4th-Quarter Rally Lifts Colorado State Past Fresno State
by Mike Mitchell
December 20, 2008
Colorado State snapped a three-game bowl losing streak with a come-from-behind 40-35 win over Fresno State in the New Mexico Bowl.
The Rams scored 20 unanswered points in the 4th quarter to overcome a 28-20 deficit and take a 40-28 lead with 1:46 left. Fresno State closed the gap on the ensuing drive but failed to recover the onside kick.
Gartrell Johnson ran for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns, and caught 6 passes for 89 yards, as the Rams racked up 618 yards of offense.
Both teams finished the season 7-6 as Colorado State will carry a 3-game winning streak into next season, while Fresno State will be saddled with a 2-game losing streak.
The victory made Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild a bowl winner in his first season as head coach. Fairchild replaced Sonny Lubick who was 108-74 in 15 seasons with the Rams, taking them to 9 bowl games. But Lubick was just 17-30 in his last four years with a best mark of 6-6 in 2005.
Fairchild was Lubick's quarterbacks coach from 1993-1996, and offensive coordinator from 1997-2000.
The Rams were making their first bowl appearance since 2005 and were winless in postseason games since capturing the 2001 New Orleans Bowl over North Texas.
The Bulldogs were bowling for the ninth time in the last ten seasons, and had won four of their previous five bowl games.