By USU Sports Information
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Senior running back Joey DeMartino rushed for a career-high 144 yards and scored four touchdowns, and the Aggie defense held the nation’s second-ranked rushing offense to less than half of its season average, in Utah State’s 45-10 Mountain West road win at New Mexico Saturday night.
Utah State evens its record at 4-4 with the win and improves to 3-1 in MW play, while New Mexico falls to 2-5 on the season and 0-3 in the league with the loss. USU also won its 10th-straight conference game on the road, extending its school record.
Utah State finished the game with a season-high 337 rushing yards as part of its 492 yards of total offense as it also passed for 155 yards.
Utah State’s defense limited New Mexico to just 300 yards of total offense, including a season-low 160 yards on the ground. UNM entered the game ranking second in the nation with an average of 349.3 rushing yards per game.
True freshman quarterback Darell Garretson finished the game 15-of-23 passing for 144 yards with one touchdown in his first career start, while DeMartino recorded his third-career 100-yard rushing game as he finished the contest with 144 yards on just 12 carries and tied his career-high with three rushing touchdowns. DeMartino also had a career-high three receptions for a career-best 41 yards, including his first career touchdown reception.
Senior wide receiver Travis Reynolds finished with four receptions for 42 yards and extended his streak with at least one reception to 17 straight games.
Defensively, senior cornerback Nevin Lawson and senior linebacker Jake Doughty each had six tackles, while senior defensive tackle Connor Williams had a team-high 1.5 sacks as USU notched a season-high six sacks against the Lobos.
New Mexico running back Kasey Carrier ran for just 69 yards on 14 carries after entering the game ranking first in the Mountain West and eighth in the nation with an average of 138.7 rushing yards per game. Clayton Mitchem finished 6-of-10 passing for 76 yards for UNM.
Utah State got on the board early as DeMartino scored on an 8-yard run on its first offensive play of the game following a Mitchem fumble on New Mexico’s third offensive play that was recovered by Williams inside the Lobo’s 10 yard-line.
DeMartino scored Utah State’s second touchdown of the game on its next possession on a 21-yard pass from Garretson to make the score 14-0, and junior placekicker Nick Diaz added a 24 yard field goal late in the quarter to give the visitors a 17-0 advantage after one period.
Following a 32-yard New Mexico field goal, DeMartino scored his second rushing touchdown of the game on a 32-yard run after he rushed for 42 yards on the first play of the drive to push USU’s lead to 24-3.
Utah State scored its final touchdown of the first half on a 65-yard punt return by sophomore wide receiver Bruce Natson to give the Aggies a 31-3 lead at intermission. For Natson, it was his first-career kick return for a score and the first time USU returned a punt for a touchdown since 2007 when Kevin Robinson returned a 70-yard punt against Nevada.
DeMartino scored his fourth and final touchdown of the game on Utah State’s first series of the third quarter as he ran in from 38 yards out to cap a 4-play, 74-yard drive to give the Aggies a 38-3 lead.
Utah State’s final touchdown of the game came on a fourth-down play midway through the fourth quarter as junior punter Jaron Bentrude kept the ball on a called rugby punt and raced 72 yards down the right sideline to push USU’s lead to 45-3.
New Mexico concluded the scoring with a 2-yard run by Carrier with 6:21 to play in the game to make the final score 45-10.
Following its first of two bye weeks, Utah State will return home to host Hawai’i on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on the CBS Sports Network.