Originally created 12/24/06

Spartans extend Lobos' drought



ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Adam Tafralis threw three touchdown passes and San Jose State beat New Mexico 20-12 Saturday in the inaugural New Mexico Bowl, extending the Lobos' postseason drought to 45 years.

One big pass play by Tafralis and one costly fumble by New Mexico - both in the first half - set the tone for the Spartans' first bowl win outside of California.

New Mexico (6-7) hasn't won a bowl game since it beat Western Michigan in the 1961 Aviation Bowl and is 0-5 since 1997.

For the Spartans (9-4), the win provided a final highlight in a season in which they won more games than they had in the three previous seasons.

Tafralis, who was 11 of 18 for 209 yards, threw scoring passes of 36 and 24 yards to James Jones and 76 yards to John Broussard. The pass to Broussard on the first play of the second quarter - in which New Mexico's defense totally blew the coverage - got the Spartans' offense rolling.

New Mexico's only touchdown came with 15 seconds left in the game on a 15-yard pass from Chris Nelson to Marcus Smith. The rest of the Lobos' scoring consisted of a 40-yard field goal by Kenny Byrd with 1:11 left in the second quarter and a safety when San Jose State punter Waylon Prather stepped out of the end zone with 1:08 left.

Byrd's field goal was his 25th in a row from 40 yards or closer and the first made field goal by New Mexico in 10 bowl appearances.