FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) -- The limits were extended for New
Mexico kicker Kenny Byrd.
"The coaches said they wanted to get the ball to their 45 yard
line and give me a go from 62 yards out," said Byrd. "All they
hoped from our offense was to get 30 yards."
They did and more.
Byrd kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired and Donovan
Porterie directed New Mexico to its third straight comeback
victory, beating Colorado State 20-19 Saturday night.
"Kenny is a money man," New Mexico coach Rocky Long said.
"He's made some big kicks before."
Byrd, who has three career game-winning field goals, had his
most recent one, a 39-yarder, to defeat UNLV in overtime.
"And I've kicked them longer, too," said Byrd who joined the
Lobos as a walk-on in 2002. "I had a 52-yarder against Missouri
earlier this year."
Porterie was equally cool, completing 15-of-25 passes for 195
yards and a touchdown. Rodney Ferguson ran for 80 yards and a
touchdown for New Mexico (5-4, 3-2 Mountain West Conference).
"This was nothing," said Porterie, who led the Lobos to
comeback wins over UNLV and Utah in the last two weeks. In beating
Utah, he faced a 21-point deficit before turning the game around.
"The coaches get me ready for this every day in practice," he
said. "I see much more pressure in practice."
"He's young and he doesn't know better," New Mexico offensive
coordinator Bob Toledo said.
No plays bigger than when Porterie recovered his own fumble at
the New Mexico 21 after the Lobos took over with 3:16 left in the
game. He later ran for six yards that got the ball to the New
The 10-play, 63-yard drive reached the Colorado State 16.
Following a timeout, Byrd split the uprights.
"I was prepared to kick anywhere up to 62 yards," said Byrd,
who has made 22 consecutive field goal attempts of 40 yards or
longer. "The offense just made it easier for me."
"Little things hurt us," Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick
said. "All of those things were magnified."
None bigger than an interception thrown by Kaleb Hanie, who was
25-for-40 passing for two touchdowns and 254 yards and a 42-yard
field by Jason Smith that sailed wide left.
New Mexico trailed 19-10 after three quarters but on the first
play of the fourth quarter Hanie was intercepted by Quincy Black,
giving the Lobos the ball at the Colorado State 35. New Mexico
cashed in when Porterie found Travis Brown on a perfect strike for
a 35-yard score nine seconds into the final quarter.
Colorado State (4-4, 1-3) drove to the New Mexico 17, but after
Hanie was sacked, Jason Smith missed a 42-yard field goal with 9:02
left in the game. Its defense forced a punt with 5:15 remaining,
but Hanie couldn't pick up a first down and ball went back to New
Mexico with 3:16 left.
"We just have to finish stronger," said Colorado State's Damon
Morton, who caught seven passes for 94 yards and two TDs. "We
didn't do that in the fourth quarter."
New Mexico scored the first two times it had the ball to take a
10-0 lead after one quarter. Porterie and the Lobos capitalized on
a short field and a pass interference penalty to drive 55 yards.
Facing a third-and-5 at the Colorado State 25, Marcus Smith drew
a pass interference call at the Rams 10 and two plays later,
Ferguson ran untouched into the end zone from the 5.
Colorado State made it as far as midfield and, after a punt, the
Lobos marched 58 yards to set up a 39-yard field goal by Byrd as
the first quarter expired to make it 10-0. Ferguson contributed a
New Mexico outgained Colorado State 103 to 28 yards in the first
15 minutes. CSU turned the tables, outgaining them 123 to 22 yards
in the second quarter to send the game into intermission tied at
The Rams put together a 57-yard drive. Hanie completed 4-of-5
passes for 35 yards, the last 35 yards a 4-yard TD toss to Morton.
It was the first score of any kind in 90 minutes and 47 seconds.
Their last score came on a 3-yard run by Hanie with 37 second left
in the first half of the Air Force game.
Smith connected on a career-long 49-yard field goal with 1:36
remaining in the first half.
Smith's second field goal of the game, a 38-yarder with 5:52
left in the third quarter, put Colorado State ahead 13-10. It came
a play after Morton dropped a pass in the end zone.
The Rams scored again after linebacker Jeff Horinek recovered
Porterie's fumbled snap exchange at the New Mexico 42. Three plays
later Morton made a one-handed grab of a 30-yard pass from Hanie
with 2:05 left in the third quarter. They failed to convert the
extra point and the lead was 19-10.