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New Mexico 38, New Mexico State 3

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) -- On the field, D.D. Cox was headed for a
highlight film kind of night.

On the sidelines, DonTrell Moore was in a cart, his birthday
night over and his status for New Mexico's collision with No. 14
Utah next week in doubt.

New Mexico's 38-3 romp Saturday night over New Mexico State was
bittersweet indeed.

Cox ran for three touchdowns and 110 yards and New Mexico shut
down New Mexico State's stagnant offense as the Lobos (2-2) had no
trouble beating the Aggies (1-3) for the 29th time in the last 36
games of a series that started in 1893.

But the Lobos' most lopsided win ever in Las Cruces was tempered
by the injury to Moore. The leading rusher in the Mountain West
Conference who turned 22 on Saturday, left the game early in the
third quarter with a strained ligament in his left knee.

Moore, who last year rushed for a single season school record of
1,450 yards, was hit while trying to field a punt and was carted
off the field moments before Cox's third score gave the Lobos a
24-0 lead with 9:02 left in the third quarter.

Moore wasn't talking after the game, and New Mexico coach Rocky
Long felt compelled to defend the use of his star running back to
return punts.

"We can't worry about players getting hurt," Long said. "You
put your great athletes out there and try to get them the ball."

Cox, who had rushed for just 50 yards in the Lobos' first three
games, also scored in the first half on runs of 10 and 1 yard.
Before Moore was injured, the duo took turns running through huge
holes in the Aggies' defensive front. Moore had 92 yards on 17
carries.

"Me and DonTrell are a two-headed monster," said Cox, who last
season rushed for 642 yards, including a career-high 187 against
Texas Tech.

New Mexico's defense was equally monstrous.

New Mexico State had 1 yard of offense in the first quarter and
two first downs and 41 yards in the first half. The Aggies didn't
get a first down until the 12:05 mark of the second quarter and
finally crossed midfield on a run by Justine Buries on the final
play of the third quarter.

That drive enabled the Aggies to avoid the shutout, with Ryan
Guardia's 27-yard field goal with 12:41 left in the game.

The Aggies finished with 124 total yards, with 53 of them in the
fourth quarter. Among the few bright spots was a career-high 16
tackles by linebacker Jimmy Cottrell.

New Mexico finished with 409 total yards, 321 of them rushing.

"They ran the ball right at us and beat us," NMSU coach Tony
Samuel said.

"We thought they might run a pass a little more, but once they
established their run, they were going to come after us," said
Aggie linebacker Simon Ocampo.

The Lobos led 17-0 at halftime after Wes Zunker hit a 23-yard
field goal with two seconds left in the half.

Zunker's field goal was set up by an 18-yard run by Moore to the
NMSU 35 and a 23-yard run by quarterback Kole McKamey.

The Lobos' lead would have been larger if not for the Aggies'
first interception of the season -- by Shukree Shabazz -- on a pass
into the end zone by McKamey intended for Hank Baskett.

The margin of victory was the biggest for New Mexico in Las
Cruces ever and the 38 points were the most scored by the Lobos
since a 56-31 New Mexico win in 1994.

"Going in we were going to try to run the ball in one back
sets, two back sets and the option," Long said. "It worked very
well."

Even after Moore went down.

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