Sept. 27, 2003
By PETE HERRERA
AP Sports Writer
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - New Mexico's defense converted three New Mexico State turnovers into 17 third-quarter points as the Lobos rallied for a 24-17 victory Saturday night.
The game between the state's only two Division I schools was played before a crowd of 44,075, the largest ever to watch a college football game in New Mexico.
New Mexico (2-3) erased a 14-7 New Mexico State lead, by converting two interceptions and a fumbled punt by the Aggies into an 11-yard TD run by DonTrell Moore, a 43-yard field goal by Wes Zunker and a 7-yard scoring pass from Kole McKamey to Hank Baskett.
Moore's touchdown, his second of the game, and Zunker's field goal, occurred in the third quarter and McKamey's pass to Baskett came with 13:29 left in the game.
That score was set up by Ronshay Jenkins' fumble of a New Mexico punt deep in NMSU territory. Martin Lovato hit Jenkins just as the punt arrived and Lobo Kevin Walton recovered the ball at the NMSU 8.
Until New Mexico's defense took over, the combination of Jenkins and quarterback Buck Pierce had carried the Aggies (1-3).
Jenkins, a senior who had caught only one touchdown pass coming into the game, twice got behind New Mexico's secondary to score on pass plays of 39 and 72 yards in the second quarter. On the second score, New Mexico had only 10 players on the field.
Jenkins had eight catches for 200 yards.
Moore, who had 113 yards on 30 carries, gave New Mexico a 7-0 lead with a 2-yard run with 8:47 left in the first quarter. Moore rushed for 50 of the 72 yards in the nine-play drive.
New Mexico had three turnovers in the first half - two of them interceptions thrown by Casey Kelly. But the Aggies didn't get any points off the three turnovers, continuing a season-long pattern of failing to cash in on opponents' mistakes.
NMSU's defense has forced eight turnovers, but the offense has yet to convert any of them into points.
New Mexico State's only points in the second half were on a 31-yard field goal by Dario Aguiniga midway through the fourth quarter.