In a back-and-forth game the New Mexico Lobos look like they were going to get the win in regulation over the UTEP Miners when the defense made a three-and-out stop, and then proceeded to score consecutive touchdowns to take a 35-28 lead on a 17-yard run by Clayton Mitchem with 7:47 left in the contest.
UTEP's last drive of the game worked as they drove 70 yards to tie the game on an Aaron Jones rushing touchdown from 8 yards out to force overtime.
New Mexico received the ball first in overtime and scored on a 21-yard run by Kasey Carrier to go up by seven points, and in return the Lobos defense made another stand on fourth-and-1 on the 4-yard line to secure a 42-35 win.
This game belonged to Carrier who rushed the ball 41 times for 291 yards, scored four touchdowns and averaged 7.1 yards per carry. The Miners had no answer for the Lobos pistol and run-based option attack, and as a team New Mexico ended up with 395 rushing yards on the ground, plus six touchdowns.
Mitchem was playing quarterback for the injured Cole Gautsche had a decent game with 51 rushing yards plus two touchdowns and he actually threw the ball reasonably well considering the type of offense by completing 4 of 7 passes for 88 yards, most of which came in the second half. The big pass play of the game was a 29-yard strike to Reece White early in the fourth quarter, and that play set up a 2-yard Carrier touchdown run that tied the game at 28.
Mitchem is not the runner that Gautsche is but he does seem to be competent in the passing game. For New Mexico, a win is a win, so look for Mitchem to be the quarterback until Gautsche is cleared to play, but even when that happens Davie mentioned that the best quarterback to help them win will get the start.
There was a good amount of hype surrounding UTEP's new quarterback Jameill Showers, a Texas A&M transfer, and the Lobos defense did a decent job in not allowing Showers to have a big game. He did have a high completion percentage by converting 15 of 20 but that only added up to 119 yards; Showers also rushed for another 44.
Playing a close game down to the wire helped this team learn how to win a game, and is just the type of win to give New Mexico motivation going on the road to face Pitt next week.