College Football: New Mexico 38, Abilene Christian 14 - D1SportsNet


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College football

New Mexico 38, Abilene Christian 14

Lamar Jordan threw for a career-high 213 yards and a touchdown as New Mexico rolled to 481 yards of offense, and combined that with a stellar defensive effort for a 38-14 season-opening win over Abilene Christian.

Defensively, UNM put forth a terrific effort, scoring a touchdown and limiting the Wildcats to just eight yards rushing and 4.98 yards per passing attempt. The touchdown came in the fourth quarter after the Wildcats recovered a fumbled punt at the UNM 6-yard line. On fourth down from the UNM 5-yard line, Dallas Sealey's pass was picked off by Jake Rothschiller, and the defensive captain weaved his way 91 yards for his first career score.

UNM's defense actually got off to a slow start. After Richard McQuarley was stopped on fourth and goal at the 1-yard line, Abilene Christian drove 99 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead. However, UNM would roll to the next 38 points in putting the contest away.

First, the Lobos answered on a five-play, 71-yard drive highlighted by a Jordan to Chris Davis 27-yard pass. Another pass, this to Delane Hart-Johnson, set up Daryl Chestnut's first touchdown of the evening, a four-yarder for a 7-7 tie. After a missed 51-yard field goal by ACU, UNM went to the air again with Hart-Johnson hauling in a 47-yard bomb. Tyrone Owens then scored two plays later to make it 14-7, and the score stayed that way through halftime.

In the third UNM scored on its opening possession with a 75-yard drive that took eight plays. On that eighth play, Chestnut got a crucial block from Romell Jordan, springing him like a bullet for a 54-yard touchdown. Rothschiller on the next drive sacked Sealey, forcing a fumble that Alex Hart recovered, leading to a 25-yard Jason Sanders field goal, making it 24-7.

It stayed that way until the fourth and Rothschiller's 91-yard touchdown. UNM got its last score when on fourth and six from the Abilene Christian 36, Jordan lofted a pass down the sideline that was hauled in by ay Griffin IV for his first career catch and touchdown, making it 38-7.

ACU tacked on a touchdown with 14 seconds left to account for the final score.