NMSU Football Falls To Rival UNM 42-25

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The New Mexico State football team renewed the 109th meeting of the Battle of I-25 against in-state rival New Mexico on Saturday night at Aggie Memorial Stadium. After going up by a pair of scores in the first five minutes of the game, NM State saw numerous flags and turnovers plague the team for the remainder of the contest as it fell to UNM, 42-25.

The game opened with quick scoring for NM State (0-4) beginning on the first drive of the game. New Mexico (2-1) lined up for a 3rd & 5 when Roy Lopez batted the pass out of the air and Terrill Hanks recorded the interception that he returned 28-yards to the end zone for a 7-0 Aggie lead just 1:02 into the contest.

Then after forcing the Lobos to punt, the Aggies orchestrated a six-play drive that spanned 57-yards. This ended with a two-yard touchdown rush by quarterback Matt Romero to put NM State ahead of UNM, 14-0 at the 10:50 mark.

Following back-to-back punts, New Mexico used its fourth drive of the game to get on the board. Five plays on the Lobo drive, all runs, resulted in a one-yard rushing score and cut into the Aggies lead that stood at 14-7.

Before the first quarter came to a close, NM State was able to use a pair of defensive pass interference calls to get right around midfield before getting the ball in field goal range. Then on a 4th & 6, Dylan Brown came in to knock down a 41-yard field goal that put the Aggies ahead 17-7 with 0:53 left in the opening quarter.

On the Aggies second drive of the next frame, the Lobos recorded their first interception of the game that was taken back 17 yards to the NM State 27-yard line. The ensuing offensive drive for UNM resulted in another one-yard touchdown rush to put the lead for the Crimson & White at 17-14.

Just three drives later, New Mexico used another turnover to put more points up on the board and take the lead. This was an interception that was taken back just six yards from the end zone. The Lobos then used a six-yard rush for a score that put the Aggies behind 21-17 before the first half concluded.

To open the second half, NM State brought in its third quarterback of the game with redshirt freshman Josh Adkins lining up behind center. After the Aggies punted on their opening drive, they were able to force a turnover when UNM got the ball back. DeShawnte Lloyd forced a fumble that was recovered by Roy Lopez at the New Mexico 22-yard line. Unfortunately, the good field position did not result in points, as a 34-yard field goal attempt was no good to keep the Aggie deficit at four.

The Lobos then took over on a drive that ended up being their longest of the game to that point with a 16-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a four-yard rushing touchdown as the Aggies fell behind 28-17.

Scoring for both sides continued in the fourth quarter with UNM opening the frame with a 16-yard rushing score to expand the lead over NM State to 35-17. Then the Aggie offense seemed to find some momentum on their next possession.

Two completions to OJ Clark and a six-yard run by Adkins set the Aggies up with a 1st & 10 at their own 42-yard line. ON the next play, Adkins found Jason Huntley with a pass completion that was turned into a 58-yard score. NM State then went for two with Adkins on the keeper that found the end zone and put the deficit at 35-25 with 11:06 left.

NM State was not able to climb back into the game with a punt and pair of interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown that sealed the Aggies fate as they fell to the Lobos 42-25 in the rivalry clash.

New Mexico State now looks to bounce back with a road game against Battle of I-10 rival UTEP on Saturday, Sept. 22, at 5:30 p.m. MT inside Sun Bowl Stadium.

NOTABLES
- Terrill Hanks interception returned for a touchdown in the first quarter was the first Aggie pick-six since Shamad Lomax took one back 19-yards against UTEP on Sept. 23, 2017.
- The second score of the game, a two-yard rush by Matt Romero, was the first rushing touchdown of his NM State career.
- Javahn Fergurson set a new personal career-high in tackles with 22.
- This was the first time an NM State player finished with 20+ tackles since Rodney Butler did so against UNM on Sept. 10, 2016.
- The 58-yard score in the fourth quarter was Josh Adkins first passing touchdown as an Aggie.