ODESSA, Texas — While Eastern New Mexico University may normally be a run-heavy option team, the Greyhounds used a balanced attack to leave Texas with a 34-3 Lone Star Conference football win over Texas-Permian Basin on Saturday night.
ENMU (4-2, 4-1 LSC), which moved into second place in league standings behind fourth-ranked Midwestern State (5-0, 4-0), got 260 yards passing to go with three touchdowns and 105 yards rushing from redshirt freshman quarterback Wyatt Strand of Logan, who became the first Greyhounds quarterback to run for at least 100 yards and pass for 200 in the same game since at least the 1998 season.
“Great job,” ENMU coach Josh Lynn said on Monday of Strand, who completed 12-of-19 passes with one interception. “I was extremely proud of how Wyatt handled himself in the pocket. He made some guys miss and then threw good balls. He was real smart with the football.”
Lynn said before the game he was planning on throwing the ball a little more than usual, but wasn’t expecting to throw that much. His reason for doing so, however, was UTPB’s defensive alignments.
“They were loading the box (area from tackle to tackle),” Lynn said. “The scheme they started playing meant we had to throw the ball since they had too many men in the box. The point was to make us pass and, thank goodness, we were able to do it.
“I’m really glad our play-action game worked. We needed that to come along, and I think it helped to have this game where we completed what we did in play-action.”
Aaron Johnson benefited most from the passing game as he finished with nine catches for 139 yards, the most he’s had since last year’s Heart of Texas Bowl game.
“Aaron had a great game,” Lynn said. “He went out and made some catches. He didn’t just catch passes, but he went out there and competed for those catches.”
UTPB (2-4, 0-4) was outmatched in nearly every aspect of the game. The Hounds had the ball for 40 minutes, and also finished the night with a 524-208 edge in total yards and a 26-11 margin in first downs.
Kamal Cass was not able to play from his injury suffered in the Wagon Wheel game the week before against West Texas A&M, but his cohorts picked up the slack. Chivasiay Gallagher, Cass’ actual replacement, finished with 69 yards.
“It’s nice to have Cass, but you feel pretty comfortable with the other backs, and Wyatt as well, running the ball,” Lynn said.
ENMU starts a two-game homestand on Saturday with its 3 p.m. Homecoming game against LSC foe Tarleton State at Greyhound Stadium.
ENMU uses balanced attack to win