LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Steven Jackson sure looked ready for the NFL.
Jackson tied a bowl game record with five touchdowns, and Oregon
State's defense overwhelmed mistake-plagued New Mexico in a 55-14
win at the Las Vegas Bowl on Wednesday night.
After the game, Jackson announced he'll skip his senior season
and enter the NFL draft. He's expected to be a first-round pick.
"No matter what I do, I know I'm going to be successful," he
"As a running back, everybody is gunning for you and you've
only got so many carries left in your body."
Jackson, the leading rusher in the Pac-10 this year, ran for 149
yards on 28 carries.
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound back caught a 34-yard pass from Derek
Anderson five minutes into the game and added touchdown runs of 3,
11, 6, and 1 yards.
Former NFL star Barry Sanders scored five touchdowns for
Oklahoma State against Wyoming in the 1988 Holiday Bowl, and
Sheldon Canley of San Jose State had five against Central Michigan
in the 1990 California Bowl.
The five TDs are also an OSU record.
"That was what we were going for in the huddle," Jackson said.
"I told the guys on the offensive line: `If you score, I score."'
Two of Jackson's scores came in the second quarter. That got the
Beavers (8-5) rolling and extended the Lobos' bowl drought.
New Mexico (8-5) has not won a bowl game since 1961 and lost its
third postseason game since 1997. It was the second straight defeat
for New Mexico in this game, having lost to UCLA 27-13 last year.
Unable to run or pass against OSU's defense, the Lobos had only
one first down in the first half and 21 total yards through the
first three quarters. The bleak stats also included 6 yards
rushing, seven first downs and 127 total yards.
"When you get beat that badly and you play that poorly and the
other team dominates you in every phase of the game, it really
hurts," New Mexico coach Rocky Long said.
New Mexico got its second first down on a 46-yard pass from wide
receiver Baskett to Counter with just more than 10 minutes left.
New Mexico helped the rout by getting penalized for 103 yards.
Lobos sophomore tailback DonTrell Moore, who led the Mountain
West Conference with 1,438 yards this season, finished with 5 yards
on 11 carries. His second-quarter fumble at the New Mexico 15 led
to Jackson's third TD and second in a span of 1:39.
New Mexico had the fourth-best rushing defense in the country
this season, but after gaining just 11 yards in the first quarter,
Jackson found plenty of holes and scoring chances.
Anderson was equally impressive. He completed 21 of 32 passes
for 322 yards, raising his season total to 4,058. The only other
player in Pac-10 history to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a
season was Washington's Cody Pickett, who had 4,458 yards last
"Our team did a good job of putting all the ingredients
together," Beavers coach Mike Riley said. "We came out of the
blocks and really finished well."
Oregon State scored on its first two possessions, with Jackson
catching a 34-yard screen pass from Anderson on third-and-19 and
Kirk Yliniemi booting a 21-yard field goal.
New Mexico kept the Beavers' touchdown drive going with an
unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for celebrating too long and too
loudly after stopping Jackson for a 2-yard loss on third down at
the OSU 40.
"That was a big momentum shift," Long said. "We had them
stopped and we get a personal foul and they go down and score. The
first drive ... was an indication of how the rest of the day was
going to go."
New Mexico then sacked Anderson for a 10-yard loss, but the
Lobos were offsides on the play.
"Once things started not going our way, we got down and that
detracted from our focus," Kelly said.
Both teams entertained the sparse Christmas Eve crowd of 18,031
with first-half trick plays that produced a touchdown for the
Beavers and set up New Mexico's first score.
The Beavers scored on the final play of the first quarter on a
42-yard flea flicker. Anderson handed off to Jackson, who tossed it
back to the quarterback for a pass to Mike Hass, who had beaten
cornerback Brandon Payne.
New Mexico used a pass from wide receiver Michael Brunker to
backup quarterback McKamey to set up the Kelly-to-Baskett score.