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Lobos gain 633 yards

10/25/2003

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- New Mexico ensured Utah's first appearance
in the national rankings in seven years will be a short one.

DonTrell Moore ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns and D.D. Cox
added 106 yards and a score as the Lobos gained 633 yards in a
47-35 victory over the Utes (No. 23 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) on Saturday.

"That's just awesome explosion and it's just getting starting.
It's just a preview of our team and the success we can have,"
Moore said.

The Lobos (5-3, 2-1 Mountain West) were nearly as effective on
defense, holding the Utes to 300 yards -- 91 below their average. It
was New Mexico's first win over a ranked opponent since 1994 -- a
23-21 upset of then-No. 9 Utah -- and the first time the Lobos won
on the road against a ranked team since beating No. 13 Arizona
44-34 exactly 28 years before Saturday.

"It feels real good to go down in history, but it's really what
we expect of ourselves," said linebacker Billy Strother, who
returned a blocked punt 3 yards for a touchdown in the second
quarter.

The Utes (6-2, 3-1) came out flat and allowed the most points
they had since a 51-10 loss to Rice in 1996, which had been their
last game as a ranked team. Utah was No. 20 before the loss to the
Owls.

On Saturday, The Utes couldn't shut down New Mexico when they
needed to most. The Lobos converted 8 of 18 third downs and had
five plays go for 40 yards or more.

"We had our chances. Any time the offense scores 35 points, you
should win the football game -- no matter what the circumstances
are," Utah defensive coordinator Kyle Wittingham said.

The Utes were the only Mountain West team without a league loss
and could have clinched the MWC title outright by winning their
last four games, but they never recovered from a sluggish first
half.

"If they were overlooking us, than that's kind of unfortunate
because we're never going to overlook anybody," Moore said. "Best
of luck to them for the rest of the year. They're a good team and
they deserve to win some games, but today we wanted it more."

Alex Smith, who was off target early in the game, completed 18
of 32 passes for 220 yards and four touchdowns, but most of Smith's
offense came as the Utes tried to rally in the second half.

Mike Liti came in when Brandon Warfield left with a sprained
knee in the first quarter and ran for 81 yards and a touchdown on
13 carries, but gained just a yard after halftime for the Utes.

Wes Zunker kicked four field goals for New Mexico and Casey
Kelly was 9-of-23 for 226 yards and a touchdown and ran 15 times
for 68 yards for the Lobos. From the end of the second quarter to
early in the third, New Mexico scored on five straight possessions
to turn a 14-13 deficit into a 36-14 lead.

"We went after them and we were aggressive," Kelly said. "Our
emotional level and intensity coming out of halftime was almost
something we haven't seen around here before. It was what we
needed."

The Lobos scored on their first play of the second half when
Kelly threw a 57-yard touchdown pass to Adrian Boyd to put New
Mexico up 23-14.

New Mexico forced a quick punt by Utah and needed just two plays
to score again. Kelly threw a 40-yard pass to Dwight Counter, then
Cox ran 20 yards for a score and a 30-14 lead. The Lobos had the
ball for a combined 22 seconds on both scoring drives.

Adrian Byrd, who finished with 98 yards rushing, had a 78-yard
run on the next drive that ended with a 23-yard field goal by
Zunker, who added a 36-yarder on the next possession.

Utah finally snapped New Mexico's 23-0 scoring run after Morgan
Scalley returned a kick 89 yards and Smith threw an 11-yard
touchdown pass to Steve Savoy with 4:22 left in the third quarter.
But the Lobos stopped Paris Warren's 2-point conversion attempt,
then marched 78 yards to take a 44-20 lead on Moore's 35-yard
touchdown run with 1:04 left in the third quarter and squash Utah's
hopes of coming back.

"We'll have to take care of the mistakes next week. We're not
proud of giving up that many yards and points," Scalley said.
"This team has a lot of character and we'll just have to fix it
next week."

Utah caught a few breaks to take a 14-13 lead in the second
quarter. Dave Revill pounced on a fumble for Utah at the New Mexico
18 and Liti scored his first career touchdown five plays later on a
2-yard run to make it 7-0 Utah.

The Utes' second touchdown came on a floating, 21-yard pass from
Smith to Savoy that easily could have been intercepted. New
Mexico's Gabriel Fulbright waited in the end zone as the ball
wobbled through the air, but Savoy stepped around Fulbright and
made the catch.

Billy Strother scored on a blocked punt that gave New Mexico a
13-7 lead.