Laramie, WY (SportsNetwork.com) - Brett Smith accounted for 385 total yards and three touchdowns to lead the Wyoming Cowboys past the New Mexico Lobos, 38-31, in Mountain West Conference action at War Memorial Stadium.
Smith was 19-of-33 passing for 247 yards and a touchdown through the air while also adding a season-high-tying 138 rushing yards to go with two scores on the ground. Shaun Wick was outstanding out of the backfield with 116 yards and two touchdown on 17 carries for Wyoming (4-2, 2-0 MWC), which has won four of five. Jalen Claiborne finished with 61 yards and a touchdown on just two catches.
For New Mexico (2-4, 0-2), Cole Gautsche was also a dual threat with 156 passing yards, 113 rushing yards and two touchdowns, although his passing efficiency (11-of-21, INT) was lackluster. Kasey Carrier carried the ball 25 times for 104 yards for his third straight 100-yard rushing performance. Carrier also contributed 43 receiving yards and a touchdown on three receptions.
Wyoming came out firing on the game's first possession, and a six-play, 75- yard drive was capped off by an 11-yard touchdown rush by Wick to give the Cowboys an early lead. Wick added another scoring rush later in the first quarter, this time from 14 yards out.
The Cowboys' lead ballooned to 21 points early on the in the second quarter when Smith completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Claiborne to cap off a quick five-play, 79-yard drive.
The Lobos managed to avoid getting shutout in the first half, as Justus Adams connected on a 30-yard field goal in the final minute of the second quarter.
New Mexico was able to make up for lost time on the first possession of the second half, as Gautsche ripped off a 49-yard rushing score. After forcing Wyoming to punt, the Lobos struck again with an eight-yard touchdown rush by Jhurell Pressley to bring their deficit to just four, 21-17, with 7:18 remaining in the third quarter.
Wyoming stopped the New Mexico run with 3:51 left in the third when Stuart Williams connected on a 25-yard field goal, but the Lobos tied the game up at 24-24 early in the fourth quarter when Gautsche hooked up with Carrier on a 24-yard scoring strike.
The Cowboys effectively put the game away later in the fourth quarter by scoring two touchdowns less than two minutes apart. After Smith rushed in a three-yard score, Gautsche threw an interception to give the ball back to Wyoming. Smith struck again on the very next play, ripping off a 48-yard touchdown run.
New Mexico added a 23-yard touchdown from backup quarterback David Vega to Marquis Bundy with 1:06 remaining, but it did not recover the ensuing onside kick attempt as Wyoming held on.
Wyoming outgained New Mexico, 532 total yards to 436, but the Lobos still dominated time of possession (35:41).