New Mexico Uses Fumble Return, Fourth Down Stop to Beat Hawai’i 28-21

A 46-yard fumble return for a touchdowm with 8:52 proved to be the winning score as the New Mexico Lobos moved to 5-3 and still in the Mountain Division race at 3-1 with a 28-21 late-night win at Hawai’i.

The fumble return was returned by Lee Crosby after a hit on Diocemy Saint Juste in the backfield popped it loose. Afterward, the Warriors were driving into the Lobos red zone, but a 4th and short was stuffed short of a first down. Two first downs later iced it for New Mexico.

New Mexico took a 14-0 lead after one after clock-churning drives. The Warriors responded in the second, spurred on by an interception, to score twice, the second on a fake field goal with no time left.

The second half was mostly played in the driving rain. That didn’t stop Tyrone Owens for the Lobos as he took the first play of the drive 72 yards to the house to make it 21-14 right at the end of the third quarter. Hawai’i responded on their next drive as Steven Lakalakav rushed in from four yards out.

Overall, the Hawai’i defense did well to hold the potent New Mexico ground attack to 237 yards, but the turnovers at the end proved to be too much for Nick Rolovich’s team to overcome.

New Mexico returns home next week for another cross-divisional game, this one with Nevada. Hawai’i, now 4-5 overall and 3-2 in the Mountain West, will head to the mainland to face off with Donnell Pumphrey and San Diego State in a game the Warriors need to win if they want to contend for the West Division.

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