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October 16, 2007
The scoreboard at Bronco Stadium is still smoldering. The two teams involved are still staggering for the whirlpool as they mend their wounds this week. The superlatives - "I can't think of a better game I've ever broadcast," ESPN analyst Bill Curry said at one point - are still ringing true.
Sunday night's Western Athletic Conference game before a nationally televised audience on ESPN between the University of Nevada and Boise State in Boise, Idaho, is already being hailed as a classic.
Just ask ESPN Classic.
The four-overtime thriller, won by Boise State, 69-67, will be re-broadcast at 5 p.m. on ESPN Classic on Wednesday and is being hailed by the sports television network as an "Instant Classic."
With a combined total of 136 points scored by the two teams, Sunday night's game set the NCAA record for most points in an overtime game. The previous mark was 134 points in Arkansas' 71-63 seven-overtime victory over Kentucky on Nov. 1, 2003.
The game's storyline: Nevada entered hoping to snap Boise State's 25-game WAC home winning streak before a sold-out crowd of 30,394 fans. The 26-point favorite Broncos were expected to feast on Nevada freshman quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was making his first collegiate start.
When it was all over, more than 3 hours and 56 minutes later, after 1,266 yards in combined offense, after Kaepernick had rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns and thrown for 243 yards and three touchdowns, a rarity in today's sports landscape occurred:
Both teams could not compliment their opponent enough.
"It was a great game," Nevada football coach Chris Ault told the Reno Gazette-Journal's Dan Hinxman. "Boise's a great team. I just love this atmosphere, I enjoyed it. They've won I don't know how many games on the blue turf. They find a way to get the job done.
"I'm proud of our guys. They came back, they stood up, they fought."
Added Boise coach Chris Petersen, speaking to the RGJ's Hinxman: "It really too bad someone had to lose this one. I don't think I've felt that way after any game, ever."