NMSU Football Falls To Fresno State 30-17

Written By: NM State Athletic Dept.

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Aggie defense limited Fresno State to six second-half points, including shutting out the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to carry NM State to a win. Fresno State (2-2) fended off the Aggies' comeback, handing NM State (0-5) a 30-17 loss Saturday night inside Aggie Memorial Stadium.

A week after allowing 55 points and nearly 600 yards of total offense at New Mexico, the NM State defense played with a chip on its shoulder, and it showed. The Aggies allowed just 23 points to a Bulldog offense that entered Saturday averaging 30.7 points per game. NM State held Fresno State to only two second-half field goals and matched its season high with 5.0 tackles for loss.

Junior linebacker Rashie Hodge Jr. had a career night, totaling eight tackles with a personal-best 2.0 tackles for loss. He helped power an Aggie defense that logged its second sack of the season and forced a turnover via a fumble for the first time this year.

Senior defensive end Cedric Wilcots II carded the sack, taking down Fresno State quarterback Jorge Reyna for a seven-yard loss in the first quarter. He, along with his defensive counterparts, applied constant pressure throughout the night, recording a handful of quarterback hits and wrapping up the opponent behind the line of scrimmage on numerous occasions.

Redshirt freshman linebacker Devin Richardson forced his first career fumble in the third quarter, which was scooped up by redshirt sophomore linebacker Matthew Young. Senior linebacker Javahn Fergurson led the team in tackles with 14 and broke up a pass for the third consecutive game.

"It was a step forward, but still not enough to get the win," Wilcots II said. "We still make mental mistakes that hurt us. When we stop beating ourselves, the sky is the limit, but until we do that, we'll continue to see the same results."

The Aggie offense, one week after exploding for 52 points and nearly 500 yards of offense at New Mexico, saw the return of its turnover woes Saturday night. Fresno State intercepted three of redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Adkins' passes, returning one for a 91-yard touchdown in the first quarter.

"We're 0-5 because we turn the ball over at an alarming rate," head coach Doug Martin said. "You can't win playing football like that."

Fresno State opened a 24-0 first-half lead before senior Dylan Brown connected on a 42-yard field goal as time expired in the second quarter. Trailing 24-3 at the start of the third quarter, the Aggies struck quickly to cut their deficit to 14 points, thanks to a two-yard touchdown run by senior halfback Jason Huntley.

Adkins, who completed 26-of-46 passes for 216 yards, linked up with graduate transfer wideout Tony Nicholson for a 16-yard score with 9:25 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut the Fresno State lead to 30-17. Despite shutting out the Bulldogs in the fourth quarter, NM State's offense would never get closer than 13 points.

The Aggies' homestand rolls on next weekend. NM State hosts fellow independent Liberty at 6 p.m. MT Saturday, Oct. 5, inside Aggie Memorial Stadium.

Single-game and season tickets for the Aggies' remaining home slate can be purchased at the Pan American Center or by calling 833-AGGIEUP.