New Mexico’s Chase Clayton (25) and teammate Tevin Newman stop UNLV’s Deante’ Purvis (26) in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, in Albuquerque, N.M. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Journal, Jim Thompson)
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Demarcus Rogers scored a 2-yard touchdown with 1:15 left Saturday as New Mexico defeated UNLV 21-14 for its first victory of the season.
Rogers’ run capped a 34-yard drive set up by Jaymar Latchison’s fumble recovery with 1:58 remaining.
“It was a great momentum changer,” said New Mexico linebacker Carmen Messina, who caused the fumble by stripping Rebels quarterback Taylor Barnhill.
“Right when we got the ball, I knew the offense was going to punch it in. .I got on the side of him and just ripped it out. I ripped it out too fast because I was trying to recover it myself, but Jaymar got on top of it.”
New Mexico (1-9, 1-4 Mountain West) opened the game with an 80-yard touchdown catch-and-run from wide receiver Deon Long, then Rogers added a 1-yard touchdown midway through the first quarter as the Lobos topped their first-quarter scoring output for the entire season.
“We’ve been looking for ways to start fast,” said New Mexico coach George Barlow. “That’s what we’ve been trying to do the last few weeks. We wanted to start fast and start with some confidence. . This week we hit the big one and the guys had some confidence.”
Crusoe Gongbay had a career-high 93 yards on 13 carries for New Mexico, while quarterback B.R. Holbrook was 15 of 23 for 274 yards.
UNLV’s Dionza Bradford rushed for a career-high 152 yards on 20 carries, but the Rebels (2-7, 1-3) could only manage 61 yards through the air.