Ugly Weather Highlights Ugly UW Performance

A little first-half lightning ended up being exactly what the Lobos needed to rain on the Pokes' Homecoming parade. The only thing worse than the weather at Saturday's game was the performance of the Wyoming offense. Read the recap here.

Cowboys fans saw a heavy dose of thunder and lightning.

It just wasn't the kind they are used to cheering for.

A second-quarter storm replaced the Pokes' usual rushing dominance, and wet weather and a loss of momentum plagued the team the rest of the game.

Donovan Porterie threw for 191 yards and a touchdown, and New Mexico rolled to a 20-3 victory over Wyoming Saturday.

"It was an ugly day," Glenn said. "An ugly day weather-wise and an ugly day for the Pokes."

A one-hour, 43-minute lightning delay interrupted play late in the second quarter and brought a slow offensive start for the Lobos to an abrupt end.

"I thought the weather delay ended up being a positive for us," New Mexico head coach Rocky Long said after the game.

A 63-yard touchdown pass from Porterie to wide receiver Travis Brown less than two minutes after the delay sparked 17 unanswered points from the Lobos, who shut out Wyoming's offense in the second half.

"You have to give New Mexico credit," Wyoming head coach Joe Glenn said. "They did a really nice job of scheming us and we weren't able to make any big plays."

Rodney Ferguson racked up 89 yards on 26 carries to lead all rushers, and Wyoming's own version of Thunder and Lightning, Wynel Seldon and Devin Moore, had no answer. The two combined for just 38 yards on 21 carries.

"We moved the ball in between the twenties but never got anything going with the running game," Glenn said. "We need Devin and Wynel to do something."

Moore had his worst offensive performance of the year, finishing with just 34 total yards on one reception and 12 carries.

"New Mexico has a great defense. They were all over the place," he said. "My hat's off to them."

The Lobos (4-2, 1-1 in MWC) took an early 3-0 lead on a 39-yard field goal by John Sullivan after a 12-play, 45-yard opening drive stalled five minutes into the first quarter. They had a chance to extend the lead early in the second period, but a failed fourth-down conversion gave the Pokes the ball back on their own five-yard line.

The Cowboys (4-2, 1-1) tied the score on a 26-yard field goal from Billy Vinnedge with 2:36 left in the half, and the delay sent both teams to the locker room.

"At that moment, I would say they had the momentum," Long said.

If they did, it didn't last long.

New Mexico followed up the long pass play with a two-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown less than three minutes into the second half. Wyoming quarterback Karsten Sween lost the football on a fake handoff, and UNM's Ian Clark scooped it up and ran it in for the score. Sullivan's extra point gave the Lobos a 17-3 lead.

"That was our only fumble, but it came on our two-yard line," Glenn said. "It just wasn't a very good day for us."

A 41-yard Sullivan field goal at the end of the third quarter extended the lead to 20-3, and the Lobo defense held the Cowboys to punts and failed fourth-down conversions the rest of the way.

The Pokes mustered just 66 yards rushing against the Lobos; it marked only the second time this season that a team has held Wyoming under 100 yards on the ground.

"We didn't do anything special," Long said. "We just played the same defense we play every week."

Both teams avoided mistakes in the passing game, but the Lobos got the bigger plays.

UNM's Brown finished with 94 yards receiving on just four catches and Marcus Smith added five receptions for 75 yards.

"It was a tough loss for us," UW linebacker Ward Dobbs said. "There were some big plays that we couldn't recover from."

Dobbs and Sean Claffey each finished with 10 tackles to lead all defenders, and Fred Givens added six tackles, including three tackles for a loss and a sack for the Cowboys.

"I was proud of our defense," Glenn said. They were still fighting and battling down to the end."

The Cowboys stopped the Lobos on four consecutive running plays inside the Wyoming five-yard line to end New Mexico's final drive. It wasn't enough, however, and the Pokes were left with only the weather to blame for their dismal Homecoming performance.

"I've never been in a situation with a delay like today," Dobbs said. "You try to do your best to keep warm and your focus. We're just going to have to go back to the chalkboard and work on our mistakes."

The Cowboys will face Air Force on the road next Saturday, and rain or shine, they'll be hoping for a far more encouraging outcome.

"We're not going to give up," Moore said. "We're looking ahead one game, and that's Air Force. It'll be a different game next week. That's for sure."

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