Jason Sanders secures 24-21 victory over Utah State with late field goal

by Andy Swanson

Jason Sanders kicked a 40-yard field goal with 1:06 left in the fourth quarter to give the University of New Mexico Lobos a 24-21 win over Utah State Saturday night in Logan, Utah.

 

The win was the fifth straight for New Mexico, giving the Lobos a a 7-3 record overall and 5-1 in Mountain West Conference play.

 

Teriyon Gipson led the Lobos with 107 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, while quarterback Austin Apodaca added 109 passing yards on 6-13 attempts. 

 

Down 21-6 with 6:40 left in the third quarter, Gipson scored his first touchdown to cap an 11-play, 76 yard drive. The play moved UNM within one score of the Aggies after starting off slowly against a tough Utah State defense.

 

Gipson would add another score in the final two minutes of the quarter, and fellow running back Richard McQuarley punched in a two-point conversion to tie the score at 21.

 

Both teams would exchange drives in the final period, but Sanders’ game winning field goal would be the only points scored in the fourth quarter between the two teams. 

 

The Aggies would move the ball into field goal position in the final minute of the game, but would be unable to kick the game-tying field goal before time expired. 

 

It wasn’t the most impressive win for the Lobos this season, but the poise they showed to come back from a 21-6 deficit impressed head coach Bob Davie.

 

“So many things,” Davie said after the game. “So many things. I thought Austin played great. And Jason Sanders was terrific.”

 

The Lobos look to add to their five-game win streak with a victory this Saturday against Colorado State in Fort Collins before returning home to close out the season against the Wyoming Cowboys at Univerity Stadium on 11/26.