NMSU Rallies For 32-31 Rio Grande Rivalry Win Over New Mexico

In front of a crowd of 17,852 Aggie and Lobo faithful, the Aggie snapped a four-game losing streak to in-state rival UNM with a 32-31 come-from-behind victory. The Aggie defense came up big on the Lobos' final drive getting a stop on fourth and 15. Earlier in the drive Aggie linebacker Rodney Butler provided a crucial pass break-up on second and 7 that would have given the Lobos a first down near the Aggies' 25 yard line with over three minutes left in the game. Butler's pass breakup capped a night that saw him rack up a career-best 24 tackles, just two shy of the school record set back in 1989 by Sam Dickey, coincidentally also against the Lobos.

Frank Spaziani's Aggie defense came up with several big stops and clogged up the Lobo run game in the second half. After giving up 167 yards on the ground in the first half, the Aggie defense held UNM to just 54 yards on the ground in the second half and Terrill Hanks came up with a big interception on third and five to give the Aggies the ball at the Lobo 27-yard line setting up what would turn out to be the eventual game-winning touchdown drive.

The six-play touchdown drive which saw the Aggies take a 15-yard penalty on second and two, was capped off by an 8-yard touchdown strike from Tyler Rogers to Greg Hogan gave the Aggies a 32-31 lead.

Rogers finished the game 21-of-35 for 207 yards and two touchdowns and for the second straight game did not throw an interception.

The Aggies got off to a slow start in the scoring column again as the Lobos jumped out to a 14-6 lead as the Aggies traded field goals for touchdowns with UNM on the teams' first four combined possessions.

Midway through the second it appeared the Aggies were in good shape to score another touchdown after forcing a fumble on the UNM 19 yard line but three straight incomplete passes forced another Parker Davidson field goal to make the score 14-9. The Lobos would match the Aggies' field goal with a field goal of their own but in doing so left 21 seconds on the clock which the Aggies would take full advantage of. After a 31-yard kickoff return to the Aggie 35-yard line, Tyler Rogers would hit Royce Caldwell for 49 yards to get the ball to the UNM 20 yard line. The next play Rogers would attempt a pass to Jaleel Scott but pass interference was called on the Lobos giving the Aggies the ball on the Lobos' five yard line. Rogers would hit Scott for a touchdown on the next play and a missed extra point from Davidson would make the score 17-15 in favor of UNM going into halftime.

The Aggies would go three and out on their first two drives in the second half allowing UNM to extend their lead to 24-15. The Aggies would use a 14-play drive late in the third quarter to cut the lead back down to two at 24-22 but the Lobos would answer with a drive spanning the end of the third quarter into the fourth quarter to push the lead back to nine at 31-22. Parker Davidson connected on a 30 yard field goal to cut the lead to 31-26 and Terrill Hanks would get the interception on the next drive to set up the Aggies' go-ahead touchdown.