LOGAN, Utah – Utah State got 114 rushing yards from running back Derrvin Speight and scored 17 second-half points to defeat New Mexico State 27-22 Saturday.
Utah State (3-6, 1-4 Western Athletic Conference) took its first lead with 9:07 to play in the game when quarterback Diondre Borel pitched to Eric Moats on an option run for a 12-yard score, giving USU a 24-20 edge.
On its next possession, USU got a 24-yard field goal by Peter Caldwell.
New Mexico State (2-7, 1-4) tried to tie the game on a fourth-down play with 57 seconds to play, but USU's Quinton Byrd knocked down the pass attempt. NMSU's scoring in the second half came on a career-long 48-yard field goal by Tyler Stampler and a last-second safety as USU ran out the clock. NMSU blew first-half leads of 14-0 and 17-7.
"We were working it and rolling in the first half," said NMSU coach DeWayne Walker. "In the second half we couldn't get anything generated offensively. I knew with their quarterback that they would try to make a run at us in the second half."
USU tied the game at 17 on a 3-yard run by Borel with 2:50 left in the third quarter, his sixth running TD of the season.
Quarterback Matt Christian was responsible for two NMSU scores in the first half, running 7 yards for a touchdown on NMSU's first possession.
Later in the first quarter, he found Todd Lee on a 32-yard pass for a score, giving the visiting Aggies a 17-10 halftime edge.
Speight's 114 yards comprised the first 100-plus yard game of the season for a USU running back.
USU also benefited from 201 kick-return yards from Kerwynn Williams, including runbacks of 84 and 68 yards. Both returns set up USU TDs.
"On those two kickoffs it was very disappointing. They really hurt us, especially the second one. We were starting to make our run, and we had some momentum," Walker said.