New Mexico State Coach Jim Hess, hoping to take a peek into the future, decided to start freshman option quarterback Cody Ledbetter instead of senior David Chisum against Cal State Fullerton Saturday.
But it wasn't until Hess went back to the past--and the pass--that the Aggies were able to secure a 35-12 Big West Conference victory over the Titans before 3,112 in Santa Ana Stadium.
Chisum, a Sunny Hills High and Fullerton College graduate who was not recruited by Fullerton, replaced Ledbetter early in the third quarter and completed eight of 10 passes for 118 yards and three touchdowns as New Mexico State turned a 14-6 game at halftime into a rout.
Chisum, playing before more than 50 relatives and friends, threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Atlas Reagor with 1:49 left in the third quarter to make it 21-6. He then connected with Reagor on a 39-yard scoring pass play and Todd Cutler on a seven-yarder in the fourth quarter to help New Mexico State, 1-7 overall and 1-3 in the conference, pull away from the Titans (1-7, 0-4).
The victory was a streak-buster for the Aggies, who:
--Had not won a game played in the state of California in 26 years, a 26-game span dating to a 14-6 victory at Pacific on Oct. 9, 1965.
--Had not won a road game in 20 consecutive attempts, dating to a 42-29 victory at Kansas on Oct. 1, 1988.
--Had not won a Big West road game in 27 tries.
The Titans also ended a drought by scoring a touchdown on Arthur Davis' one-yard run with 1:06 left in the game. Fullerton had gone 11 consecutive quarters without a touchdown.