New Mexico’s 361 rushing yards hurt the Bobcats’ defensive effort all night in Albuquerque as the Lobos took the victory 35-14 in front of 22,135 fans at University Stadium.
Lobo running back Kasey Carrier had 191 yards on 23 carries, an 8.3 yards per carry average and rushed for four touchdowns, one shy of a school record for rushing touchdowns in a game by a single player. New Mexico passed just three times, to 58 runs, in the game for nine yards.
Down 7-0, Bobcat kickoff returner and wide receiver Andy Erickson fumbled on the 23-yard line and the Lobos took advantage, returning the fumble down to the Bobcats’ one-yard line. New Mexico went on to take a 14-0 lead in the first eight minutes and never looked back. The Lobos scored 14 points off of four Texas State turnovers (the fumble and a Rutherford interception on the first play of the third quarter) and scored another touchdown following the Bobcats’ turnover on downs after a fake punt try. The Bobcats had a chance to drive and tie the game at 14 but failed to do so and punted possession away.
Despite Erickson’s fumble, he led Texas State in receiving yards with 100 on eight receptions and a 35-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter. Tight end Chase Harper had a 40-yard touchdown pass but only caught one other pass in the game for 11 yards.
Texas State was overpowered on both sides of the line, rushing for only 32 yards on 20 carries. Take away Rutherford’s 13-yard scamper and Texas State averaged zero yards per carry (19 carries, 19 yards). The Lobos had three different rushers run for over 75 yards including Carrier, along with quarterback Cole Gautsche (79) and running back Jhurell Pressley (78).
Rutherford’s night ended with 186 yards on 16 out of 21 completions with two touchdowns and the lone interception. Rutherford again was sat down in favor of Tyler Arndt in the fourth quarter, but said following the game that (Texas State) was just “trying to get Arndt some reps.” Arndt went five for 13 and threw two interceptions.