PROVO, Utah (AP) — Freshman Lopini Katoa had 19 carries for 155 yards rushing and four touchdowns, all season highs, and the BYU defense forced six three-and-outs to help the Cougars beat New Mexico State 45-10 on Saturday night and become bowl eligible.
Katoa came in with 57 carries for 268 yards and four touchdowns in 10 career games. Matt Hadley added two rushing touchdowns, including a 40-yarder midway through the second quarter that gave BYU (6-5) the lead for good at 14-7.
Each team went three-and-out on its first possession and then Josh Adkins hit Drew Dan for a 17-yard touchdown to cap a 13-play, 85-yard drive and give New Mexico State (3-8) a 7-0 lead. The Aggies offense, however, began to sputter with four three-and-outs, two interceptions and a missed 47-yard field-goal attempt on its next seven possessions. Katoa scored on runs of 15 and 13 yards in the second quarter before Skyler Southam’s 23-yard field goal as time expired made it 31-7 at halftime.
Adkins was 25-of-61 passing for 264 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions.