Scores

Final

UTEP 34

(1-0, 1-0 away)

New Mexico St 17

(0-1, 0-1 home)

Coverage: ESPNU

10:30 PM ET, September 3, 2005

Aggie Memorial Stadium, Las Cruces, NM

1 2 3 4 T
UTEP 14 17 0 334
NMSU 0 0 0 1717

Top Performers

Passing: R. Gill (NMSU) - 332 YDS, 2 TD, 2 INT

Rushing: T. Ebell (UTEP) - 19 CAR, 63 YDS

Receiving: P. Dombrowski (NMSU) - 15 REC, 127 YDS, 1 TD

UTEP 34, New Mexico State 17

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) -- The University of Texas-El Paso ruined the debut of New Mexico State coach Hal Mumme on Saturday with a 34-17 win.

UTEP's Jordan Palmer threw for three touchdowns and ran for another -- all by halftime -- in the opener for both rivals.

Palmer completed 15 of 26 passes for 187 yards, then rested in the fourth quarter with several other UTEP starters.

Mumme's "Air Raid" offense produced 330 total yards but struggled until the fourth quarter in front of a sellout crowd of 30,434 fans.

"We were hoping for a better outcome than this, but it was our first game together as a team," Mumme said.

He added: "I was really pleased with the way our kids competed in the second half. They didn't let down and we finally got the offense going."

UTEP led 7-0 after five minutes, when Palmer threw to Chris Francies for a 19-yard TD play. Palmer struck again with 6:26 remaining in the first period, finding Jamar Hunt for a 6-yard TD pass.

It was 21-0 in the opening minute of the second quarter after Palmer's 1-yard TD run. His third TD pass went to Tyler Ebell for a 28-0 lead with 13:51 before halftime. Ebell ran for 63 yards and caught three passes for 46 yards for UTEP after transferring from UCLA.

Reagan Schneider's 42-yard field goal completed UTEP's first-half scoring.

UTEP's defense force three interceptions and logged eight sacks, with linebacker Thomas Howard getting an interception, a sack and recovering a fumble.

NMSU didn't reach the end zone until 5:19 remained, when Royal Gill threw a 36-yard TD pass to wide-open Derek Dubois to pull the Aggies to 31-10. Gill added another TD pass in the final minute, to Paul Dombrowski.

Gill "came out a little shaky and we couldn't get anything going in the third quarter," Mumme said.

Gill completed 36 of 57 passes for 332 yards.

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