LAS CRUCES, N.M. (11/25/03) In another classic battle between North Texas and New Mexico State, it went down to the final play as Nick Bazaldua kicked a 25-yard field goal as time expired to give the Mean Green a 13-10 win Tuesday night in Las Cruces.
The Mean Green was led by another outstanding performance by running back Patrick Cobbs, who rushed for 216 yards on 37 carries, including some very critical carries on the game-winning drive.
"I’m so proud of this football team," head coach Darrell Dickey said. "They didn’t panic when the game was tied late in the fourth quarter and they knew they had to go 80 yards to win the game. They have always found a way to get it done, and that’s exactly what they did tonight."
Cobbs turned in his fourth 200-yard game of the season and set the North Texas record for rushing yards in a single-season with 1,570 yards and the New Orleans Bowl yet to play.
"He has been our guy on offense all year long and that is what you do when you need to move the ball, get the ball to your guy," Dickey said.
North Texas opened the game’s scoring on an eight-play, 93-yard drive that was capped by a Cobbs one-yard touchdown run at the 6:51 mark of the first quarter. The drive was highlighted by a 47-yard run by Cobbs who was tripped up at the New Mexico State one-yard line. It was Cobbs' 17th rushing touchdown of the season, giving him eight straight games with at least one touchdown run.
New Mexico State answered with a 13-play, 80-yard drive, which resulted in a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Buck Pierce with 36 seconds to play in the first quarter.
The second quarter was a defensive battle as the only Mean Green scoring opportunities came on unsuccessful field goal attempts of 52 and 51 yards by Bazaldua. New Mexico State missed a 24-yard field goal with 22 seconds left to play in the opening half to keep the score knotted at 7-7 at the break.
North Texas broke the tie late in the third quarter when Bazaldua made a 30-yard field goal at 3:19 mark to give the Mean Green a 10-7 lead. The three-point Mean Green lead would hold until the 4:28 mark of the fourth quarter when Aggie kicker Dario Aguiniga made a 49-yard field goal to tie the score at 10.
North Texas then drove the ball to the New Mexico State seven yard-line where Bazaldua kicked the 25-yard field goal to get the win.
North Texas improved the nation’s longest conference win streak to 18 games and completed its second-straight perfect Sun Belt record.