8:00 PM ET, October 4, 2003
Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, NM
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) -- At the top of Brian Lindgren's halftime wish list was pass protection. He might want to add it to his holiday list as well.
With the score at halftime 21-0 in favor of New Mexico State -- the Aggies playing before a home crowd of 18,624 -- a modest dusting of pass protection was all the Idaho quarterback asked for.
Then, Lindgren threw five touchdown passes, including the 10-yard game-winner to Jeff Stowe with 14 seconds left, edging New Mexico State 35-31.
"I told the offensive line at the half that I needed just a little extra time to throw," Lindgren said after Saturday's game.
The Vandals (1-5, 1-0 Sun Belt) recovered a Tony Joseph fumble on their own seven-yard line with 1:09 left. Lindgren then engineered the five-play, 94-yard drive that ended the Aggies' seven-game home winning streak. It took 55 seconds.
The Vandals scored all their points in the second half. It was 21-0 Aggies at halftime and 28-0 early in the third. But with 6:31 left in the game, Idaho had closed to within 3, at 31-28, as Lindgren connected with Wendell Octave for 10 yards and a touchdown -- minutes before the 10-yard pass to Stowe sealed it.
"Tonight we were spectacular," said Idaho coach Tom Cable. "We had only three penalties in the entire game.... Our players showed great discipline."
Cable said the Aggies came at his Vandals with aggressive defense, but Idaho snapped back.
"They were blitzing in the first half, so our line adjusted in the second," said Cable. "We left everything out on the field and got a great win."
As New Mexico State coach Tony Samuel put it: "We let him (Lindgren) get hot. Our guys have to react from this loss in a positive way somehow and get ready for next week."
The Aggies (1-4, 0-1 Sun Belt) have been outscored 48-6 in the fourth quarter this season.
New Mexico State's Paul Dombrowski completed 13 of 16 passes for 189 yards and added 122 yards rushing on 20 carries.
Lindgren had 408 yards passing and three interceptions.
Idaho's Zach Gerstner had 159 yards rushing on 23 carries. Mike McCoy had five catches for 116 yards.
The Aggies got on the board early after Chris Snead intercepted a Lindgren pass. Dombrowski then scored on the Aggies' third offensive play from scrimmage -- a 34-yard run less than four minutes into the first quarter. Another first-quarter interception led to another Aggie score, and it was 14-0.