NMSU Football Drops Home Opener 31-10 To San Diego State

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Aggie offense, led by the arm of redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Adkins and the hands of graduate transfer wideout Tony Nicholson, hit its stride in the second half, but it was too little too late.

Plagued by turnovers and silenced by the Aztec defense throughout the first half, NM State finally found its way in third quarter, cutting its deficit to two scores in the frame’s final minute. The Aggies (0-3) would not get any closer, however, falling 31-10 to San Diego State (3-0) Saturday night in the home opener inside Aggie Memorial Stadium.

Adkins, the Aggie signal caller, accompanied his 299 total yards of passing with a 35-yard touchdown toss, linking up with junior wide receiver Robert Downs III in the third quarter. It was Adkins' second of the season and the first touchdown-scoring grab of Downs III's career.

Adkins, who completed 26-of-41 passes, threw receptions to 10 different receivers in the contest, with Nicholson and redshirt senior wideout OJ Clark garnering the majority of targets. Nicholson caught a team-high seven passes for a career-best 78 yards, and Clark followed closely behind him, making six catches for 52 yards.

After failing to force a turnover in the first two games of the season, the Aggie defense came out hungry. Senior defensive back Austin Perkins picked off opposing quarterback Ryan Agnew on San Diego State's opening drive of the game, marking the first time that the Aztec signal caller has thrown an interception in a road game in his career.

NM State's offense could not match the defense's success, though. The Aggies struggled with ineffectiveness and turnovers in the first two quarters, fumbling on their first possession of the game and punting three times in the half. The first of Adkins' two interceptions came midway through the second quarter.

San Diego State built a 17-0 lead by halftime, capitalizing off of the Aggies' woes. The Aztecs dominated time of possession in the first half, controlling the football for more than 21 minutes.

The Aggies showed signs of life in the third quarter, thanks to Adkins' touchdown toss and senior placekicker Dylan Brown's 46-yard field goal. NM State trailed by only 14 points with 23 seconds left to play in the third, but San Diego State would tack on a touchdown to begin the final period of play and hold off the Aggies for the rest of the way.

Junior defensive lineman Tevan McAdams had a team-high 1.5 tackles for loss, and redshirt senior linebacker Javahn Fergurson led with a team-high 15 tackles (3 solo), including 1.0 tackles for loss. The native of Baton Rouge, La., had a career-high two pass breakups.