Moore disappointment

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Nov 092003
 
Authors: Steve Latuda

New Mexico’s kicker Wes Zunker knew it was good when he made

contact with the ball.

“I knew it was good when I hit it,” Zunker said of his 33-yard

game-winning field goal Friday night in Albuquerque, N.M., in front

of 37,133 breathless fans.

With 1:02 showing on the clock and the game tied 34-34,

quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt fumbled the snap from center and New

Mexico’s Kyle Coulter beat him to the ball and recovered it on the

Rams’ 16-yard line. The Lobos proceeded to run the ball and the

clock until they needed the services of Zunker.

Zunker’s game winner with no time showing on the clock was his

third field goal of the game and his 13th straight successful field

goal this season.

“It never should have gotten that far,” Zunker said. “But the

whole time I was thinking, ‘This is going to be a close one,’ and I

knew it could come down to me.”

New Mexico’s 37-34 victory over the Rams is their first win

against CSU since a 22-14 game on Oct. 21, 1995 in Fort Collins.

New Mexico (6-4, 3-2 Mountain West) still needs to win one of their

next two games to become bowl eligible.

“This win was a great win for us,” New Mexico head coach Rocky

Long said. “But it was no more important than beating San Diego

State or Utah, and it’s not going to be any more important than

when we play Air Force next week.”

All game long, the Rams were victimized by New Mexico’s

sensational sophomore tailback DonTrell Moore. Moore rushed for a

career-high 242 yards and scored three times to set the school

single-season record for touchdowns at 18. His 242-yard performance

was the best by a Mountain West back all season and third highest

all-time.

“He ran the ball real well,” CSU head coach Sonny Lubick said.

“No. 22 had a nice ball game. Our biggest mistake was that we were

in the hole and we weren’t tackling the guy. He’d bounce off us and

a three-yard gain turns into a 12-yard gain.”

In the second quarter, the Rams only totaled nine yards of

offense but put 11 points on the board.

Their lone touchdown of the half was set up by an 88-yard

kickoff return by Dexter Wynn. Wynn was a man possessed because

four plays earlier he fumbled a punt that led to a Lobos’

touchdown.

“I felt real bad for my team after my fumble,” Wynn said. “I

told them ‘if they give me an opportunity to catch the ball, I’ll

make up for it.'”

Quarterback Bradlee Van Pelt scored one play later on a six-yard

touchdown run on an option keeper.

But the Lobos answered quickly with a 45-yard touchdown run from

Moore and New Mexico took a 24-14 lead into the locker room.

“Our defense can’t play like we did in the first half and expect

to win,” CSU linebacker Jeff Flora said.

Fortunately for the Rams, adjustments were made, and the Rams

clawed their way back into the game in the second half.

Van Pelt continued to be the only successful runner for the Rams

had. But the key in the second half was that Van Pelt, who

accounted for 300 of the Rams’ 328 yards, finally found a weapon in

the air in David Anderson.

Anderson, held without a catch in the first half, hauled in

seven balls for 134 yards and one score in the second.

“In the second half, we just started seeing everything they were

doing,” Anderson said. “We just started getting more

aggressive.”

Anderson’s 15-yard touchdown grab on fourth down and goal

brought the Rams within seven points and on the next drive the Rams

tied it with Van Pelt’s 1-yard run on forth down.

Kicker Jeff Babcock went a perfect 4-for-4 on the night in field

goals.

With the loss, the Rams find themselves on the outside looking

in to make their sixth consecutive bowl game. The loss drops the

Rams to 5-5 and 2-3 in the conference. They are currently tied for

forth in the MWC, and only three teams make a bowl game.

 

 

 

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