ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Colorado State defensive lineman Nordly Capi set an FBS record with four forced fumbles, including one in the closing seconds, to help the Rams hold off New Mexico 14-10.
With New Mexico at the Rams 15 with 23 seconds left, Capi stripped quarterback Tarean Austin, then fell on the ball to thwart the Lobos’ last chance.
“That last play, I just got off the edge,” Capi said. “I saw that quarterback, he was holding the ball a little bit and I just did what my coaches taught. I hit it and it got kicked around and I just fell on it. … Everybody gave their all on that last play.”
Colorado State forced five fumbles, recovering three, including one at its own 1-yard line.
Chris Nwoke’s 2-yard touchdown run with 7:17 remaining in the fourth quarter put the Rams up in the season and Mountain West opener for both teams.
After a scoreless first quarter that featured a missed field goal by each team, both squads found the end zone in the second quarter.
With 2:37 left in the half, Colorado State receiver Crockett Gillmore out-jumped defensive back A.J. Butler in the end zone for a 33-yard score.
The Lobos moved right back down the field in five plays, capping the drive with a 27-yard pass from Austin to Lamaar Thomas. It was New Mexico’s first touchdown in an opener since 2005.
Austin finished with 105 yards rushing while completing 20 of 31 passes for 179 yards.
Colorado State quarterback Pete Thomas was 22 for 26 for 178 yards.
New Mexico had 329 yards of offense while holding the Rams to 270.
“We’ll be able to win with that kind of effort on defense,” Lobos coach Mike Locksley said. “We just need to continue to work to get the offense fixed.”
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)