BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (AP) — Diego Pavia threw two touchdown passes and Dylan Early had a 57-yard interception return to propel New Mexico State to a 38-29 win over Western Kentucky on Saturday and into the Conference-USA championship game.
Eli Stowers had a 7-yard touchdown reception and 7-yard TD run for the Aggies (8-3, 6-1), who won the game by holding the ball almost 10 minutes and keeping Austin Reed off the field.
Reed threw for three touchdowns and ran for another for the Hilltoppers (5-4, 3-3), but the pick 6 with 2:57 to go pushed the NMSU lead to 38-21.
Reed's 72-yard connection with Elijah Young and his 13-yard run had Western Kentucky on top 14-0 midway through the first quarter.
Pavia's 4-yard pass to Trent Hudson put the Aggies on top 17-14 in the second quarter and his pass to Stowers late in the third helped regain the lead at 24-21.
Pavia was 14 of 24 for 141 yards with eight different receivers contributing.
Reed was 20 of 36 for 270 yards.
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