LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Kaidon Salter accounted for four touchdowns and Liberty defeated New Mexico State 33-17 in a Conference USA opener on Saturday night.
Salter had two short touchdown runs to go with TD passes of 40 yards to CJ Daniels and 24 yards to Bentley Hanshaw.
The Flames (2-0) piled up 526 yards on offense. Salter completed 15 of 25 passes for 276 yards and Daniels had 129 receiving yards. Quinton Cooley ran for 106 yards to lead a rushing attack that racked up 250 yards and Billy Lucas contributed 90 yards rushing.
Salter's touchdown pass to Hanshaw gave the Flames a 20-17 lead in the second quarter and a short field goal by Teagen Lenderink put Liberty up 23-17 at the half. Salter added a 2-yard scoring run and Lenderink added another short field goal to close out the scoring in the third quarter.
After scoring 17 points in the first half, the Aggies struggled after halftime with a fumble, a 3-and-out and an interception on their first three possessions.
Diego Pavia had 150 yards passing and led NMSU (1-2) with 65 yards rushing.