Powered by a triple option offense, the Lobos were led by coach Bob Davie who envisioned the offense he eventually installed while coaching at Notre Dame and playing against the service academies, who used the scheme effectively. The Lobos' offense led the Football Bowl Subdivision in rushing yards. Although both Austin Apodaca and Lamar Jordan had both started at quarterback for New Mexico during the season, Jordan was the more potent runner, whose 658 rushing yards ranked third on the team. A trio of running backs made large contributions to the rushing attack: senior Teriyon Gipson averaged 9.2 yards per rush to lead the team with 1209 yards, sophomore Tyrone Owens led the team with 134 rushes for 1084 yards, and junior Richard McQuarley rushed for a team-leading 16 touchdowns.
UTSA started the game with the ball; they put together a 65-yard drive over the next 6:15 and scored the first points of the game after Victor Falcon converted on a 23-yard field goal. New Mexico opened their storing with 4 seconds left in the first quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run. The first quarter ended 7–3, Lobos. With 1:32 left in the second quarter, Victor Falcon hit a 28-yard field goal to bring UTSA within 1 at 7–6. With time expiring in the first half, Jason Sanders converted a 52-yard field goal to put the Lobos up 10–6 at halftime. To open the second half, Teriyon Gipson capped a 10-play, 75-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown rush. The extra point was blocked so New Mexico led 16–6. After trading punts UTSA got a drive into New Mexico territory but Dalton Sturm was picked off from the UNM 34. The Lobos went 3-and-out and punted. UTSA got good field position but faced a 4th and 15 from the Lobos 35. Sturm threw a 19-yard pass for the first down. 2 plays later he found Trevor Stevens, a senior wide receiver who had only caught 7 passes ever for his 1st career touchdown. The PAT was good and it was 16–13 Lobos. UNM drove down the field until they had a 4th and 1 at the 5 yard line. They converted and then Richard McQuarley got a 1-yard touchdown run to put UNM up 23–13. UTSA would strike at the end of the game but the Lobos recovered the onside kick. A highlight of the game was New Mexico players missing the Gatorade bath at first.