LAS CRUSES, N.M. (AP) Jacob Cowing had a career-high 158 yards receiving, including a 59-yard score, and UTEP opened the season with a 30-3 victory over New Mexico State on Saturday night.

Cowing's yardage came on just five catches, including one for 72 yards, as he finished with his sixth career 100-yard game. Gavin Hardison was 11-of-16 passing for 249 yards and an interception.

UTEP rolled to a 20-3 halftime lead with Hardison throwing for 154 yards, 104 to Cowing, before the duo combined for their long score just over a minute into the second half. Ronald Awatt and Deion Hankins rushed for touchdowns and Gavin Baechle kicked three field goals.

The Miners, 3-5 last fall, returned all 11 starters on offense and eight on defense as they outgained the Aggies 452-190.

New Mexico State didn't play in 2020 and split two games in the spring. The Aggies were playing at home for the first time since a 44-35 victory over the Miners on Nov. 23, 2019.

This was the 98th meeting between the programs, the first coming in 1914.


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