Wes Zunker Field Goal Sends Lobos to 27-24 Victory Over Texas Tech
Sept. 11, 2004
By PETE HERRERA
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - 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 in 20 years.
Zunker had to wait through three timeouts - 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 erupted.
The win was only the sixth for New Mexico 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 2,815 yards.
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.
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.