Jason Sanders' Field Goal Lifts New Mexico Lobos Over Tulsa

There were heroes aplenty, but the biggest was certainly Jason Sanders, who kicked a career-long 53-yard field goal with no time left to propel the Lobos to a 16-13 win in the sweltering heat and humidity at Tulsa, evening UNM's record at 2-2.

Sanders' field goal was his third of the game, and it came after a false start penalty moved the attempt back five yards. The winning kick and drive was set up by a diving interception by Bijon Parker, which was UNM's only takeaway of the game and UNM effectively killed off the final 4:43 of the game.

Parker's interception was of the diving variety, and it gave UNM the ball on its own 44-yard line. UNM then went just 22 yards, but took up 10 plays, with Romell Jordan converting a huge 3rd-and-1 and then Coltin Gerhart converting a 3rd-and-4. UNM then ran it twice for three yards, setting up Sanders' kick.

UNM get an unbelievable effort from both Coltin Gerhart in his first start at quarterback since high school in 2013, rushing for 156 yards and throwing for another 108 yards. He also scored UNM's only touchdown of the game, diving in from 19-yards out to finish off UNM's opening drive of the game.

Defensively however might be where the real story lies, as UNM's stout defense allowed just 286 yards on 58 plays, 35 plays below its average. After UNM fumbled on fourth-and-1 at the Tulsa 2-yard line, Tulsa drove deep into UNM territory. It looked like D'Angelo Brewer would give the Golden Hurricane the lead as he broke free down the UNM sideline, but Michael Sewell, Jr., who had just entered the game, chased him down at the UNM 24-yard line. Tulsa had to settle for a short Redford Jones field goal to tie the game at 13-all seven seconds into the fourth quarter.

UNM's defense consistently came up with big plays. Along with Sewell, Jr. and Parker, Jordan Flack's sack on fourth down ended a drive, and UNM forced four punts. Tulsa, which was averaging over 360 yards per game on the ground, totaled just 155, while UNM churned out 338.

Churning might be the operative word, as UNM had clock consuming drives of 8:41 and 9:55 in the game, playing an effective version of keep-away with Tulsa's offense. UNM held the ball for an unreal 42:41 in the game, and it was spread out, with over 21 minutes of possession time each half.

UNM took a 7-0 lead on the opening drive, going 79 yards in six plays, all on the ground, the last 19 from Gerhart. The two teams traded field goals, with Jones from 50 and Sanders from 34 before Tulsa tied it with 12:49 left in the first half on a 4-yard Brewer run. Sanders gave UNM a lead on the ensuing drive with a 39-yard field goal and it stayed 13-10 UNM through the half.

Jones' 26-yard field goal tied it seven seconds into the fourth and it stayed that way until Sanders' career-long boot into the wind walked it off.