Colorado State Gets The Best of New Mexico in 27-24 Rams Win

The University of New Mexico's comeback bid fell just short, losing 27-24 to Colorado State in its "Lobos Love Pink" game on Friday night despite Tyrone Owens rushing for 159 yards and a touchdown.

Overall the team outgained Colorado State 450-411 and UNM rushed for 354 yards a week after getting just 109, despite massive changes along the offensive line.

Down 27-17 after a Wyatt Bryan 52-yard field goal with 5:05 to go, UNM mounted one last comeback attempt and nearly pulled off a miracle. It took 14 plays and 75 yards, but UNM eventually answered with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Tuioti to Aaron Molina, Molina's first as a Lobo, to bring New Mexico within three at 27-24 with 0:22 left on the clock. The drive took a while as there was a sequence of five penalties on six plays.

Down 27-24, Jason Sander's attempted an onside kick, and it bounced off of CSU's Dalton Fackrell and UNM pounced on it, giving them one last shot with 22 seconds left and no timeouts. Tuioti scrambled to the Ram 47, but his next two passes were incomplete, the second after the original ruling of a catch was overturned on the field and then held up upon review.

With three seconds left, UNM passed on a 64-yard field goal attempt into the wind and went for the desperation Hail Mary, but Evan Colorito sacked Tuioti before he could get the pass off, ending the game.

The loss is the Lobos' eighth consecutive against the Rams; the last time they beat Colorado State was a 29-27 win on Nov. 21, 2009.

Despite being an underdog in the contest, New Mexico kept the game close, holding Colorado State to only 63 yards of offense in the first quarter. The Lobos received the opening kickoff but turned the ball over on downs after a Daryl Chestnut run was spotted short of a first down on the Colorado State 32-yard line. After the Rams took over, New Mexico similarly stopped the Colorado State fourth-down run short of a first down to regain possession.

New Mexico got on the board first with a three-yard run by McQuarley with 35 seconds left in the first quarter to make the score 7-0. The touchdown was set up by a 21-yard run by Chestnut and a 19-yard carry by Owens.

The Lobos forced Colorado State to punt on its following drive before marching back down the field to the Rams' 23-yard line. Facing 4th-and-3, UNM elected to kick a field goal, but Sanders missed the 40-yard attempt to keep the score at 7-0.

Colorado State answered with a series of carries by Izzy Matthews and finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass from Nick Stevens to Dalton Fackrell to tie the score at 7-7 with 7:48 left in the half.
Tevaka Tuioti came in at quarterback on the Lobos' next drive, but they went 3-and-out with two short carries and one incompletion.

The Rams quickly moved the ball down the field to score on a 14-yard pass from Stevens to Olabisi Johnson, taking a 14-7 lead with 2:19 remaining in the half.

Owens quickly advanced the Lobos to the 50-yard line with a 24-yard run, and a Colorado State personal foul gave the Lobos the ball on the Rams' 35. After a short run and two dropped passes, Sanders kicked a 51-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-10.

After the Lobos kicked off to Colorado State with 1:16 left in the half, the Rams scored on a one-yard rush by Matthews to take a 21-10 lead going into the break.

Colorado State received the kickoff to start the second half, but New Mexico forced the Rams to punt. The Lobos again turned the ball over on downs with Lamar Jordan under center after failing to convert on 4th-and-4, then forced another CSU punt.

Tuioti took back over at quarterback on the Lobos' next drive, completing a 47-yard pass to Q' Drennan to set up a 25-yard touchdown run by Owens to cut the lead to 24-17.

After starting its next drive in CSU territory, New Mexico fumbled with 10:19 left in the fourth quarter, and the Rams' following drive resulted in a 52-yard field goal to make the score 27-17.

Jordan and Tuioti split time at quarterback; Tuioti finished the night passing 5-16 for 84 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 62 yards, while Jordan was 2-3 for 48 passing yards.

New Mexico was 2-for-12 on third-down conversions and 2-for-5 on fourth-down attempts. The Lobos were also whistled for 12 penalties for 105 yards compared to the Rams' eight penalties for 88 yards.
The Lobos return to action next Saturday as they travel to Laramie, Wyoming, for a 5:30 p.m. MT matchup against Wyoming on ESPNU.