The final home game at Hughes Stadium

Senior night.

And the chance to qualify for a bowl game for the fourth straight year.

CSU’s football team was motivated by all three late Saturday night while rolling to a 49-24 win over New Mexico before 29,133 fans and an ESPN2 national television audience.

With its fourth win in the past six games, Colorado State University (6-5, 4-3 Mountain West) earned its fourth straight berth in a postseason game. The Rams won’t find out which bowl they’re headed to until after the conference’s Dec. 3 championship game.

But they’re going somewhere other than home for the holidays despite a dismal start to the season that included a 44-7 loss to the University of Colorado and a 38-17 defeat five weeks later to Border War rival Wyoming.

HUGHES FAREWELL: You never forget your first

Nick Stevens, the quarterback who lost his starting job after the loss to CU in the opener, threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more while directing a CSU offense that gained more than 500 yards in the first three quarters.

And a CSU defense that had given up 485 rushing yards to Air Force’s option-oriented offense a week earlier in a 49-46 loss, limited the nation’s No. 1 rushing offense to just 57 yards in the first half while building a 28-10 lead.

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