PROVO, Utah (AP) -- Just when Brigham Young appeared to be
heading for the tying score, New Mexico's defense forced its third
and most important turnover of the game.
Fola Fashola recovered the ball with 44 seconds left and New
Mexico ran out the clock from there in a 21-14 win over BYU
Saturday, the Lobos' second straight in Provo.
"The offense did their part. It came down to us getting another
turnover to win the game and it happened," said Nick Speegle, who
helped force the final fumble and recovered another loose ball in
the first quarter to set up a touchdown.
New Mexico (6-4, 4-2) moved into second place in the Mountain
West with its fourth straight win and is eligible for a bowl for
the fourth year in a row.
"They haven't always been pretty. It hasn't always been the way
we wanted to, but we got the 'W's," said DonTrell Moore, who ran
for 101 yards and a touchdown for the Lobos.
Until two years ago, the Lobos had gone 14 games over three
decades without winning in Provo, but snapped the streak with a
20-16 win over the Cougars in LaVell Edwards Stadium. New Mexico
had never won two in a row in Provo.
New Mexico held BYU (5-5, 4-2) to just 58 rushing yards, sacking
John Beck seven times and shutting down backs Curtis Brown and Fahu
"If you put enough guys up there, it doesn't matter who you
are. It's hard to run the ball," New Mexico coach Rocky Long said.
Long got the win in his 83rd game coaching his alma mater,
giving him the most career games for a Lobo coach. He was tied with
Bill Weeks, who went 40-41-1 at New Mexico from 1960-67.
New Mexico closes the season next week at home against Wyoming
and has already clinched its fourth-straight non-losing season.
"For whatever reason, we're able to come around and put some
streaks together," said Moore, who had 25 carries in his fifth
100-yard game of the season. "It's just a tribute to our coaching
staff and Coach Long."
BYU was driving to tie it when Speegle, Gabriel Fulbright and
Michael Tuohy hit Antwuan Harris hard after a short completion and
the ball bounced loose. Fola Fashola pounced and came out with the
ball when the pile cleared to clinch the game for the Lobos, who
took advantage of some sloppy play by the Cougars.
"I knew that the team with the fewest mistakes would win the
game. And that was the case," BYU coach Gary Crowton said.
Matt Payne, normally the most reliable of the Cougars, missed
three field goal attempts. His 12-yard trick pass to Riley Weber in
the first quarter was the Cougars' only score until the fourth
quarter, when they were already down 21-7 and running out of time.
"Matt Payne's a good kicker. It just wasn't his day," Crowton
Beck was 22-for-37 for 247 yards, one touchdown and an
interception for BYU, which could have become bowl-eligible with a
win, but now needs to win next weekend at rival Utah to avoid a
third straight losing season. The Cougars had won three in a row
coming in to Saturday.
Kole McKamey completed 7 of 12 passes for 143 yards and a
touchdown and Moore had 25 carries for his fifth 100-yard game of
the season. Hank Baskett had 4 catches for 125 yards and a
Moore scored on a 1-yard run in the fourth quarter, capping a
15-play, 87-yard drive that took nearly 8 minutes and put the Lobos
up 21-7 with 8:37 remaining.
BYU got within 21-14 on a 7-yard screen pass from John Beck to
Fahu Tahi with 6 minutes to play.
The Lobos were able to take a few more minutes off the clock
before punting and pinning the Cougars at their own 3 with 2:33
remaining. Beck got BYU as far as the 44, despite having two passes
dropped that hit his receivers' hands. But Harris' fumble killed
the drive at the 46 with 42 seconds left.
"That's what we knew coming into the ballgame. We were going to
try to win it on defense," Speegle said.
BYU took a 7-0 lead on a fake field goal late in the first
quarter. Payne and the kicking team came out late, and the Lobos
didn't realize Payne was the only player in the backfield. Payne
took the snap and lofted a pass to Weber, who had quietly lined up
just inside the sideline.
New Mexico came right back with a touchdown less than a minute
later, helped by a personal foul on BYU and a 47-yard pass from
McKamey to Baskett that set up Marcus Smith's 15-yard touchdown
The Lobos got the ball back three plays later when Fahu Tahi
fumbled for BYU and Speegle recovered for New Mexico at the BYU 36.
Two plays later, McKamey hit Baskett at the back of the end zone
for a 29-yard touchdown pass that put New Mexico up 14-7.