BYU routs New Mexico 40-7, is eligible for bowl

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PROVO, Utah (AP) -- The final home game for BYU's seniors turned into a big stage for the Cougar freshmen.

Jake Heaps threw two touchdown passes to fellow freshman Cody Hoffman and ran for another score as BYU earned bowl eligibility with a 40-7 win over New Mexico on Saturday.

A third freshman, Josh Quezada, ran for 107 yards and a touchdown as the Cougars (6-5, 5-2 Mountain West) won for the fifth time in six games.

Stump Godfrey threw for 125 yards and a touchdown and added 53 yards rushing for New Mexico (1-10, 1-6).

Heaps threw a 17-yard pass to Hoffman in the third quarter to give BYU a 27-0 lead, and the pair connected again on a 10-yard pass in the fourth period.

Heaps completed 18 of 32 passes for 231 yards. Hoffman caught five passes for 71 yards.

The victory completed BYU's rebound from a 1-4 start to qualifying for a bowl.

"There was a time this season I didn't think that would happen," Cougars head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "It seemed pretty daunting."

There was a time this season I didn't think that would happen...It seemed pretty daunting.

–Bronco Mendenhall

BYU's offense rolled to 494 total yards, 258 on the ground, and controlled the ball for 35 minutes despite committing 14 penalties.

The Cougars were helped by four New Mexico turnovers. Andrew Rich intercepted two Lobo passes in the fourth quarter.

BYU jumped to a 17-0 lead, scoring the first three times it got the ball. Turnovers set up the first two scores.

On the game's opening drive, Eathyn Manumaleuna dropped off the defensive line, stepped in front of Godfrey's screen pass to Kasey Carrier and returned the interception 30 yards to the New Mexico 12.

Three plays later, Heaps scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper.

Godfrey fumbled on the next drive, leading to Mitch Payne's 38-yard field goal.

Payne made two field goals and four extra points to become the MWC career leader in kicking points with 314, two more than his brother Matt, who also played at BYU.

New Mexico's lone score came on Godfrey's 13-yard touchdown pass to Quintell Solomon in the third quarter. Godfrey converted three third downs on the drive, two on runs of his own and the third on the scoring toss.

BYU led 20-0 at halftime.

Quezada's 41 rushing yards and 35 passing yards by Heaps set up BYU's third score of the first quarter, JJ Di Luigi's 4-yard run.

Payne added a 28-yard field goal in the final minute of the first half.

Quezada, Di Luigi and Bryan Kariya combined for 230 rushing yards on 34 carries. In the last six games, the trio has combined to rush for 193 yards a game and 12 touchdowns while averaging 4.9 yards per carry.

BYU held New Mexico to 100 rushing yards. The Cougars have allowed 72 rushing yards per game in going 5-1 since Oct. 9.

BYU and No. 25 Utah close the regular season against each other next week.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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