NMSU Football Falls At App State 45-31

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

BOONE, N.C. - The New Mexico State football team took on Sun Belt Conference foe Appalachian State on Saturday in Kidd Brewer Stadium. In a game full of back-and-forth action, turnovers plagued the Aggies and as they fell to the Mountaineers, 45-31.

NM State (2-4, 0-2 SBC) came out flying with a forced fumble on a rush by App State (3-2, 2-0 SBC) on the first play of the opening drive. The resulting series saw the Aggies miss a 36-yard field goal and keep the contest scoreless.

The Mountaineers were then held to a four-and-out on their next drive. Larry Rose III took the ensuing punt back 37 yards all the way to the App State 27 and gave the Aggies great field position. NM State moved down the field on a drive that ended with Tyler Rogers hitting Bryce Roberts for a four-yard touchdown, the first of the game and first of the freshman tight end’s career.

App State looked to answer on the next drive but the Aggie defense forced a 46-yard field goal attempt which missed wide left. The Mountaineers could not be held off the board, however, as they forced an interception which resulted in a 26-yard field goal. This score cut the NM State’s lead to 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.

After each side was forced to punt on their opening drive of the second quarter, App State went on to pull in another interception which was returned to the NM State 25. A quick drive by the Mountaineers ended with a three-yard touchdown rush to put the Aggies down 10-7.

The turnovers did not stop there as App State picked off another Aggie pass on the following drive which was taken back to the NM State 28-yard line. App State, again, turned the takeaway into points with a 13-yard rushing score to put NM State behind 17-7 with 11:01 remaining in the first half.

The Aggie defense responded immediately on the next series when Jaden Wright reacted quickly to a bobbled ball which the safety corralled for an interception on the Aggie 24-yard line. This interception ended the second longest streak in the country of games without an interception for App State quarterback Taylor Lamb.

The Aggie offense proceeded to move the ball 76 yards down the field on a drive that ended with a two-yard rushing touchdown for Rogers and brought the Aggies within three, 17-14, to end the half.

NM State emerged from the locker room in the second half with stifling defensive play which held the Mountaineers scoreless in the third quarter. Behind the strong defensive front, the Aggie offense was able to knot up the score at 17 after Dylan Brown hit a 26-yard field goal at the 7:37 mark.

The final quarter of play was not short of scoring, beginning with Rose III’s one-yard rush to put NM State ahead 24-17 just 1:16 into the fourth. The Aggies’ next possession moved downfield efficiently, until a ball off the hands of an NM State receiver turned into another Mountaineer pick.

App State put up seven more points off of the turnover when Lamb scrambled for a 38-yard touchdown to tie the game up at 24.

The back-and-forth scoring continued on the Aggies next drive when Rogers connected with Jason Huntley on a pass that the running back weaved into a 61-yard touchdown to put the team ahead 31-24 with 9:27 remaining.

The Mountaineers answered just 2:14 later to again put the teams even at 31-31. NM State again turned the ball over, with another interception, which App State then converted to take the 38-31 lead.

The Aggies looked to tie the game up on their next drive but after getting onto App State territory, the Aggies were held on fourth down. The Mountaineers regained control of the ball and put up another seven points to put the Aggies down 45-31, which stood as the final score.

NM State football remains on the road next week as it closes out the three-game road stint in Statesboro, Ga., for a 4 p.m. (MT) kickoff on ESPN3 against Georgia Southern Saturday, Oct. 14.

NOTABLE
- Bryce Roberts scored his first career TD as an Aggie on a four-yard reception in the first quarter.
- The last time Tyler Rogers threw five or more interceptions was last season at Troy (Sept. 24, 2016).
- Drew Dan set a career-high in receiving yards (44), receptions (5) and long reception (15).
- Jaden Wright set a career-high with two interceptions.
- Jason Huntley had a career long reception of 61 yards on his touchdown in the fourth quarter.