8:00 PM ET, September 11, 2004
University Stadium, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- New Mexico had waited 20 years to beat Texas Tech, so a few more minutes mattered not to kicker Wes Zunker.
Zunker kicked a 43-yard field goal as time expired Saturday night and New Mexico withstood Texas Tech's passing attack for a 27-24 win, the Lobos' first victory over the Red Raiders since 1984.
Zunker had to wait through three time-outs -- two of them called by the Red Raiders in an effort to freeze him. Once he got his chance, Zunker booted the game winner as the crowd of 38,746 erupted.
"I knew they were going to do that, so I just tried to block everything out and keep my mind as blank as possible," Zunker said. "I knew I couldn't think too much, except about going through my routine. It was just another kick."
But more than just another win for a New Mexico program that has won just six times in a series the Red Raiders lead 33-6-2. Tech (1-1) had won 10 straight since 1984.
New Mexico (1-1) won despite giving up 449 yards to Tech quarterback Sonny Cumbie, who completed 44 of 70 passes and was intercepted twice. The second interception, by Lobos defensive back Brandon Payne, came late in the third quarter as the Red Raiders led 24-21 and had a first and goal at the New Mexico 5.
Payne picked off Cumbie's pass in the end zone and returned it to the New Mexico 37. A 21-yard pass from Kole McKamey to Hank Baskett was the key play in a drive that ended with Zunker's 44-yard field goal that tied it at 24.
New Mexico's defense bent all night but stopped two Tech drives in the fourth quarter. The first ended with Alex Trlica's wide right field goal attempt from 40 yards with just under eight minutes left. New Mexico then set up its game-winning drive by holding Tech on downs at the New Mexico 48 with 1:58 left.
Following a Texas Tech punt, New Mexico took over at the 20 and halfback DonTrell Moore gained 31 yards on three carries. McKamey's 14-yard pass to Marcus Smith got the Lobos to the Tech 25 to set up Zunker for the win.
Tech's Jarrett Hicks caught nine passes for 150 yards and teammate Trey Haverty caught eight for 117 yards. New Mexico's Hank Baskett had six catches for 99 yards and Moore rushed for 76 yards to become the all-time career rushing leader in the 5-year-old Mountain West Conference. The junior has 2,827 yards, surpassing the previous conference mark of 2,800 by San Diego State's Larry Ned.
"We made some big time plays at critical times that kept us in the game and eventually changed the momentum," New Mexico coach Rocky Long said. "We had a blitz scheme that worked and though we couldn't cover them very well in the first half, we covered better in the second half."
The Red Raiders had 495 total yards to New Mexico's 315, but Tech coach Mike Leach said his team failed to cash in on scoring opportunities.
"We needed to put them away when we had them in a bind," Leach said. "We made some mistakes, didn't capitalize on key situations and a lot of credit goes to New Mexico."
Texas Tech missed a field goal and an extra point last week in a 27-13 win over SMU, and this time the kicking game contributed to the loss.
"We need to make field goals, it's as simple as that," Leach said.
The teams were tied 21-21 at halftime and all the scoring in the second half was on field goals. Trlica hit a 21-yarder with 7:19 left in the third quarter.
New Mexico took a 21-14 lead with back-to-back scoring drives in the second quarter. McKamey threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Baskett on fourth-and-3 and McKamey finished the second drive by scoring from 6 yards out with 8:53 left in the quarter.
Three incomplete passes by Cumbie, who completed 12 of his first 14 throws, gave New Mexico another possession and the Lobos drove to the Tech 38. On third down McKamey threw into the end zone for Baskett, who went up between two defenders and came down with the ball. The officials ruled he had caught it out of bounds, but the replay showed both of Baskett's feet were inbounds.
Tech's defense held and New Mexico faced a fourth-and-1 at the Red Raiders' 29 and Zunker missed a field goal from 46 yards.
The Red Raiders took over with 1:54 and needed just seven plays and 1:49 to go 71 yards for the tying score on an 8-yard pass from Cumbie to Jarrett Hicks.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||9-19||6-14|
|4th Down Conversions||2-3||1-1|
|TD||13:17||KOLE MCKAMEY 12 YD RUN (WES ZUNKER KICK)|
Drive info: 2 plays, 16 yards.
|TD||7:51||SONNY CUMBIE 1 YD RUN (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 13 plays, 89 yards.
|TD||3:45||TAUREAN HENDERSON 3 YD RUN (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||11:47||HANK BASKETT 7 YD PASS FROM KOLE MCKAMEY (WES ZUNKER KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 68 yards.
|TD||8:53||KOLE MCKAMEY 6 YD RUN (WES ZUNKER KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 64 yards.
|TD||0:05||JARRETT HICKS 8 YD PASS FROM SONNY CUMBIE (ALEX TRLICA KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 71 yards.
|FG||7:19||ALEX TRLICA 21 YD FG|
Drive info: 13 plays, 73 yards.
|FG||14:55||WES ZUNKER 44 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 36 yards.
|FG||0:00||WES ZUNKER 43 YD FG|
Drive info: 11 plays, 54 yards.