NMSU Ends A 57-Year Bowl Drought With an Epic OT Win Over Utah State
It took NMSU 57 years to return to a bowl game, but the Aggies certainly made the most of their cherished opportunity as RB Larry Rose III scored the game winning 21-yard touchdown in overtime to give the Aggies a 26-26 victory over Utah State in the Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl. NMSU capped off their final season before they become an independent in the most thrilling manner that one could have imagined by winning their first bowl game since the 1960 Sun Bowl, when ironically enough, they beat the very same Utah State squad.
Following the game, Aggie fans stormed the field as if NMSU had just won the National Championship game, let's face it, for a program that has only endured nine winning seasons since 1960, this was the accomplishment for the ages, one that fans have waited a lifetime for. After accumulating a losing record 44 times since their last bowl game, It was only fitting that a game of this magnitude for NMSU ended in the dramatic fashion that it did. Overall, Rose III had 142 rushing yards and will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the primary reasons why the Aggies not only ended the nation's longest bowl drought, but also, most importantly, went on to win the game.
NMSU coach Dough Martin mentioned, "He's meant so much to this program. We sold him on a vision when we didn't have anything. It was just a vision that he was going to be a part of a class that changed the culture of a place." On winning the game, Martin went on to say, “I’m just thrilled for these kids and this community, Just look at these fans who showed up here. This is an unbelievable day for us."
It goes without saying, that this was one of the greatest accomplishments in NMSU athletics history, and I speak for myself and many others by congratulating the Aggies on this tremendous feat, and certainly couldn't be happier for them.