Quarterback Taylor McHargue ran for three touchdowns, two in the first quarter, and threw for one more to lead Rice to a 45-19 rout of New Mexico State on Saturday night at Aggie Memorial Stadium in Las Cruces.
McHargue, a 6-foot-2 senior, led the 5-2 Owls to a 21-3 first quarter lead before the Aggies cut it to 21-12 midway through the second quarter on an 85-yard touchdown pass from King Davis III to Austin Franklin. The point after was blocked, and McHargue soon blocked NMSU’s upset bid with a 17-yard TD pass to Jordan Taylor with just more than a minute left in the half.
McHargue scored his last touchdown late in the third quarter to make it 35-12.
The Aggies are 0-7 under first-year head coach Doug Martin and have lost 18 straight games.
Davis made his second career start for New Mexico State, but did not finish the game due to injury. He was 6-of-14 for 113 yards passing. He was 5-of-10 for 104 yards in the first half.
Junior running back Brandon Betancourt marked his second-consecutive 100-yard rushing game for the Aggies, with 103 yards on 17 carries.
Senior Andrew McDonald replaced Davis in the third quarter and led the Aggies down the field on an 11-play, 75-yard scoring drive.
McDonald scored on a 2-yard run, his second rushing touchdown on the season, and cut the count to 35-19 with 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
The Aggies play Abilene Christian next Saturday for their homecoming game.