5:30 PM ET, October 28, 2006
Hughes Stadium (CO), Fort Collins, CO
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 Mexico 47.
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 26-yard run.
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 10.
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.