New Mexico Gets First Bowl Win Since 1961
by Mike Mitchell
December 22, 2007
New Mexico handed Nevada its first shutout loss since 1980, and earned its first bowl victory since 1961, with a 23-0 rout in the 2nd annual New Mexico Bowl.
The Lobos ran all over the Wolf Pack, even without their leading runner. Rodney Ferguson was ruled academically ineligible, but backup Paul Baker ran for 167 yards.
The air game worked well, too, with Donovan Porterie throwing for 354 yards and 2 TD's. Altogether, New Mexico rolled up 548 yards.
New Mexico was a slight favorite to win, but it was Nevada that entered the game with the more-heralded offense. The Wolf Pack averaged 36 points per game in the regular season and ranked 7th in total offense.
Nevada had scored in 329 straight games, but failed to muster much of a threat against the Lobos.
Against the defensive-minded Lobos, Nevada managed a paltry total of just 210 yards. Wolf Pack dual-threat QB Colin Kaepernick was under constant attack and completed just 13-of-31 passes while somehow managing to gain 26 yards rushing.
The score could have been worse. New Mexico missed one short field goal and had two field goals blocked. Another drive ended on downs after reaching inside the Nevada 1-yard line.
New Mexico has been to five bowl games in the past six seasons under head coach Rocky Long, and have played the last two on their own home field. The Lobos lost 20-12 to San Jose State in last season's inaugural New Mexico Bowl.