Nico Evans ran for career-best 190 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start, as the Wyoming Cowboys dominated 29-7 over New Mexico State Saturday night.

Evans, a senior, gave Wyoming the lead in the first quarter with a 24-yard touchdown run. After a safety and two field goals, Evans added a 56-yard TD in the third quarter that made it 22-0.

The other big storyline was the Cowboy defense. They held New Mexico State to 135 total yards of offense. That included negative 9 yards rushing. It was the fewest UW has allowed since they gave up 100 to Virginia in 2007. Most of it came on the Aggies late 10-play, 93-yard touchdown drive with 1:16 left in the game. The Cowboys defense didn’t allow a first down until 14 seconds left in the first half.

In a release from the university, Cowboys’ fifth-year head coach Craig Bohl was encouraged by his squad’s performance.

“To go on the road against a good opponent who won a Bowl game last season and earn a win it was a positive. New Mexico State is a tough team and we answered the bell. We will learn a lot from the tape and get ready for another tough opponent in Washington State next weekend.”

Wyoming out-gained New Mexico State 458-to-135. The Pokes ran for 321 yards. Redshirt freshman Xazavian Valladay added 61 yards rushing, while freshman Jevon Bigelow had 51 yards and a 23-yard touchdown in his first game as a Cowboy.

Bohl added about Evans’ effort, “We have seen signs of improvement from Nico (Evans) since spring ball and conditioning. He had a great night and we were pleased with the yardage. It is good to have three running backs in the backfield.”

In his first game in a UW uniform, redshirt freshman QB Tyler Vander Waal was 13-22 for 137 yards and no turnovers. Senior tight end Tyree Mayfield had four catches for 39 yards.

After Evans first score, the defense came through when Carl Granderson and Logan Wilson stopped the Aggies Jason Huntley in the end zone for a safety.

Wyoming added a pair of Cooper Rothe field goals from 36 and 39 yards away early in the second quarter for a 15-0 lead. It stayed that way until Evans second TD.

Tyler Hall led the UW defense with four tackles, including one for a loss. Sidney Malauulu added three tackles, including 1.5 for loss and one sack.

This was the Cowboys first victory in a road opener since 2011 at Bowling Green, 28-27.

UW returns to Laramie for their home debut next Saturday against Washington State. Kick-off is at 1:30 p.m. The Pokes are an early 3-point favorite.

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