Aggies Fall To Louisiana 44-16

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State drew first blood, but Sun Belt Conference title contender Louisiana countered with the next 28 points as the Ragin’ Cajuns handed the Aggies a 44-16 loss Saturday night at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

NM State (2-8, 1-5 Sun Belt Conference) dropped its eighth straight, while Louisiana (6-3, 5-0) won its fifth straight.

Aggie quarterback Tyler Rogers finished the night with 204 yards and one touchdown on 19-of-34 passing. Teldrick Morgan led all receivers with 117 yards and a touchdown on eight catches.

Morgan also recorded a career-high 56-yard punt return in the fourth quarter, the longest punt return for NM State on the season. Xavier Hall recorded 47 yards on 19 carries and one touchdown for the Aggies on the ground.

“Teldrick Morgan played his heart out,” head coach Doug Martin said. “Let us recruit another class of Morgan’s and we will have a good football program here and that’s what we are going to do.”

The Cajuns recorded 402 yards of total offense, with 244 rushing and 158 through the air, compared to the Aggies 307 yards of offense. The Aggies had a tough time converting third downs, going 6-of-17 on the night.

Turnovers plagued the Aggies again, recording three interceptions and one fumble in the game. The fumble at midfield by the Aggies towards the end of the first quarter was the only turnover in the half by either team.

“That is where we struggle at NM State right now. We get on these losing streaks and can’t get off of them. It’s more character and mentality than it is talent. We have to find a way to recruit that out of this program or get the guys that are here to buy into that. That is a big time flaw in this program that we have to stop. We have two chances to stop that losing skid with UL Monroe and then Arkansas State and that’s crucial for this program moving forward.”

The Aggies’ defense did well for most of the night, but Cajun big plays hurt NM State at crucial moments throughout the game with Louisiana converting 9-of-16 third downs.

“We got beat by a better football team and a better program tonight. We knew that going in from watching film and what you see from Louisiana is a model for what we are trying to build here and they have done a great job getting that established over the years. Our defense put in a lot of hard work and was put in a lot of bad situations tonight and didn’t get much help from the score but they are playing hard,” Martin said.

Louisiana’s James Butler caught a 31 yard pass to set up a score in the first as well as a 37-yard deep ball to set up a score on their opening drive in the second half. Al Riles caught a 19-yard reception to pick up a crucial first down early in the game, while Cajun running back Elijah McGuire set up Louisiana’s final score of the first half with a 25-yard run.

Louisiana’s opening drive took up 7:08 of clock, their longest drive of the season, and set the tone for the rest of the game. In the first half the time of possession was relatively even, with the Cajuns recording 15:53 to the Aggies 14:07. The second half saw a bigger separation, with Louisiana hanging on to the ball for 20:24.

The Aggies enjoy a bye next weekend, taking on UL Monroe in Las Cruces Saturday, Nov. 22, at 2 p.m. (MT). UL Monroe is 3-6 on the season and 2-3 in Sun Belt play.