FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Conner Smith threw a fourth-quarter touchdown pass, and Kevin Pierre-Louis batted away a last-play pass in the end zone as Colorado State held on to defeat New Mexico 24-20 Saturday night.
With the Rams trailing 20-17 with 3:06 left, Smith, who was 19 for 26 for 254 yards and two TDs passing, took over at the Colorado State 24. It took seven plays and a key 6-yard run on fourth and 2 by Chris Nwoke to set up a 30-yard pass to Joe Hansley with 1:29 left.
Donnell Alexander ran for 112 yards for the Rams (4-8, 3-5 Mountain West).
After Hansley’s touchdown, B.J. Holbrook was 5 of 6 passing and ran for 6 yards in driving the Lobos (4-9, 1-7) to the Colorado State 16, but missed his next two passes.
After a timeout, Holbrook, who was 12 of 21 for 205 yards and a touchdown, attempted to get a pass to Cory Wiggins in the end zone, but Pierre-Louis got in the way.
Kasey Carrier was limited to 59 yards rushing for New Mexico, well below his season average of 128 yards. The Lobos’ rushing offense, ranked No. 4 in the country averaging 315 yards per game, was held to 137 yards.
Holbrook appeared to have the game wrapped up for New Mexico when he threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to Jhrurell Pressley with 3:12 left.
New Mexico trailed 17-7 at halftime, but shut down the Rams’ offense in the third quarter. Justus Adams closed the gap to 17-10 with a 38-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The Lobos closed the gap to 17-13 on Adams’ 30-yard field goal with 10:28 left in the game. The drive was kept alive when Colorado State defensive end Calvin Tonga jumped offside on a punt from the Lobos’ 18.
Colorado State won three straight at home for the first time since 2008.
New Mexico was denied its first five-win season since 2007.
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)