Albuquerque, N.M.----- Kenny Potter came back to his role as San Jose State University's starting quarterback at the University of the New Mexico.
The Spartans found themselves in a comeback situation from the opening drive of their Mountain West opener. They almost came back once in the first half and nearly overcame a 21-point fourth deficit before losing to the Lobos, 48-41.
Despite being sacked three times, knocked down hard throughout the game and on the wrong end of Austin Ocasio's 37-yard interception return late in the third quarter, Potter threw for a season-high 314 yards and three touchdowns. The last, a 14-yard completion to Tre Hartley, gave San Jose State hope if it could recover an onside kick with 0:31 left in the fourth quarter.
Bryce Crawford's onside kick attempt took two shallow bounces, headed straight up in the air towards the San Jose State sideline and went out of bounds before a Spartan could keep the ball live.
It was a lively game for both teams, particularly on offense. The Lobos came into the contest sixth nationally in rushing averaging 311 yards a game. New Mexico (2-2, 1-0 Mountain West) rushed for a season-high 446 yards, but couldn't sustain its ground game in the fourth quarter during San Jose State's attempted comeback.
Running back Teriyon Gibson set the tone for New Mexico with a 61-yard run on the game's first play scrimmage. Gibson finished with 156 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Two more running backs, Tyrone Owens and Richard McQuarley, made their presence felt. Owens scored on a 14-yard immediately after Gibson's long gain for a 7-0 lead en route to 117 yards on 16 carries. McQuarley gained 83 yards and rushed for three touchdowns. His 6-yard run with 2:54 remaining was the insurance score the Lobos needed to end a two-game losing streak.
Trailing 14-0 midway through the first quarter, Zamore Zigler put the Spartans on the scoreboard breaking tackles en route to a 75-yard dash to the end zone. Zigler ran for 91 yards on nine carries but left the game with 10:25 to go in the second quarter with a leg injury.
Tim Crawley and Deontae Cooper each scored twice for the Spartans. Crawley caught a 61-yard pass and scored on a 21-yard run in the first half. Cooper replaced Zigler and contributed a 2-yard run and took a swing pass and turned it into a 45-yard touchdown play for the Spartans with 9:27 left in the game.
Trailing 41-34, the Spartan defense shutdown the Lobos with a pair of 3-and-outs, but the offense did the same before the final exchange of touchdowns.