New Mexico St. 45, Texas-El Paso 17
LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) _ Cody Ledbetter passed for four touchdowns and Lucious Davis became New Mexico State’s career leader in receiving yards as the Aggies beat Texas-El Paso 45-17 on Saturday night.
Ledbetter completed 16 of 27 passes for 269 yards with one interception. A senior and three-year starter, Ledbetter outdueled UTEP redshirt freshman John Rayborn, who was making his first collegiate start.
The Aggies led 9-3 at halftime behind Ledbetter’s first touchdown pass, a 15-yarder to Duane Gregory in the first period, and a safety when New Mexico State’s defense forced Rayborn to fumble and UTEP’s Jason Blair recovered the ball in the end zone.
The Aggies pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Miners 22-7 in the third quarter. Kirk Compton scored on a 13-yard run and Ledbetter added a 2-yard rushing TD as the Aggies went ahead 24-3.
Rayborn, who completed 10 of 18 passes for 122 yards with two interceptions, connected with Alvin Black on an 8-yard touchdown pass with 1:39 left in the third period. But Ledbetter answered only 49 seconds later, connecting with Davis on a 75-yard scoring pass.
On that play, Davis became the Aggies’ receiving yardage leader. He finished the game with 90 yards, and his 1,841 career yards surpassed Alvin Warren’s 1,780 yards from 1987-90.
In the fourth quarter, Ledbetter added an 8-yard TD pass to Davis and an 11-yard TD pass to Charles Birdwell for a 45-10 lead.
It was the 75th meeting between the schools, located 40 miles apart, and the 50th consecutive year the teams have met in a series dating to 1914. UTEP leads the series 42-31-2.
The Aggies scored the most points against UTEP since a 64-0 win in 1922.