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Colorado State 48, Washington State 45

The SportsXchange

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- It was deja vu all over again at the New Mexico Bowl.

One year after Arizona's improbable rally over Nevada, Colorado State pulled off a stunning comeback to defeat Washington State 48-45 on Saturday afternoon.

Jared Roberts' 41-yard field goal with no time remaining gave the Rams (8-6) an improbable victory after they had trailed 45-30 late in the fourth quarter.

The Wildcats scored two touchdowns in the last 46 seconds to win in 2012.

This time around, Colorado State converted two Washington State fumbles into a touchdown, two-point conversion and the winning field goal in the final 2:52.

Trailing 45-37, the Rams recovered a fumble on the 33-yard line with under two minutes remaining. They proceeded to score a touchdown with 33 seconds left on Kapri Bibbs' 1-yard run, followed by a two-point conversion by Donnell Alexander.

On the ensuing kickoff return, Teondray Caldwell was stripped by Charles Lovett, and Craig Leonard recovered for Colorado State. Two plays later, Roberts' kick sailed through the uprights and set off a raucous celebration.

WSU quarterback Connor Halliday threw for 410 yards and six touchdowns, with five of the TD passes coming in the first half.

Washington State capitalized on Colorado State's miscues to take a 35-23 lead into halftime.

In the first quarter, Halliday hit touchdown passes of 25 yards to River Cracraft, 1 yard to Gabe Marks after a blocked punt set up a short field and finally a 28-yard strike to Theron West to give WSU a 21-7 lead.

Colorado State's first-quarter scoring came on a 63-yard pass from Grayson to Charles Lovett and a 25-yard field goal by Roberts.

In the second quarter, Deone Bucannon intercepted Grayson and returned the ball to the Rams' 27-yard line. Washington State needed three plays to put the ball in the end zone as Halliday found Vince Mayle for a 28-yard TD pass.

Colorado State's next drive stalled after five plays. The Rams' punt was poor, with Leon Brooks returning the ball to the CSU 42-yard line.

Halliday nailed two quick passes to move the ball to the 7, followed by a short run and a 3-yard pass from Halliday to Rickey Galvin for the score.

Trailing 35-13, the Rams showed some life in the final four minutes of the half. Colorado State went 75 yards in nine plays, capped by Bibbs' 1-yard scoring run.

After Washington State's next drive fizzled and pinned the Cougars back on their own 10-yard line, they mustered just a 30-yard punt. The Rams took advantage of the short field and were able to move into field goal range, with Roberts nailing a kick from 30 yards to bring his team with 12 points at halftime.

After the teams combined for 58 points in the first half, the third quarter was more of a grinder. The only touchdown came on Bibbs' 75-yard touchdown run that brought the Rams within 38-30.

Garrett Grayson threw for 369 yards and two scores for CSU, and Bibbs ran for 169 yards on 27 attempts, with the three scores.

NOTES: Washington State's 35 points in the first half set a New Mexico Bowl record. The previous high of 31 was shared by Nevada in 2012 and BYU in 2010. ... Colorado State offensive lineman Brandon Haynes left the game in the first quarter with an undisclosed injury and was listed as questionable to return. ... Bibbs' 75-yard scoring run gave him 30 touchdowns on the season, moving him into third place all-time behind Barry Sanders and Monte Ball on the NCAA single-season list.
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