LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico State grabbed its first win of the 2023 season after beating FCS program Western Illinois, 58-21, at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.

The win was a well needed one for New Mexico State after they dropped its season opener against UMass last Saturday.

New Mexico State’s offense put up 650 total yards (270 rushing, 380 passing). Diego Pavia went 16-for-20 collecting 317 passing yards and two passing touchdowns. Backup quarterback Eli Stowers got some snaps in at QB when New Mexico State was in goal line position. Stowers had one rushing touchdown.

New Mexico State’s running back group combined for four total touchdowns on the night. Star Thomas led the way with two touchdowns and 96 rushing yards on 12 carries. Freshman running back Makhilyn Young rushed for 34 yards and had a rushing touchdown. Ahmonte Watkins had 21 rushing yards on four carries and a rushing touchdown.

NMSU wide receiver Jonathan Brady led all receivers with 102 receiving yards on four receptions and one receiving touchdown.

New Mexico State’s defense held Western Illinois’ offense to 251 total yards. J.J. Dervil and Keyshaun Elliott each had seven total tackles. The defense combined for 61 total tackles and 11 tackles for loss. Nikhil Webb Walker had 1.5 sacks on the night.

New Mexico State (1-1, 0-0 Conference USA) will now hit the road and play its first away game of the 2023 season. The Aggies, in its first CUSA game of the season, will take on Liberty at Williams Stadium in Lynchburg, Virginia on Saturday, Sept. 9.