3:00 PM ET, November 20, 2004
University Stadium, ALBUQUERQUE, NM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Kole McKamey kept looking over his shoulder, seemingly aware that he was being chased by a guy named Rockett.
McKamey didn't need to worry. He beat Wyoming defensive back Ron Rockett to the end zone on an 80-yard scoring run in the third quarter Saturday that put New Mexico on its way to a 16-9 win over the Cowboys.
The win ensured the Lobos of a third straight bowl bid, a first in school history.
New Mexico (7-4, 5-2), won its fifth straight to finish second in the Mountain West behind BCS bowl hopeful Utah. Wyoming (6-5, 3-4) will also get a bowl bid -- the Cowboys' first in 11 years -- if Utah beats Brigham Young on Saturday night.
McKamey, who grew up in the pass-happy town of Artesia, N.M., used his feet to come up with his biggest play of the season, one that erased a 6-2 Wyoming lead.
"It felt like it took me so long to get there. I've been waiting for my chance all year to break one," said McKamey, who faked a handoff, found a seam in the defense and outran Rockett down the right sideline.
"I felt myself slowing down. I kept weaving in and out, hoping they wouldn't catch me," McKamey said. "When I turned around the final time, I saw that he was five yards behind me, but I was running out of my endurance."
The one play more than made up for an otherwise vanilla day for McKamey, who completed just 5 of 15 passes, none in the second half, for 40 yards. McKamey found enough holes in Wyoming's defense in the third quarter to finish with 152 yards on 15 carries. That's the best rushing game by a New Mexico quarterback since Don Woods' 188 yards against New Mexico State in 1973.
McKamey had 111 yards in the third quarter, when New Mexico went to the option and Wyoming couldn't stop it.
"It was more us than anything," said Wyoming safety John Wendling. "We missed assignments and New Mexico did a good job of adjusting to what we were doing on defense."
"At halftime it was hard to get a feel for what we could do, so we made a corporate decision to go out and run some option," said New Mexico offensive coordinator Dan Dodd. "It opened the game for us."
After McKamey scored, Wyoming came right back and tied it at 9-9 on Deric Yaussi's third field goal, a career-best 51-yarder with 1:46 left in the third. Yaussi, who also had field goals of 31 and 25 yards in the first half, missed from 52 and 48 yards earlier in the third quarter.
New Mexico halfback DonTrell Moore broke the tie with a 20-yard touchdown run on the second play of the fourth quarter. It was set up by a 24-yard run by McKamey.
Wyoming's final drive, which started at the Cowboys' 1-yard line after Tyler Gaus' punt bounced out of bounds there, ended at the New Mexico 39 with just over four minutes left. Wyoming elected to punt and the Lobos ran out the clock.
Moore had 150 yards on 28 carries to go over 1,000 yards -- he's now at 1,082 -- for the third straight season.
Wyoming halfback Ivan Harrison darted his way for 93 yards on 26 carries, while Corey Bramlet was 19-of-31 for 213 yards. Bramlet took plenty of hits and was sacked eight times, but he repeatedly completed passes while on the run or as he was being hit.
But the Lobos managed to stay one defensive stop ahead.
"We never could get a rhythm going," Wyoming coach Joe Glenn said. "Defensively, they finally got us. We hung in there real good, but we couldn't get their options stopped and couldn't get the tailback (Moore) stopped."
Wyoming took a 6-2 halftime lead on Yaussi's field goals late in the first half.
The first was set up by a 12-play drive that reached the New Mexico 14 before stalling. New Mexico's offense set up Yaussi' second field goal a minute and 16 seconds later. Moore fumbled a bad pitch from McKamey and Wyoming defensive back John Wendling recovered at the New Mexico 8. Again New Mexico's defense held as Bramlet threw three straight incomplete passes.
New Mexico's defense accounted for the Lobos only points in the first half. Linebacker Nick Speegle and safety Charles Brown sacked Bramlet in the end zone for a safety with 1:43 left in the first quarter.
Speegle played most of the game despite separating his left shoulder in the first quarter.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-20||2-11|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||0-1|
|S||1:43||NICK SPEEGLE SAFETY||0||2|
|FG||4:38||DERIC YAUSSI 31 YD FG|
Drive info: 12 plays, 69 yards.
|FG||3:22||DERIC YAUSSI 25 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 0 yards.
|TD||6:13||KOLE MCKAMEY 80 YD RUN (WES ZUNKER KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 80 yards.
|FG||1:46||DERIC YAUSSI 51 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 45 yards.
|TD||14:48||DONTRELL MOORE 20 YD RUN (WES ZUNKER KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.