The New Mexico Bowl is played at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico on the campus of the University of New Mexico. The New Mexico Bowl has been played every year since 2006 and is typically the first game during college bowl season. Despite its short history, the New Mexico Bowl has produced memorable moments. These are the best games in New Mexico Bowl history.
3) 2006 New Mexico Bowl. San Jose State 20, New Mexico 12.
The Inaugural New Mexico Bowl featured the Lobos in their home stadium welcoming the San Jose State Spartans. With New Mexico on a four-decade postseason losing streak, the Lobos looked to capitalize on their crowd and home field advantage during the 2006 New Mexico Bowl.
The enthusiasm of the home crowd was quickly dampened as New Mexico trailed the entire game. A San Jose State safety late in the game fired up the crowd as the Lobos received the free kick down by 15 with just over two minutes left in the game. A furious New Mexico drive led to a quick touchdown, but the on-side kick was recovered by the Spartans to end the first New Mexico Bowl with a San Jose State win.
2) 2008 New Mexico Bowl. Colorado State 40, Fresno State 35.
Tom Brandstater led his Fresno State Bulldogs into the 4th quarter of the 2008 New Mexico Bowl with an 8 point lead and the ball at midfield. Powered by a solid running tandem of Anthony Harding and Lonyae Miller, the Fresno offense had been running efficient, time-consuming drives throughout the game. Forced into 3rd and long, Brandstater’s pass was intercepted, setting up Billy Farris and the Rams with a short field for the tying score.
Seven straight runs later, Gartrell Johnson burst into the endzone from 1 yard out. The two-point conversion failed leaving Colorado State down two with 10 minutes left in the game and Fresno State to receive. The Rams defense forced a three-and-out and the offense got the ball back on their own 27. Billy Farris found Rashaun Greer deep for a 69 yard touchdown to put the Rams back on top.
Following alternating scores, Fresno’s onside kick with one minute left fell into the arms of the Rams and Colorado State walked off with a five point victory in the 2008 New Mexico Bowl.
1) 2009 New Mexico Bowl. Wyoming 35, Fresno State 28.
With 8:08 remaining in the game, the Bulldogs up by three, and driving for a game-icing touchdown, Ryan Matthews fumbled at the Cowboys 26. Wyoming took over with three timeouts and embarked on a clock-killing, 19 play, 54-yard drive to the Fresno 20. With 20 seconds left in the game, Ian Watts converted a 37 yard field goal to send the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, Fresno State quickly reached a 1st and goal from the Wyoming 1-yard line. The Cowboys defense stepped up with four consecutive stops and the Wyoming offense took its possession needing only a field goal to win the 2009 New Mexico Bowl. The Wyoming possession netted only 3 yards and Ian Watts missed a 40 yard field goal as the game moved to double overtime.
In double overtime, following a costly holding penalty, Wyoming faced a 3rd and goal from the Fresno 13 yard line. Austyn Carta-Samuels found David Leonard in the corner of the endzone to put the Cowboys ahead by a touchdown. During the Fresno possession, the Wyoming defense forced a 4th and 5 from the 20 yard line. Fresno State’s Bryce Harris scrambled and came within a yard of the first-down before fumbling to end the game.