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Aggies Fall To Georgia Southern 36-28 | bleedCrimson.net :: Your Source for NMSU Aggies Sports News

Aggies Fall To Georgia Southern 36-28

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State football team fell to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the Sun Belt Conference, Saturday, Oct. 4, after losing 36-28 to conference opponent Georgia Southern at Aggie Memorial Stadium in the Tough Enough to Wear Pink game.

Tyler Rogers recorded 329 yards through the air on 34-of-48 passing with three interceptions. Rogers also had a productive night on the ground, going for 49 yards on ten attempts. Brandon Betancourt led the Aggies with 65 yards on the ground on 11 carries, recording two touchdowns.

Larry Rose III and Xavier Hall had a combine 65 yards rushing and a touchdown each. Teldrick Morgan led all receivers with 100 yards on ten catches. Joshua Bowen added 92-yards and Jerrel Brown had 73-yards as well.

Georgia Southern’s Kevin Ellison led the Eagles with 150 yards and two touchdowns on 17 carries. L.A. Rambsy added 136 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries for Georgia Southern and Matt Breida chipped in with 97 on the ground. The Eagles continued their No. 1 ranked run offense with 405 yards on the ground compared to the Aggies 183. NM State held the Eagles to only 18 yards of passing to continue their secondary dominance.

The Aggies received the opening kickoff and proceeded to move the ball down the field on Georgia Southern. A long pass from Rodgers to Adam Shapiro appeared to give NM State possession deep in Eagle territory, but Adam Shapiro was stripped of the ball as he was going down and Georgia Southern recovered the fumble.

The Eagles would move into Aggie territory in four plays, but the NM State defense would hold on a third-and-5 to force the first of two-consecutive punts. The Aggies would score touchdowns after each of those punts.

NM State started its second drive at its own 1-yard line and quickly faced a third-and-7 inside its own 10-yard line, but Rogers converted on a 13-yard pass to move the ball from out of the shadow of the end zone.

A couple of plays later Rogers hooked up with junior Bowen down the left sideline on a 36-yard pass that moved the ball to the Eagle 35-yard line. From there the Aggies capped off an 11-play, 99-yard drive with an 8-yard touchdown run by running back Xavier Hall.

NM State began its next possession with much better field position, starting at its own 45-yard line. The Aggies moved to the Georgia Southern 45-yard line on the first play, and then to the 30-yard line after a 15-yard quarterback keeper by Rogers.

Seven plays later NM State would once again find the end zone on the ground, this time with a 3-yard rushing touchdown by Rose III. The Aggies led 14-0 with 3:36 left in the first quarter.

The NM State defense was next to step up, causing a turnover after the Eagles fumbled and the ball was recovered by safety Jacob Nwangwa. The Aggies would once again drive down the field but failed on a fake field goal inside the Eagle 35-yard line.

Georgia Southern would punt again during its next possession and Morgan would return the punt 29 yards to once again put NM State inside the Eagle 35-yard line. But for the second-consecutive time the Aggies could not convert the field position into points as they went for it on fourth-and-9 and could not convert.

The Eagles would take advantage of NM State’s inability to add to its lead, marking the final 12 points of the half, the first six on a 7-yard touchdown run by Ellison. The extra point was blocked to make it a 14-6 game.

A couple of Rogers’ interceptions in the second quarter proved costly for the Aggies as both were converted to field goals by Georgia Southern. The second interception came with NM State at the Eagle 26-yard line and only 30 seconds left in the half.

Georgia Southern moved the ball down the field in five plays and marked a 45-yard field goal with a few seconds left in the half to close the gap to 14-12 NM State at the half.

Rogers finished the half 18-of-25 for 213 yards and two interceptions. Betancourt had 37 yards on five carries in the half to lead the team while Bowen had five catches for 72 yards. Herrington almost had double-figure tackles in the first half, finishing with nine.

Georgia Southern wasted little time in the second half to take its first lead of the game. The Eagles took the second half kickoff and drove 73 yards in just over three minutes, capping off their drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to take a 19-14 lead early in the third quarter.

After an Aggie three-and-out, and with their running game in gear, the Eagles once again drove down the field, adding a 30-yard field goal to their lead. Georgia Southern led 22-14 with 5:45 left in the third quarter.

NM State seemed to get things going during its next possession, marking two first downs to begin the drive. But Rogers’ third interception of the game once again squashed an Aggie drive.

Once again the Eagles would turn the interception into points, this time with a 1-yard touchdown run that gave Georgia Southern a 29-14 lead and drive Rogers out of the game for two series.

Quarterback Andrew Allen came into the game to try and give NM State a lift, but the freshman from Texas could do nothing in two series. Fortunately for the Aggies, the Eagles also punted twice during the stretch.

Rogers’ would come back in and lead NM State on a 13-play, 80-yard drive that culminated with a Betancourt 5-yard rushing touchdown to make it a one-possession game at 29-21 with 3:58 left in the game. Rogers converted a fourth-and-6 inside the red zone along the way after hitting Betancourt on a 7-yard pass.

Unfortunately for the home team, an ensuing onside kick failed giving Georgia Southern good field position, which the leading rushing team in the nation took advantage of.

With the Eagles at the Aggie 32-yard line and facing a third-and-6 with 2:41 left, NM State had one final chance to stop its opponent and get the ball back. But Ellison kept the ball on a quarterback keeper straight down the middle and scampered into the end zone virtually untouched.

The Aggies scored a late touchdown in the hurry-up offense on Betancourt’s second rushing touchdown of the night to once again cut the lead to one possession at 36-28 with 20 seconds left, but a second onside kick also failed, handing NM State its fourth-consecutive loss.

“We need to continue to work on taking care of the ball,” said Head Coach Doug Martin. “We started out great but turnovers continue to haunt us. I am very proud of how our defense stepped up and played today but we need to come together as a team and win on both sides of the ball.”

The Aggies continue Sun Belt Conference play next week when they hit the road for a matchup versus Troy on Saturday, Oct. 11, beginning at 1 p.m. (MDT).