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

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

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.