Jadon Boatright returned an interception 40 yards for a score 76 seconds into the game, and New Mexico added three more first-quarter touchdowns on Saturday in a 59-17 romp of Louisiana-Monroe.
That was exactly the way the Lobos wanted to get the game started.
"We definitely we need turnovers," said Boatright of his first career interception. "We've been struggling turnover-wise so that definitely helped us out, especially at the beginning of the game, starting off the game with a pick-6 and getting us already up 7-0. That helped us a lot. As soon as I picked it, I saw all green; I knew I was going back with it."
Tyrone Owens finished with 171 yards rushing on nine carries, including an 83-yard scoring run, as New Mexico (4-3) piled up 476 yards on the ground.
The Lobos got touchdowns from eight different players, withElijah Lilly returning a kickoff 93 yards for a score to open the second half.
The lone bright spot of sorts for the Warhawks (2-5) came from reserve quarterback Caleb Evens, who completed 12 of 15 passes for 120 and one score.
But with three other runners topping 65 yards, New Mexico's three lost fumbles were not a factor.
The Lobos only completed seven passes - all to different receivers - for 146 yards; their third-best total of the season.
New Mexico's defense finished with five sacks and limited the Warhawks to 235 total yards.
New Mexico: After a series of close games (and one blowout loss to then-No. 19 Boise State), the Lobos needed to put the hammer down on somebody and Warhawks provided the perfect foil. It was a game that was never in doubt for New Mexico.
"This was great for our confidence," Lobos coach Bob Davie said. "It's no secret we gave up 40 points in a row for three weeks (games). But we did play offenses that really do keep you off balance."
With Louisiana-Monroe running an offensive scheme that New Mexico will see again as the season progresses, Davie was hoping to see just this kind of performance
"We knew we had a chance to get some rhythm tonight just because we've been kind of doing the things over and over," he said. "From a schematic standpoint, ULM is a lot like what Hawaii, Nevada, and really Utah State will be running so hopefully we can get on a little bit of a roll, defensively."
ULM: There was little for Louisiana-Monroe to take away from this performance as it was dominated from the outset and did little to remain competitive. Without quarterback Garrett Smith, redshirt freshman Will Collinsmissed all seven of passes with one interception before being replaced by Evans.
"We just got out coached, out played, really didn't have enough juice, not near enough juice and that's on me," said Warhawks coach Matt Viator. "We've got to be more ready to play than that. We've got to have more juice than that and we didn't. It's nothing really in particular because it was really the whole thing when you look at it. To come in and play a team like this, you better have some juice and we didn't."
New Mexico says aloha with a trip to the island Saturday, facing Hawai'i. The Lobos have won the last six meeting in the series.
Louisiana-Monroe, which has lost five of its last six, plays at Arkansas State on Saturday. The Red Wolves are tied for the top spot in the Sun Belt.