LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico State earned its first win of the 2022 season and Jerry Kill era after beating Hawai’i 45-26 at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.

New Mexico State finally had their breakout game where they could see what their team is capable of. The Aggies posted 438 total yards on offense. 357 of them came from the Aggies’ run game.

Star Thomas and Jamoni Jones formed a powerful one-two punch combo in the backfield. Thomas ran for 144 yards on 11 carries and had one touchdown. Meanwhile, Jones had 59 yards on 12 carries with two rushing touchdowns. The Aggies posted five rushing touchdowns on the day.

Freshman quarterback Gavin Frakes also contributed to the run game. Frakes collected 78 rushing yards on six carries along with a rushing touchdown. On the passing end, Frakes finished the night with 8 completions on 14 attempts, one passing touchdown, and one interception.

New Mexico State entered halftime with a 35-10 lead.

In the second half, the Aggies were outscored 16-10 by the Rainbow Warriors but they were able to hang on for a 45-26 win.

This marks the first win not only of the 2022 season but the first in the Jerry Kill era at New Mexico State. It is a massive weight lifted off the shoulders of the Aggies after starting the season out 0-4.

“I told them they’ve been playing so tight and trying so hard. I said ‘Hey, there is a party in Las Cruces and it starts at 6. I don’t know when its going to end, I don’t care right now, but I just want to win,” said Kill. “The only way you’re going to win is to go out there and have fun and I think the kids had fun.”

“There is nothing better than the victory lap. You know our fans and the people here that want to win so bad and those kids appreciate it,” said Kill. “Like I said, we are still a long way away but it is good to get started and get a win under our belt.

The Aggies will look to carry the momentum into their next game against FIU (1-2, 0-1 Conference USA) next Saturday, Oct. 1 at Aggie Memorial Stadium.