Richard McQuarley ran in three touchdowns and New Mexico held off San Jose State's fourth-quarter rally for a 48-41 win Saturday.
New Mexico led 41-20 three minutes into the fourth quarter before the Spartans scored two quick touchdowns. But San Jose State (1-4, 0-1 Mountain West) twice had the ball with a chance to drive for the tying touchdown and instead went three-and-out.
The game marked the return of Spartans quarterback Kenny Potter, who missed the last game with a leg injury. He played with a brace on his right leg and at times appeared to be limping while finishing with 314 yards and three touchdowns.
With Lamar Jordan, noted as more of a running quarterback, in for the injured Austin Apodaca, the Lobos (2-2, 1-0) returned to its ground attack, grinding out 448 rushing yards. Teryion Gipson led the attack with 156 yards and a touchdown. McQuarley finished with 83 yards on 16 carries and Tyrone Owens had 117 yards on 16 carries.
San Jose State's Tim Crawley had a touchdown reception and run.
THE TAKEAWAY: New Mexico had double-digit leads in its previous two games and let both games get away. But this time the defense stiffened when it needed to, then the offense put together a 79-yard touchdown drive late in the fourth quarter to seal it.
San Jose State has allowed an average of 41 points per game so far this season and is giving up chunks of yards.
NEW MEXICO: The Lobos take on Boise State Oct. 8. The Broncos are looking for paybacks after New Mexico came out of Boise with a rare win last year.
SAN JOSE STATE: The Spartans play host to Hawai'i Oct. 8. In the last three years, the visiting team has won each meeting between the schools.