ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Coach Bob Davie waited a long time for this moment. It had been quite a while for his New Mexico Lobos, too.
Davie earned his first career bowl victory when the Lobos, boosted by a pair of short touchdown runs from Richard McQuarley, beat Texas-San Antonio 23-20 Saturday in the New Mexico Bowl.
Davie had been 0-4 in bowls — three when he coached at Notre Dame, then last year with the Lobos in this event.
The Lobos (9-4) posted just their second bowl victory in a half-century.
“There wasn’t a whole of jumping up and down and whole lot of screaming and a whole lot of carrying on afterward in the locker room,” Davie said.
“But after the season that we had, it’s more feeling. You don’t experience this a whole lot of times,” he said.
The Lobos’ previous postseason win came in the 2007 New Mexico Bowl over Nevada. Before that, it was a victory in the 1961 Aviation Bowl.
In his fifth season at New Mexico, Davie completed the turnaround of a program that won three total games in the three seasons before his arrival.
The Lobos lost last year’s New Mexico Bowl to Arizona.
“These players, I’ve talked to them in depth about enjoying the moment and definitely this afternoon was a great moment that doesn’t come along very often,” Davie said.
“It’s another building block,” he said. “That’s what a college program is. You keep taking steps and you keep building and building and building. … So there is no question that winning the last game is big.”
Jarveon Williams ran for 125 yards for the Roadrunners (6-7), who lost in their first bowl appearance in the program’s six-year history.
Despite the hype around New Mexico’s triple-option threat and the Lobos leading the nation in rushing, the Roadrunners ran for more yards than the Lobos.
“We didn’t make enough plays today,” Williams said after his eighth game of running for at least 100 yards.
New Mexico quarterback Lamar Jordan rushed for 81 yards and threw a 34-yard pass to Dameon Gamblin that set up McQuarley’s 1-yard burst for a 23-13 lead with 2:22 left.
Dalton Sturm threw two TD passes for Texas-San Antonio, including a 4-yard toss to JaBryce Taylor with 25 seconds remaining. The Roadrunners failed to recover an onside kick.
Six Lobos combined for 219 yards rushing. New Mexico was able to keep UTSA’s big-play receivers mostly in check amid windy conditions.
Although the wind may have played a factor in some passes, Roadrunners coach Frank Wilson said there were other passes receivers dropped that they normally catch.
“We finished second. Period,” Wilson said. “The weather didn’t determine the outcome of the game.”
THE TURNING POINT
The Lobos’ fourth-quarter drive to a touchdown took more than seven minutes off the clock in a game that saw few passes.
“We didn’t have a lot of offense,” Davie said. “But when we needed it there in the fourth quarter after UTSA scored to make it a 3-point game, we had enough offense.”
New Mexico: The Lobos will try to capture their first Mountain West championship next year. Davie said a bowl win was key for Lobos recruiting to the next level. The Lobos open next season against Abilene Christian.
UTSA: Athletic officials from UTSA say they came to win the New Mexico Bowl but felt the bowl appearance would help get on potential recruits’ radars, especially in Texas where some powerhouses are currently struggling. The Roadrunners will open next season against Houston.