The Aggies have had some long kickoff returns this season but it was a pair of long kickoff returns against them that did them in as they lost 27-22 to Utah State in Logan on Saturday afternoon after leading 17-10 at halftime. The Aggies out-gained Utah State 346-296, had more first downs 22 to 17, won the turnover battle 1-0 and won the time of possession battle 34:13 to 25:47 but came out on the short end of the scoreboard due in large part to kickoff returns of 84 yards and 68 yards by Utah State's Kerwynn Williams.
The Aggies jumped out to a 14-0 lead on Utah State as the Aggies would get a 58-yard touchdown drive on their very first possession with Matt Christian capping off the drive with a nine yard touchdown run. Later in the quarter the Aggies would get a five play 86 yard touchdown drive as Matt Christian would find Todd Lee for a 32-yard touchdown pass. The score put the Aggies up 14-0 with just 52 seconds left.
However, on the ensuing kickoff, Utah State's Kerwynn Williams would take the kickoff and return it 84 yards down to the New Mexico State 10 yard line. The Utah State's Derrvin Speight would rush for eight yards down to the Aggie two yard line and with one second left in the first quarter USU would call a timeout. Speight would score on the next play cutting the NM State lead down to a touchdown at 14-7.
In the second quarter NM State's Alphonso would intercept Diondre Borel on the Utah State 31 with 10:54 left in the second quarter. However, the Aggie offense would be unable to move the ball and the NM State would be forced to settle for a 46 yard field goal from Tyler Stampler. His attempt was good putting the Aggies ahead 17-7 with 10 minutes left to play in the half.
Utah State would answer on the ensuing possession as they would drive 55 yards on eight plays as their drive would stall on the NM State 27 yard line. Peter Caldwell would convert a 44 yard field goal to trim the Aggies' lead to just seven points at 17-10.
Neither team would score the remainder of the half and the Aggies would hold their second consecutive halftime lead at 17-10.
The two teams would trade punts on each of their first two possessions and Utah State would get the ball on their own 34 yard line with 6:11 left in the third quarter and drive 66 yards on eight plays as Diondre Borel would run for a three yard touchdown. The extra point would tie the game at 17 with 2:50 left in the third quarter.
After the two teams traded punts, the Aggies would get the ball on their own 20 yard line and drive down to the Utah State 27 yard line. However, their drive would stall backing them up to the USU 31 yard line where Tyler Stampler would attempt a 48 yard field goal. His career long try would be good putting the Aggies back on top 20-17 with 9:29 left to play.
Utah State would take the ensuing kickoff and return it 68 yards down to the Aggies' 25 yard line. A personal foul facemask penalty would tack on 13 yards to the return setting up Utah State at the NM State 12 yard line where two plays later they would get a two yard touchdown run from Diondre Borel to put them on top 24-20 after the extra point.
The Aggies would go 3-and-out on their next possession and Utah State would get the ball on their 35 yard line and would drive into NM State territory. The Aggie defense would appear to force Utah State into a 4th and 9 at the NM State 19, however, an unsportsmanlike penalty would be assessed on the Aggies giving Utah State a first and goal at the NM State 9-yard line. The Aggie defense would keep Utah State out of the endzone forcing a Peter Caldwell field goal attempt. Caldwell would hit the field goal putting Utah State up 27-20 with 2:44 left to play.
The Aggies would start on their own 12-yard line and would quickly advance to their own 42 yard line after pass completions of 10 yards to Taveon Rogers, and offside penalty against Utah State and another completion of 15 yards to Marcus Allen. Matt Christian would get a 13 yard pass completion to Kyle Nelson putting the ball on the Utah State 45 yard line. After a pair of incomplete passes put the Aggies in a 3rd-and-10 situation, a pass interference penalty on Utah State would move the ball down to the Utah State 34 yard line and give the Aggies a fresh set of downs. Matt Christian would complete a seven yard pass to William Frazier to put the Aggies on the Utah State 27 yard line but three consecutive incomplete passes would give the ball back to Utah State with 52 seconds left.
Utah State would run out the clock as they would take a safety on 4th and 16 from their own 21 making the final score 27-22 in favor of Utah State.
The Aggie defense held Diondre Borel to 11-of-22 passing for 110 yards, no touchdowns and an interception. Borel ran for 30 yards on 11 carries and one touchdown. Derrvin Speight rushed for 114 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown.
New Mexico State quarterback Matt Christian finished the day 17-of-34 for 191 yards and a touchdown. Kenny Turner rushed for 68 yards on 17 carries and also caught seven passes for 64 yards. Todd Lee had two receptions for 37 yards including a 32-yard touchdown reception.
Tyler Stampler finished with a pair of field goals including a career-long 48 yard attempt.
Taveon Rogers had six kickoff returns for 102 yards but was outperformed by Utah State's Kerwynn Williams who had five kickoff returns for 201 yards and averaged 40.2 yards per return and had returns of 84 and 68 yards.
The Aggies fall to 2-7 overall and 1-4 in WAC play. Utah State improves to 3-6 overall and 1-4 in conference play.