Aggie Football Closes Season With 68-35 Loss At Arkansas State

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

JONESBORO, AR - Freshman running back Larry Rose III became the first freshman since 1995 to run for over 1,000 yards in a season after posting 137 yards in a 68-35 loss to Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark., Saturday, Nov. 29 in Jonesboro, Ark.

The New Mexico State football team ends the season 2-10 overall and 1-7 in Sun Belt Conference play while the Red Wolves improve to 7-5 on the year and 5-3 in league play and are now bowl eligible.

Rose III accomplished what legendary running back Denvis Manns accomplished in 1995, rushing for more than 1,000 yard as a true freshman. Rose III posted 1,102 yards on the year averaging 5.9 yards per rush. He was the first Aggie rusher to go for over 200 yards in a game since 2003 as he rushed for 229 yards against Louisiana-Monroe last week.

“Larry [Rose III] has had a tremendous year as a freshman and to do what he’s done, along with all of these other freshman that have been playing for us has been really remarkable. They have bright futures ahead of all of them,” said Head Coach Doug Martin.

The Aggie defense struggled against ASU giving up 764 total yards, although defensive back Jaden Wright and linebacker Clint Barnard pulled in an interception each. Freshman linebacker Derek Ibekwe, defensive back Jacob Nwangwa and Clint Barnard each tallied eight tackles to lead the defense.

The NM State offense posted 492 yards of total offense, which included a season-best 162 yards receiving by wide receiver Gregory Hogan. Hogan also had a career high three touchdowns. The last time an Aggie receiver had three touchdown catches was when Chris Williams did it against Hawai’i in 2008.

“This [offensive] line has been a positive, and we only had one senior, and to have a freshman-1,000 yard rusher, and then only give up 10 sacks on the year for an offensive line is pretty special,” said Coach Martin. “And like I said, a lot of them are returning, along with most of the wide receivers, Larry, and the quarterback; so there’s some foundation there for the offense.”

The first quarter ended with a 7-7 tie with both teams scoring on passing plays. The Aggies scored on an 8-yard pass from quarterback Tyler Rogers to Hogan. Rogers ended the day 28-of-43 with two interceptions while tallying 314 yards in the air and throwing four touchdown passes. The four touchdown passes thrown by Rogers was the most for an Aggie in a single-game this season.

NM State hung with the Red Wolves in the second quarter scoring 14 points, but ASU put 20 points up on the board to take 27-21 lead heading into the locker room for halftime. The first Aggie score of the second quarter came on an 80-yard run by Rose III with 11:08 on the clock. That rush was the longest of the season for any Aggie and was the rush to put him over 1,000 yards on the year.

The Aggies came out and scored once in the third and once in the fourth but 41 points by ASU in the second half was just too much for NM State to overcome.

“We played a good football team today. They’re going to be in a bowl game, and have been in bowl games these last few years and what they have built here is really special and my hats off to them,” said Coach Martin. “That’s the level we’re trying to get to. We’ve got to recruit to enable us to compete with these people. We’ve started that process but it’s a process and we’re a class away from getting there.”