NMSU Football Drops Season Opener 29-7 To Wyoming

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State football team opened up the 2018 season taking on Wyoming inside Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday night. Despite a defense doing all it could to keep the Aggies in the game, offensive woes plagued the team all night with the team falling behind early and never digging out of the hole falling to the Cowboys, 29-7.

Following the disappointing season opener, head coach Doug Martin said, "The defense played outstanding, but just got gassed because they were on the field too much. Our defense did exactly what we asked them to do and at the end, they just finally got worn out. Wyoming is a great football team with a great defense of their own that really challenged us today."

Following back-to-back punts from both sides to open the game, Wyoming used its second drive of the night to put the first points up on the board. A career-night for Nico Evans saw the running back break free for a 24-yard score to put NM State behind 7-0 just 8:26 into the game.

Then a backwards return on the ensuing kickoff and a pair of flags set the Aggies up with their backs against the wall on their own one-yard line. On a 2nd & 11 rush from the end zone, the Aggies were stopped behind the line for a safety to give the Cowboys a 9-0 advantage.

Wyoming's first drive of the second quarter saw the team get into field goal range that was converted into a 36-yard field goal to put NM State down 12-0. The Aggie offense continued to struggle failing to get a first down and compiling a negative five yards of total offense before the Cowboys knocked down another field goal, this time from 39-yards out, and NM State trailed 15-0 with 10:48 left in the half.

The half closed with six straight drives ending in punts and then the final possession of the quarter saw NM State move the chains for the first time in the game after a five-yard rush. When the first half came to a close, the Aggies trailed the Cowboys 15-0.

More strong play from both defenses saw the third quarter open with three straight punts before Wyoming added to its total. On the first play of the next drive, the Cowboys cleared a lane for Evans to run in from 56-yards out and put the Aggies down 22-0.

On the final drive of the third quarter for NM State, the team made a change at quarterback and brought in senior Nick Jeanty to see if it would change the momentum. Unfortunately, the stifling defensive play from the Cowboys did not quit and the Aggies headed into the fourth quarter behind by 22 points.

This deficit for the Crimson & White expanded in the fourth quarter on another score out of the backfield. With 10:07 left in the game, the Aggies trailed 29-0 after Cowboys running back Jevon Bigelow scampered in from 23 yards out.

After getting some time on the sidelines to regroup, junior quarterback Matt Romero came out reenergized for the Aggies final drive of the game. NM State started deep in their own end of the field and the California native orchestrated a 10-play, 93-yard drive that culminated in a 31-yard touchdown pass to avoid the shutout and end the scoring with the Aggies dropping the season opener to the Cowboys, 29-7.

New Mexico State is back in action with a short turnaround as the team travels to Minneapolis, Minn. to take on Big Ten challenger Minnesota at 5 p.m. on Aug. 30.