LARAMIE, Wyo.—After watching Wyoming's three-touchdown lead evaporate during the second half against New Mexico, defensive end Eddie Yarbrough had no doubts on who was going to step up and make the play to lift the Cowboys.

"When it's on the line and we know we need a score, we know we need a play made I wouldn't have anybody else back there besides Brett Smith," Yarbrough said. "I knew he was going to make the plays because he's just an awesome athlete and a great guy, so I knew it was going to happen for us."

Smith ran for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, leading Wyoming past New Mexico 38-31 on Saturday.

Smith rushed for 138 yards and scored on runs of 3 and 48 yards. He also completed 19 of 33 passes for 247 yards and a TD.

Shaun Wick rushed for 116 yards and two TDs for Wyoming (4-2, 2-0).

Cole Gautsche led New Mexico (2-4, 0-2) with 113 rushing yards and a touchdown. He also passed for 156 yards and a TD. Kasey Carrier rushed 104 yards for the Lobos.

New Mexico, which entered the game averaging 367.8 rushing yards a game—tops among major colleges 7/8— finished with 257 yards on the ground.

"We went out and held them to 250 yards and really, only 87 in the first half," Wyoming coach Dave Christensen said. "We had to attack their running game and that's what we did."

Wyoming scored on three of its first four possessions for a 21-0 lead, but the Lobos fought back, tying the game 24-24 early in the fourth quarter.


Gautsche led the comeback with a 49-yard TD run and a 24-yard TD pass to Carrier.

But Smith capped off an 11-play, 75-yard drive with a 3-yard TD run to put Wyoming ahead again 31-24 with 10:34 left.

On New Mexico's ensuing possession, Jesse Sampson intercepted a pass by Gautsche, setting up Wyoming's offense at the Lobos 48-yard line.

The interception was the third turnover on the day by the Lobos. New Mexico saw two promising drives in the first quarter stopped by fumbles. The Lobos have fumbled the ball 11 times this year, losing six.

"We have a lot of young guys on this team, but we just have to understand that the most important thing in this game is the ball," Carrier said. "Without the ball you can't do anything, so you have to take care of it."

On the next play, Smith went around the right side and scampered untouched 48 yards to put the Cowboys up 38-24.

"The play that we were in was designed for the exact defense that they were in," Smith said.

Lobos senior linebacker Dallas Bollema said facing a dual-threat quarterback like Smith is tough on a defense.

"We did all right for the most part today, but there were a couple plays where he broke it to the outside and that's what a guy like Brett Smith does," Bollema said.

New Mexico scored once more on a 23-yard pass from David Veba, who took over at quarterback when Gautsche suffered a leg injury, to Marquis Bundy with 1:53 remaining.

Wyoming recovered the onside kick and ran the clock out.