In the match-up of the Mountain West Conference’s two bottom-dwellers, the University of New Mexico grabbed its first win of the season over Colorado State 29-27.
New Mexico kicker, James Aho, nailed the game-winning 27-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining, redeeming himself after last week’s performance in which he hit the uprights three times.
All CSU (3-8, 0-7) could do on the ensuing possession was a series of laterals which went nowhere.
Head coach Steve Fairchild said after the game this was a match-up the Rams should have won.
“We get what we deserve,” Fairchild said to 560 KLZ-AM. “We just haven’t been consistent like we need to be to get a win.”
It was another poor defensive outing for the Rams, which allowed the Lobos to garner 467 yards of total offense – 270 on the ground.
Coming into the game, the Lobos averaged only 92 yards rushing per game. Running backs Kasey Carrier and Desmond Dennis carried the Lobos’ ground game, running for 87 and 133 yards respectively.
Dennis scored his only touchdown on a 42-yard scamper at the end of the third quarter to put the Lobos up 23-21.
It was a back-and-forth affair at University Stadium.
New Mexico (1-10, 1-7) wasted no time to get on the scoreboard, capitalizing on an 80-yard drive with a 12-yard pass from quarterback Donovan Porterie to James Victor on its first possession.
CSU responded as running back John Mosure punched in his first of two rushing touchdowns to tie the game at 7.
Mosure added his second touchdown with 38 seconds left in the first half to bring the score the Rams within three as the Lobos led 17-14.
Mosure had a career day on the ground for the Rams, rushing for 177 yards, but it was a fumble by Mosure which turned the momentum in favor of the Lobos.
Up 27-26 and driving the ball effectively early in the fourth quarter, Mosure coughed up the ball at the UNM 5-yard line.
Though the Lobos would not score on the ensuing drive, the Rams never made it into New Mexico territory again.
CSU starter, Grant Stucker, was knocked out of the game in the second quarter after a big hit by defensive end Jonathan Rainey.
Back-up Jon Eastman, played the rest of the game, completing nine passes for 145 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Porterie finished the game with 197 yards and 2 touchdowns and one interception.
That one interception was returned 97 yards by cornerback Nick Oppenneer in the fourth quarter to put the Rams up 27-23.
The loss is the eighth straight for the Rams. CSU will finish the season against Wyoming (5-6, 3-4) Nov. 27.
“It breaks my heart because we have kids playing hard and doing the right things out there,” Fairchild said. “There’s nothing I can say to my team to make them feel better.”