know if he could have scripted a better ending to his days as a collegian.

"That was a real big game for Boise State, just for the simple fact that we were in the national spotlight, a first-time deal for us, and we ended up winning the game," he said. "It was a great way to finish out my career."

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