Two Second-Half Scores Lift Cowboys Over New Mexico, 14-10

Oct. 7, 2006

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Freshman Karsten Sween made up for a bad first half with two second half touchdown passes and Wyoming rallied for a 14-10 win over New Mexico Saturday night.

Sween, who fumbled and was intercepted twice in the first half, finally got the Cowboys' offense rolling with scoring passes of 12 yards to Hoost Marsh midway through the third quarter and a 4-yard TD pass to Michael Ford with 12:48 left in the game.

Wyoming (2-4, 1-1 MWC) snapped a four-game losing streak and won for only the second time in the last 12 games. The Cowboys also broke a six-game losing streak against New Mexico (2-4, 0-2).

Sween completed 19 of 32 passes for 204 yards.

Wyoming could do little right in the first half and New Mexico did just enough to take a 10-0 lead. But New Mexico's offense, which struggled all night, stalled in the second half as neither senior Chris Nelson nor freshman Donovan Porterie could move the chains.

New Mexico's last scoring chance ended at the Wyoming 43 on downs with 1:31 left.

The Lobos' blitzing defense rattled Sween into three first half turnovers and converted two of them into a 1-yard touchdown run by Rodney Ferguson with 6:19 left in the first quarter and a 45-yard Kenny Byrd field goal in the second quarter.

New Mexico had just three first downs in putting up the 10 points and the signs of the Lobos' struggles on offense were evident.

Ferguson's touchdown followed a fumble by Sween at the Cowboys' 23. Byrd's field goal came after Lobo defensive back Quincy Black picked off a deflected pass from Sween and returned it 35 yards to the Wyoming 38.

Sween, getting his first start of the season after nearly rallying the Cowboys to a win at Syracuse last week, was intercepted on the Cowboys' opening drive which reached the Lobo 25. Sween tried to force a pass in the end zone and defensive back DeAndre Wright made the easy pick.

Wyoming had a chance to score in the final seconds of the first half when Ferguson fumbled at the New Mexico 24 and Wyoming nose guard Fred Givens recovered. But kicker Aric Goodman's 41-yard field goal attempt as time expired was wide right.

But with New Mexico's offense going nowhere, Wyoming took over in the second half. Wyoming scored on its first possession on a seven-play, 64-yard drive that included a 25-yard pass from Sween to Tyler Holden to the New Mexico 28.

The Cowboys took the lead for good on the Sween to Ford pass that finished off a nine-play, 78-yard drive. Sween hit tight end Chris Sundberg with a 33-yard pass to the New Mexico 21 and two plays later found Holden open for a 13-yarder to the Lobo 6. Three plays later he had Ford open in the middle of the end zone.

Wyoming had 318 total yards to New Mexico's season-low 190.