lightning storm delayed the game by one hour and 46 minutes with 1:46 left in the first half and NMSU leading 27-0. Much of the 19,227 in attendance hit the road for home.
The Ags, which were looking to rebound from last weekend's season-opening 66-7 loss at nationally-ranked Texas, had little problem moving against the 0-2 Mustangs.
NMSU outgained WNMU 465-178, had more time of possession and ran 24 more plays. "I think we executed better," NMSU coach Tony Samuel said. "We still have some things to work out. But we did some good things."
It was an effort the Aggies needed after last weekend's disappointing effort. The Aggies set the tone early on the very first drive of the game going 71 yards on 13 plays, capped by a 1-yard run by sophomore quarterback Paul Dombrowski.
Senior I-back Eric Higgins, who missed last week's game with a groin injury, had 49 yards on the drive in his only action of the night. The Aggies struck again with 1:25 left in the first quarter as a Ronshay Jenkins punt return and a face mask penalty gave NMSU the ball at the Mustang 27.
Three plays later Dombrowksi found the end zone again and NMSU was up 14-0. "We did some good things offensively," Dombrowski said. "But we still have to work on executing. We had some breakdowns, but we moved the ball well."
The second quarter was all NMSU as it took its first drive and went 69 yards on 12 plays that ate up nearly seven minutes on the clock. Buck Pierce capped the drive with a 1-yard plunge. On the drive I-back Keith Mouton ran for 27 yards and I-back Tony Joseph added 17 as the Ags took a 21-0 lead. Joseph ran for 47 yards in the opening half.
"We got some good work in," Mouton said. "But I don't think we've played our best game offensively. We're still working on some things." NMSU made it 27-0 before the storm delay as Pierce hit Chris Duncan from 16-yards out for a score. It was Duncan's first career touchdown. The Ags outgained the visitors from Silver City 244-115 in the opening 30 minutes. The Ags gained 183 yards on the ground.
"This was a much needed win for us," NMSU safety Matt Griebel said. "We had to come out and work on things and just get better. Last week's loss hurt. Some of the guys were down, but we were able to come back and get this game and we are happy to win. It was tough at first for the defense, they did some things differently. But I thought we did fine after we settled in." NMSU added three scores in the second half. The Ags scored on their first drive of the half, going 62 yards on seven plays capped by a nine-yard scoring run from Mouton. Preston Williams helped set up the run with a 39-yard catch from Dombrowski.
The Ags upped their lead to 41-0 on their second drive of the half after Tony Bostic capped a seven-play, 63-yard drive with a 7-yard touchdown run. Western New Mexico got on the board with 4:14 left in the third quarter after Marty Hysen nailed a 50-yard field goal to cap a seven-play, 34-yard drive.
NMSU scored again right before the end of the third quarter to cap the scoring on the night as Mouton scored again on a 17-yard run. The score was set up by a 35-yard pass from Pierce to Chris Lumpkin.
NMSU outgained Western New Mexico 205-40 in the third quarter. Mouton led the Aggies for the second straight week in rushing with 62 yards, while Bostic had 54. Duncan led the Ags in receiving with four catches for 44 yards, both career-highs.
The Aggies are at Oregon State next Saturday. OSU lost to Fresno State on Friday. The last time NMSU and OSU met was two years ago in Las Cruces with the Beavers pulling out a 27-22 win. "We have to come out and have a good week of practice and just get better," Griebel said. "We've still got some progress to make and I think we are making that progress."