ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Demarcus Rogers rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown and freshman quarterback Cole Gautsche scored two rushing touchdowns to lead New Mexico to a 66-21 win Saturday over Southern in the season opener for both teams.
Gautsche had 88 yards on eight carries, including a 47-yard touchdown run on an option keeper.
The Lobos scored 38 points in the second quarter, as many as they totaled in the final six games last season.
"That's a pretty good first half of football," said new Lobos coach Bob Davie. "I don't care who you're playing, because the first game of the year, you're really playing yourself."
Southern turned the ball over four times and the Lobos turned each one into a touchdown, including three in the second quarter. Two of the scores came on returns — a 10-yard fumble return by Joseph Harris and a 39-yard interception return from Cranston Jones — and the other two came after scoring drives.
"You couldn't draw it up much better," said Davie, who coached his first game after 10 years as an ESPN sportscaster. "I know it was a tough week for Southern with Hurricane Isaac. They missed some practice."
New Mexico's Chase Clayton had a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Charles Hawkins had five receptions for 71 yards and a touchdown.
"We proved today that we can play and play solid as a team," Lobos linebacker Joe Stoner said with a grin. "This smile comes from a lot of hard work and it also comes from a lot of disappointment. I don't like to talk about the past, but the past wasn't great around here. But I feel it changing."