LAS CRUCES, N.M. – Andrew McDonald threw for two touchdowns as New Mexico State avoided the FBS-Independent cellar by beating Idaho 24-16 on Saturday.
Idaho and New Mexico State, both trying to avoid the cellar position of FBS Independent schools, traded passing TDs and field goals in the first half before Idaho (1-11) added a late field goal for 13-10 halftime lead.
McDonald tossed a 7-yard TD to Austin Franklin and Adam Shapiro ran for another touchdown in the fourth quarter, giving New Mexico State (2-10) an advantage Idaho could not overcome.
The Vandals were held to a field goal in the second half. Idaho launched a final drive with 2 minutes left that ended with three incomplete passes from inside the New Mexico red zone.
Idaho outgained the Aggies 459 to 371 yards, but New Mexico State had only one penalty while Idaho gathered eight for 95 yards.