Ryan Lindley's third touchdown pass to Colin Lockett came just a few seconds too soon.
San Diego State celebrated the 12-yard scoring strike with 35 seconds left, only to watch an even bigger celebration when Louisiana-Lafayette kicker Brett Baer hit a 50-yard field goal as time expired, sending the Aztecs to a 32-30 loss in the New Orleans Bowl on Saturday night.
"Thirty seconds on the clock? You'd like to think [the game was over]," Lindley said.
"It was a hard-fought game and you have to tip your caps to them."
Blaine Gautier drove Louisiana-Lafayette 44 yards to the Aztecs 38 to set up what was initially a 55-yard attempt, but a pre-snap penalty on SDSU (8-5) for trying to bait the Cajuns (9-4) into a false start moved the winning kick 5 yards closer.
Aztecs coach Rocky Long called the last penalty a "phantom call."
"We didn't have one guy move," he said. "I have no idea who they called it on."
It might not have made a difference. The kick easily had enough distance and was down the middle.
The bigger problem, Long said, was the Aztecs' missed opportunities, including a 36-yard field-goal attempt that Abeladro Perez hooked wide right with just more than 10 minutes to go.
"We had opportunities and we didn't make as many plays as they did," Long said. "We missed a field goal. They made a field goal. ... Everyone wants to talk about offense and defense, but it was special teams that won the game."
A New Orleans Bowl attendance record of 42,841 was set as the bowl victory was Louisiana-Lafayette's first as a Division I FBS team, and the Cajuns stopped the Aztecs from winning bowls in consecutive seasons.
Christensen agrees. University of Wyoming coach Dave Christensen said he has agreed in principle to a new, five-year contract.
Christensen and athletic director Tom Burman confirmed the agreement Saturday, the day the Cowboys were beaten by Temple, 37-15, in the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque, N.M.
Burman said Christensen would get a substantial raise.
"I really don't want to talk about dollar figures until we get it done, but there is a significant raise," Burman told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle. "We want to keep him here, and we knew we had to up the ante."
No other details of the pending contract were announced.
Burman said he expects the contract to be finalized this week.