New Mexico Bowl: CSU completes wild comeback vs. WSU as RB Bibbs breaks 3 records
An incredible finish was only fitting after Washington State QB Connor Halliday put on a clinic in the first 30 minutes and Colorado State RB Kapri Bibbs penned three new records in the books.
The Colorado State Rams won the 2013 New Mexico Bowl in dramatic fashion vs. the Washington State Cougars.
Mark J. Rebilas / USA TODAY Sports
By Phil Kropoth
Washington State and Colorado State kicked off bowl season in dramatic fashion on Saturday. In case you missed it, here are the three essential takeaways from the Cougars' matchup with the Rams.
Colorado State's comeback
It was the tale of two games in the New Mexico Bowl.
The Rams trailed by as much as 22 points at the 2:48 mark of the second quarter, but they had scraped back into contention and were down only 45-37 late in the fourth quarter thanks to two touchdowns by RB Kapri Bibbs, a pair of field goals by kicker Jared Roberts, and a TD throw by QB Garrett Grayson.
Still, the Cougars took over possession with 2:52 remaining, and on the fourth play of the drive, Washington State even survived a scare when QB Connor Halliday was ruled down before the football slipped from his grip. Unbelievably, the Cougars coughed up the ball on the very next play when the Rams' Shaquil Barrett ripped the football free from RB Jeremiah Laufasa.
Colorado took the ball over at the WSU 33-yard line and began marching down the field with under two minutes to play.
On the eighth play of the hurried drive, Bibbs broke into the end zone for his third score to bring the game within two points. However, the Rams still needed a two-point conversion to tie the game. RB Donnell Alexander was put in charge of finding the end zone and broke the plane by a matter of inches, diving and stretching to knot things up at 35. Check it out:
As is customary, the Rams then kicked off.
In what became customary for the Cougars late in the game, they fumbled again — with the Rams recovering at WSU's 24 yard line.
With four seconds left, Rams kicker Jared Roberts entered the game and nailed a 41-yard field goal to send the frenzied fans onto the field.
Bet you wish you had been able to watch now, right? No worries. Here's the rest of the best from the New Mexico Bowl.
Washington State QB Halliday's first-half performance
Cougar quarterback Connor Halliday is no stranger to throwing the ball: He ranks first in pass attempts in the FBS with more than 600 throws this season.The junior tied a career high for TD passes when he racked up five scoring throws and 221 yards vs. the Rams — in the first half. Better yet, he spread around the wealth, finding a different receiver for each one of his touchdowns.
He also managed to draw the ire of Colorado State defensive line coach Greg Lupfer, who appeared to share some choice words with the QB after his initial TD throw.
Halliday added another TD toss in the second half and — you guessed it — somebody new caught the ball this time, too.
A record-breaking day for Colorado State's Bibbs
Running back Kapri Bibbs was held out of the end zone until he punched in a one-yard rush at the tail end of the half. Bibbs carried the momentum from that score into the third frame, when he broke free for a 75 yard TD run.
The rush was his longest of the game, but more impressively, it represented his 30th touchdown of the 2013 campaign. He became only the third college player in FBS history to rush for 30 TDs in a season — RBs Barry Sanders and Monte Ball are the others on that list.
Bibbs also broke this single-season Mountain West Conference record: