Joe Southwick was 24 of 34, 311 yards and three touchdowns. A pretty good stat line for the new Boise State quarterback. He helped lead the Broncos to a 25 – 0 first half lead and what would seem to be an insurmountable lead. New Mexico runs a triple style offense, not something one would expect a comeback from without putting the ball in the air. But that is exactly what would happen, while only attempting one pass the entire second half. Normally that would be the case but some costly fumbles in the second half and a run defense collapse by the Broncos led to some edge of your seat drama in the final minutes of the game.
Boise State dominated the first half with near perfection in the red zone. With four trips inside the 20, they came away with three touchdowns and a field goal. Add a two point conversion and you get a 25 point lead at the half. This could have been a much larger lead. Southwick had an open receiver in the end zone early in the game but threw it behind the intended receiver. The drive resulted in a field goal. Boise would also have a chance with a little over a minute left in the first half but chose to run out the clock despite the Broncos three touchdown drives took an average of 53 seconds.
Boise State would roll up nearly 300 yards of total offense in the first half, 184 of those yards on the ground. The defense held New Mexico to 170 first half yards and no points; however, football is played for sixty minutes, not thirty.
In the second half, Boise State fumbled the opening kick off, which was recovered by New Mexico at the 26 yard line. Six plays later the Lobos found the end zone and closed the gap 25 – 7. On the ensuing drive the Broncos would march down the field from their own 21 yard line down to the New Mexico 13 yard line. From there they ran three plays, gained 9 yards and would go for it on fourth down. The fourth down play was a play action roll out by Southwick. He had his fullback, Dan Paul, open in the end zone but his pass would sail over Paul’s outstretched hands. New Mexico would take over at the four yard line and drove 96 yards, scoring on a five yard touchdown run by Kasey Carrier. He would finish with 18 carries, 86 yards, and a touchdown. The score would close the gap 25 – 14. The Broncos next possession would lead to a much needed touchdown, driving 75 yards on 10 plays making the score 32 – 14.
With the score 32 – 21, Boise State’s Shane Williams-Rhodes fumbled and New Mexico would recover and advance the ball to the one yard line where New Mexico quarterback Cole Gautsche would score from a yard out and make good on the following two point conversion.
Michael Frisina of Boise State would later miss a 44 yard field goal, giving the Lobos the ball at their own 27 yard line. The Broncos defense finally rose to the occasion and would shut the door on this one four plays later after a failed fourth down pass by B.R. Holbrook.
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