Up eight points with under two minutes left, the Washington State Cougars looked safe to take home the New Mexico Bowl in a shootout win. Two fumbles later, the Cougs lost the game in regulation, gifting the Colorado State Rams a 48-45 victory in dramatic fashion Saturday afternoon. Colorado State scored 18 points in the last 2:52 to secure the win.
Cougars head coach Mike Leach got his passing attack going early, as Connor Halliday threw two touchdowns in a span of 75 seconds early in the first quarter to give the Cougars a 14-0 lead. Colorado State's own dynamic offense responded, with Garrett Grayson's 63-yard toss to Charles Lovett putting the Rams on the board eight minutes into the game, but Halliday found Theron West for his third touchdown pass of the day less than two minutes later.
Jared Roberts kicked two field goals in a row, cutting the Washington State lead to 21-13, but Halliday responded with two more touchdown passes to open the game up at 35-13. The Rams weren't done yet, though, as running back Kapri Bibbs, who leads the nation in touchdowns, ran for scores late in the second and early in the third, and suddenly the Cougars found themselves leading by just eight, up 38-30 in the fourth quarter.
Halliday threw his career-best sixth touchdown pass near the start of the final quarter of regulation, pushing the Cougars' lead to 45-30. Grayson responded with another touchdown pass of his own, and poor clock management from Halliday led to Jeremiah Laufasa fumbling on the next drive, giving the Rams one last chance.
Colorado State brought it to the goal-line, where Bibbs was able to power it in, with a two-point conversion all that stood between them and a tie game. The Rams attempted the Statue of Liberty, and Donnell Alexander stretched his arm and hit the pylon, tying up the game in dramatic fashion.
The Cougars fumbled the ball on the ensuing kickoff, giving Colorado State possession within field goal range. Roberts hit the 41-yarder cleanly, giving the Rams the 48-45 win.
Box Score Hero: Bibbs. The star running back ran 27 times for 169 yards and three touchdowns in the dramatic win.
Rankings Ramifications: Neither team was ranked, and neither will be.
But Did They Cover? Washington State was between a four- and six-point favorite, so no.