Boise State running back George Holani looks for room to run against Utah State on Saturday in Logan, Utah.

John Kelly

Boise State Athletics

One of the most famous plays in Boise State football history helped the Broncos get in the end zone Saturday night in Logan, Utah.

In an homage to the two-point conversion play the Broncos used to beat Oklahoma in overtime in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, senior quarterback Jaylon Henderson and freshman running back George Holani teamed up for a successful Statue of Liberty play against Utah State.

Henderson faked the screen pass with his right hand while handing off the football to Holani with his left, giving Holani just enough time to run around the left end and dive over the pylon for the 5-yard score.

Somewhere, Jared Zabransky and Ian Johnson were smiling.

The trick play with 2 minutes, 28 seconds left in the first quarter put Boise State ahead 21-7. Holani added another TD on a 1-yard run at the 11:50 mark of the second quarter. That touchdown was set up by another trick play as left tackle Ezra Cleveland got the Broncos down to the 1-yard line on a 3-yard sweep. Cleveland had lined up as a tight end.

Holani had 14 carries for 149 yards — an average of 10.6 yards per carry — before halftime.

The Broncos have used the Statue of Liberty play several times since the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, but it hasn’t always been successful. In the 2017 Las Vegas Bowl, the exchange between quarterback Brett Rypien and running back Robert Mahone resulted in a fumble, which Oregon’s Troy Dye returned 86 yards for a touchdown.

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Rachel Roberts has been covering sports for the Idaho Statesman since 2005. She attended Northwest Nazarene University and is Boise born and raised.
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