ALBUQUERQUE, NM – A career night from Joey DeMartino and a strong performance from Darell Garretson in his first collegiate start lead to big things for the Utah State football team in a 45-10 win over New Mexico on Saturday.
“It was all the guys around (Garretson),” USU head coach Matt Wells said. “Our O-line, our runningbacks, our tight ends. I thought we made some plays out on the perimeter. … The front seven won the game for us on both sides of the ball.”
DeMartino rushed for a career-high 144 yards and scored 4 touchdowns — three rushing and one receiving — and Garretson impressed with 144 yards passing and a touchdown as the Aggies raced past the Lobos.
It didn’t take long for USU to jump on top, capitalizing on a Lobo turnover with an 8-yard run from DeMartino for a 7-0 lead. The Aggies doubled their lead on their ensuing drive when Garretson hit DeMartino for a 21-yard passing touchdown, and it was 17-0 at the end of the first quarter.
DeMartino’s big day continued as the senior rushed for a 32-yard touchdown in the second quarter and a 38-yard scamper for another score in the third for a 38-3 lead.
“Good game. Good game by Joey,” Wells said. “I thought he ran hard. He’s been hobbled up and banged up and we need this bye week badly. I’m just so proud of these kids because so many kids are banged up, and some are playing new positions.”
The 32-yard score came one play after DeMartino broke away for a 42-yard run.
Adding insult to injury, USU punter Jaron Bentrude ran 72 yards down the sidelines for a touchdown when New Mexico didn’t apply any pressure on his punt, pushing the lead to 45-3 in the fourth quarter.
“That’s an automatic. We didn’t call that, it’s not a fake,” Wells said following the game. “When they don’t defend it and it’s there then the kid’s going to be aggressive and take it.”
“When it was happening I was just shaking my head on the sideline because I knew he ran for some (yards) much longer than I’ve ever ran on that. He did what he had to do,” DeMartino said.
USU held the nation’s second-ranked rushing attack to 158 yards — nearly 200 yards below the Lobos’ season average.
The Aggies amassed 338 yards on the ground, and cruised to their fourth win of the season to improve to 4-4. New Mexico fell to 2-5 on the season. USU improved to 3-1 in MWC play.
Utah State will have a week off before returning home to face Hawaii on Nov. 2 at Romney Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 2 p.m.