NMSU Football Falls 60-13 At Utah State

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LOGAN, UT - The New Mexico State football team took on 2017 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl opponent Utah State at Maverik Stadium on Saturday night. A highly anticipated bowl rematch featured the opposition putting a lot of points on the board, most notably from the kicker position, on the way to NM State dropping the road contest, 60-13.

“We just look dysfunctional right now and have a lot of guys hurt on defense which does not help,” said head coach Doug Martin following the loss. “On the offensive side the quarterback is struggling and the offensive line is struggling so those two things together

The scoring in the first quarter came just 6:01 into the contest. After NM State (0-3) elected to punt on its first drive, Utah State (1-1) drove down the field before hitting a 44-yard field goal for an early 3-0 lead.

Then on the first play of the next drive for the Crimson & White, a sack and fumble gave USU the ball just 19 yards from the end zone. The NM State defense stood strong forcing a fourth down, but Utah State was able to knock down the 32-yard field goal attempt to put the score at 6-0.

NM State looked to respond on its next drive as quarterback Matt Romero orchestrated a great 10-play drive that spanned 75 yards and took 3:13 off the clock. The drive ended with Romero finding Johnathan Boone in the back corner of the end zone on an 18-yard touchdown pass to give the visitors a 7-6 advantage.

This lead did not last long, however, as Utah State saw returner Savon Scarver take the ensuing kick back 100 yards for a touchdown and NM State again trailed 13-7 with 4:19 left in the first quarter. Then before the opening quarter came to a close, USU moved down the field and although a few plays went backwards, the home team still converted on a 51-yard field goal attempt for a 16-7 lead heading into the second quarter.

Utah State’s first drive of the next frame saw Cedric Wilcots II hurry the quarterback into an errant pass to the middle of the field that found the hands of safety Shamad Lomax who got the interception and opened NM State’s nest series at the USU 38-yard line. The Crimson & White then turned this into points when Dylan Brown came onto the field and put a 49-yard field goal attempt right down the middle of the uprights and put the deficit at just 16-10 with 8:13 left in the half.

The Crimson & White looked to force another turnover on an interception in the end zone on USU’s next drive but a roughing the passer penalty gave the home team the ball back in the red zone. This good field position ended with a one-yard touchdown rush and NM State fell behind 23-10.

The scoring did not end there for Utah State as the opponent knocked down a 22-yard field goal attempt on its next drive for a 16-point advantage. Then before the half came to a close, USU found the end zone on a 14-yard touchdown pass and NM State trailed 33-10 heading to the locker room at halftime.

In the second half, each team came out playing well defensively forcing a punt on each of the first three drives before another score was put up on the board. NM State was moving down the field into USU’s side of the field before an interception was returned 75-yards for a Utah State touchdown and the score moved to 40-10.

Looking to cut into the deficit, the Crimson & White moved down the field effectively and saw Romero connect with Drew Dan by the sidelines on a pass that gave NM State a first down just three yards from the end zone. Utah State’s defense held the goal line, but Brown came back on the field to knock down a 31-yard field goal to put the USU lead at 40-13.

The lead for Utah State expanded on the next drive before closing out the third quarter. A hand off for USU turned into a 51-yard rushing touchdown that put NM State behind 47-13 heading into the fourth quarter.

Another long touchdown rush for Utah State, this time for 68-yards, saw the home team’s first drive of the fourth quarter put NM State down 54-13 as 13:01 remained on the clock. The scoring did not stop there as Utah State forced an interception on the first play of NM State’s next drive. This turnover was converted into points on a 51-yard field goal that put the Crimson & White down 57-13.

Then Utah State kicker Dominik Eberle continued to stay perfect from long range knocking down another 51-yard field goal attempt to put NM State down 60-13 with 6:58 left in the game. That score stood as the final with the final second’s ticking off the clock and NM State dropping the road clash to Utah State.

New Mexico State now returns to the City of Crosses for the next game against Battle of I-25 rival New Mexico on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m. MT inside Aggie Memorial Stadium.

NOTABLES
- Roy Lopez’s sack in the first quarter was the first of the season for NM State.
- The interception by Shamad Lomax in the second quarter was the first of the season for the team.
- Dylan Brown knocked down a career long 49-yard field goal in the second quarter.
- Quarterback Josh Adkins made the first appearance in his NM State career.