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 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
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
"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
"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
"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
"We need to make field goals, it's as simple as that," Leach
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.
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