The Aggies (1-0) travel to Athens, Ohio, to face Ohio (1-0) on Sept. 8 at Peden Stadium. This will be the second meeting between the two schools, as the Bobcats and Aggies met in 2011 in Las Cruces to open the season. Ohio won that game 44-24. Game time is set for 5 p.m. (MT)
The Aggies have played against three teams from the current Mid-American Conference in Ohio, Akron and Northern Illinois.
The game will be televised on ESPN3. You can listen to all the action with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon and color analyst Jason Scott beginning at 4 p.m. on KGRT 104 FM. Also catch the action in Spanish with Martin Cortez and Bob Sherman on Vista 98.7 FM.
NM State versus the Mid-American Conference
Although the Aggies have faced Ohio just once in football, NM State has faced two other teams from the current Mid-American Conference, in Akron and Northern Illinois. The Aggies are 2-3 against teams from the current Mid-American Conference.
The first teaming was against Northern Illinois in 1968. The Aggies won 27-13. Twenty years later the Aggies hit the gridiron against Akron, falling 52-7 in 1988. The Aggies then played Northern Illinois in back-to-back season in 1993 and 1994. NM State won the 1993 meeting in Las Cruces, 24-17 but fell in 1994 at Northern Illinois, 48-27.
This will be the fourth away game against a team from the Mid-American Conference as the Aggies are 1-1 at Aggie Memorial Stadium and 1-2 away from Las Cruces.
Scouting the Bobcats
The Bobcats are coming off a very successful 2011 campaign going 10-4 overall, 5-1 at home, 4-2 on the road and 1-1 at neutral sites. The Bobcats also played in a bowl game against Utah State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, winning 24-23. Ohio also had a conference record of 6-2.
The Bobcats opened the 2012 season with a 24-14 at Penn State.
As a team, the Bobcats recorded 499 yards, rushing for 175 yards and passing for 324 yards. The offense was also very good in the red-zone, scoring all three times. The Bobcats' defense gave up 352 yards in the game.
Individually, the Bobcats will be led by quarterback Tyler Tettleton, who threw for 324 yards and two touchdowns, while rushing for 47 yards and a touchdown. Beau Blankenship had 109 yards rushing, while also leading the wide receiver corps with 72 yards, averaging 10.3 yards a catch.
Defensively, Keith Moore led the way with seven tackles, followed Gerald Moore and Nate Carpenter with six tackles each.
The Aggies will welcome back two former assistant football coaches to Las Cruces and Aggie Memorial Stadium when the two teams face-off on Sept. 3. Currently Ohio assistant head coach/co-offensive coordinator Gerry Gdowski and offensive line coach Keven Lightner both coached under former NM State head coach Tony Samuel.
Gdowski was the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach for NM State from 1997-2004, while Lightner coached two seasons with the Aggies from 2003-04.
Last Year against Ohio
The NM State football team opened the 2011 season with a 44-24 loss to Ohio. The Aggies recorded 368 yards of offense but moved to 0-1, while the Bobcats improved to 1-0.
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley threw for a career-high 362 yards and two touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Todd Lee posted a game-high 140 receiving yards with a touchdown. Senior running back Kenny Turner added 134 yards of total offense with 93 receiving and 41 rushing. Senior wide receiver Taveon Rogers also contributed 92 receiving yards along with a touchdown reception and a kickoff returned for a touchdown.
The Aggie defense forced its first turnover of the season with an interception on Ohio's first drive of the game. Senior safety Donyae Coleman helped stop a Bobcat drive with his first career pick. He returned the ball 15 yards to the Aggies' 24-yard line. The Bobcats scored first to take a 7-0 advantage on an eight play, 69-yard drive in 2:06.
The Aggies answered on the next series and tied the game, 7-7. On the fourth play of the drive, Turner rushed for 32 yards on a left side pitch from Manley. The run allowed Manley to find Rogers for a 42-yard touchdown pass. The score was a career-long touchdown pass for Manley and Rogers' third career touchdown reception. The scoring drive covered 80 yards in five plays and 2:28.
In the second quarter, the Aggie offense faltered and a wild snap led to an Ohio safety, 9-7. The Bobcats increased their lead to 16-7 on a quick four-play, 47-yard drive that ended with redshirt sophomore quarterback Tyler Tettleton keeper. Ohio later added a touchdown for a 23-7 lead.
With 2:49 remaining to play before halftime, the Aggie defense recorded its second turnover, when Coleman recovered a fumble near midfield. The grab was a career first for Coleman.
The Aggie offense seized the opportunity and reached the red zone thanks to a Turner 32-yard reception to the 16-yard line. The play led to a 27-yard field goal but junior kicker Tyler Stampler missed wide right.
The Bobcats scored on the opening drive of the third quarter to take a 30-7 lead. On the ensuing kickoff, Rogers had a 43-yard return. The Aggies utilized the strong return with a 30-yard field goal from Stampler. With the kick, Stampler moved into No. 7 all-time in NM State history with 17 career field goals made.
After two Ohio scores, Rogers recorded his first career kickoff return of 97 yards for a touchdown. The score cut into the Bobcat lead to 44-17.
The Aggies scored on their next drive when Lee capped a four-play, 86-yard drive with a 54-yard touchdown reception. Lee notched his first score of the year with two great moves to avoid defenders and reach the end zone to trim the deficit to 44-24.
Manley Records Career High; Leads Nation in Pass Efficiency
Quarterback Andrew Manley returned for the 2012 season after a season ending knee injury in 2011 with a career night against Sacramento State. Manley threw for a career-high 367 yards on 14-of-22 and three touchdowns. He also completed 63.6 percent of his passes which is also a career single game best.
Manley currently leads the WAC in passing yards per game (367.0), total offense per game (355.0) and pass efficiency (248.8). He now has six games in his career with over 200 yards passing and two games with over 300 yards passing.
In three games in 2011, Manley threw for 892 yards on 62-of-109 passing and six touchdowns, completing 56 percent of his pass attempts. In the Aggies' opening game of the season against Ohio (Sept. 3), Manley threw for a career-high 362 yards and two touchdowns, including a career-long pass of 54 yards. He then led the Aggies to the school's first ever win over a Big Ten opponent at Minnesota (Sept. 10) 28-21. Manley completed 20-of-31 for 288 yards and a career-high three touchdowns. Against I-10 rival UTEP, Manley passed for 242 yards and a touchdown on 20-of-37.
For his career, Manley has thrown for 1,863 yards and 10 touchdowns, while completing 55.2 percent of his pass attempts.
Franklin's Career Day; Leads Nation in Receiving Yards
Wide receiver Austin Franklin set career highs with eight receptions for 236 yards and two touchdowns in New Mexico State's season-opening win over Sacramento State, 49-19. The 236 yards are the third most in school history and the most by a WAC receiver since 2006. He also caught a career-long 84 pass from quarterback Andrew Manley for a touchdown. Franklin was named WAC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts.
Nationally, Franklin ranks first in receiving yards per game, is tied for 17th in receptions per game and tied for seventh in all-purpose yards. He ranks first in the WAC in all three categories.
Franklin saw action in all 13 games for NM State in 2011 at wide receiver and as a returner of kickoffs and punts. He grabbed 34 receptions for 524 yards and three touchdowns on the season, including 22 yards rushing on four carries. Franklin also returned three kicks for 103 yards including a long of 54. He registered a career-high eight receptions for 66 yards and a touchdown at BYU.
For his career, Franklin has caught 42 passes for 760 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 18.1 yards per catch.
Chapman-Brown Bootin' the Ball
Punter Cayle Chapman-Brown debuted in the Crimson and White with a splash. Chapman-Brown kicked six punts for 303 yards, averaging 50.5 yards a punt, with a long of 63. He also recorded three punts over 50 yards and had three punts downed inside the Sacramento State 20-yard line. He was named an honorable mention for the College Football Performance Awards.
Chapman-Brown currently ranks first in punting averaging in the WAC and fourth in the nation.
Chapman-Brown played one season at Snow College as the team's starting punter. He played in 12 games for Snow College, booting 53 punts for 2,296 yards, while averaging 43.3 yards a punt. Chapman-Brown's season-long was 68 yards. He was named a first team all-Western States Football League and an honorable mention NJCAA All-American. He ranks as the No. 3 punter in the country by Chris Sailer Kicking.
Ground Game Solid in Red Zone
Despite rushing for 101 yards as a team against Sacramento State, the Aggie run game was extremely effective in the red zone. NM State was 4-of-4 in the red zone with four rushing touchdowns. Running back Tiger Powell made his Aggie debut with a career-high two scores, while Robert Clay and Germi Morrison also punched it in as well. It was also the first rushing touchdown for Morrison in the crimson and white.
The four scores on the ground was the most by any Aggie team since the 2004 season against UL-Lafayette (10/29), when the Aggies rushed for four touchdowns at Aggie Memorial Stadium.
Running back Robert Clay led the way for the Aggies on the ground in the season opener with 33 yards rushing with a long of 15 yards.
Touchdown Catches Over 50 Yards
The Aggies had three touchdown catches for 50-plus yards against Sacramento State. Wide receiver Austin Franklin caught touchdown passes for 53 and 84 yards, while Jerrel Brown caught his second career touchdown on a 50-yard pass.
All last season, the Aggies recorded a total of three touchdown passes over 50 yards.
Baca Kickin' it Out
Kicker Brock Baca recorded eight kickoffs against Sacramento State, with seven touchbacks. Baca averaged 64.8 yards a kick with just one return for 22 yards.
This was the first time since 2010 that the Aggies have recorded a single touchback. Since 2007, NM State has only recorded a total of 20 touchbacks.
Brown Silent but Effective
Wide receiver Jerrel Brown is poised to have an outstanding season in 2012. He opened the season against Sacramento State recording his second career touchdown on a career-long reception of 50 yards from quarterback Andrew Manley in the second quarter.
Brown played in 12 games for NM State in 2011 at wide receiver and on special teams. He caught six passes for 79 yards and a touchdown. Brown recorded his first career reception against San Jose State (Sept. 24) for 15 yards. He ended the game with two receptions for 28 yards. In the Aggies' next game against New Mexico (Oct. 1), Brown recorded a career-high in both receptions and receiving yards. He caught four passes for 51 yards and his first career touchdown with just minutes left in the game as NM State defeated the Lobos for the third straight time, 42-28.
For his career, Brown has eight catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 17.2 yards per catch.
Nixon in Double Digits
Linebacker Trashaun Nixon debuted for the Aggies at outside linebacker against Sacramento State in the season opener. Nixon recorded a career-high and team-high 15 tackles and two tackles for a loss. He currently ranks first in the WAC in tackles per game and tackles for a loss. He is tied for fifth in the nation in tackles per game and tied for 39th in tackles for a loss.
Nixon played two seasons at Ventura College at outside linebacker. In 2011, Nixon tallied 21 tackles, five tackles for a loss, two sacks, two pass break-ups, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick. As a freshman in 2010, Nixon recorded 54 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and five pass break-ups.
Bonilla Proves a Solid Linebacker
Linebacker Bryan Bonilla started the 2012 season off with a solid game against Sacramento State. Bonilla had 11 tackles and a tackle for a loss. It was his second double-digit tackle game of his career.
He currently ranks fourth in the WAC for tackles per game and is tied for 39h in the nation.
Bonilla is the Aggies' leading returning tackler from 2011. He started for the Aggies at linebacker in all 13 games in 2011, and played on special teams. He recorded 71 tackles on the season, including 1.5 for a loss, a sack and two pass break-ups.
For his career, Bonilla has 93 tackles, two and a half tackles for a loss, two pass break-ups and a sack.
Savage's Return is an Immediate Impact
Senior defensive end Donte Savage is back for his final year as an Aggie after sitting the 2011 season. In the Aggies' first game of the 2012 season, Savage had three tackles, a tackle for a loss, a fumble recovery and a blocked PAT.
As a junior, Savage played in 12 games for NM State in 2010, recording 36 tackles, 19 solo efforts, three sacks, two forced fumbles, two pass break-ups and a quarterback hurry. His best game of the season came against in-state rival New Mexico, when he recorded a season-high nine tackles, four for a loss, two forced fumbles, two pass break-ups and two sacks. He was named WAC Defensive Player of the Week.
For his career, Savage has 103 tackles, 22 for a loss, four forced fumbles, three recovered fumbles, a blocked PAT and a blocked punt. Savage looks to make his mark on the sack record book. He currently has 11 for his career and needs five to break into the top 5 all-time at NM State.
Walk-on Anaya a Valuable Player
Walk-on Desmond Anaya has worked his way into playing time for the Aggies. Anaya opened his Aggie career with six tackles, a tackle for a loss and a forced fumble against Sacramento State. He is the cousin of former Aggie Raul Anaya, who played for the Crimson and White from 1998-2000.
Head Coach DeWayne Walker reached a few milestones with the 49-19 win over Sacramento State to open the 2012 season. It was the first season-opening win for the Aggies in the Walker era and the largest margin of victory under Walker.
Stampler Looks to Move up Record Books
Place kicker Tyler Stampler has already etched his name in the record books at NM State but this season could be a record-breaking year for him. He currently ranks seventh in field goals made (23) and attempted (31), eighth in PATs made (59) and attempted (64) and eighth in PAT percentage (.912).
To start the 2012 season, Stampler nailed seven straight PATs, helping the Aggies to the 49-19 win over Sacramento State.
Stampler handled the field goal and extra point duties for the Aggies in 2011. On the season, Stampler was 34-of-38 on point after attempts, hitting this first 25 of the season and 7-of-12 on field goal attempts, with a long of 39 yards. He also scored 55 points on the season and has ecliped the 128 point mark for his career.
LaVoy Makes Move to D-Line
Alex LaVoy was a starting linebacker for the Aggies in 2011. Over the offseason, LaVoy made the move from linebacker to defensive end for the 2012 season. LaVoy's speed and strength will be a great compliment to Donte Savage, who plays on the opposite end of the line.
In 2011, LaVoy started at middle linebacker for the Aggies, playing nine games, missing four games due to injury. He recorded 36 tackles on the season, including 1.5 tackles for a loss. LaVoy collected a season-high eight tackles in his first career start as an Aggie against Ohio.
The Lineman Chart
The offensive line is a position in the game of football that has no stats or glory but could possibly be one of the most important positions on the field. Let's take a look at the grade sheet for the NM State offensive line in week 1 of the season.
Tackle Dada Richards led the team with 9.5 knockdowns against Sacramento State, followed by Davonte Wallace with eight.
Secondary has a New Look and Experience
The defensive secondary is filled with new faces this season as all four starters from last season have graduated. Junior Darien Johnson and junior transfer Cameron Fuller anchor the outside for the Aggies, while juniors Justin Smith and George Callender to hold down the safety positions.
Junior college transfer Dele Junaid and returner Jeremy Harris will also see plenty of action, while returns Davis Cazares and Samuel Oyenuga look to also see time on the field.
Johnson recorded 40 tackles, three for a loss, a sack and two pass break-ups in 2011, while Harris collected 27 tackles on the year and two pass break ups. Smith tallied 28 tackles, with 14 solo efforts. Smith saw his first real action of the season against Hawai'i as he recorded six tackles. Callender played in six games for the Aggies at safety and on special teams. He tallied five tackles on the season with a season-high of two against UTEP (Sept.17). He also returned one kick on the season.
Introducing New Teams in the WAC
The WAC welcomes in two new football members in 2012. Texas State and UTSA will be on the Aggies' schedule this season. It will be the first time in program history that the Aggies face either school on the gridiron.
NM State Ranked Fourth by Coaches and Fifth by Media
The Aggie football team was selected to finish fourth in the 2012 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) football coaches poll and fifth in the media polls, released at the WAC Football Media Days. The Aggies received 22 points in the coaches' poll and 95 points in the media poll.
In 2011, the Aggies were picked to finish eighth by the coaches and in the media poll, NM State finished the 2011 campaign with a 4-9 overall record and 2-5 conference record. This year's ranking is the highest preseason ranking in both polls for NM State since joining the WAC in 2005.
In the media poll, Louisiana Tech received 193 points and 25 first-place votes from media members from around the nation. Utah State was picked second after garnering 164 points and the remaining three first-place votes. San Jose State finished third with 130 points while Idaho was selected fourth with 102 points followed by New Mexico State (95), Texas State (57) and UTSA (43).
In the coaches' poll, Louisiana Tech received 36 points from the seven WAC coaches. Utah State was in second with 31 points followed by San Jose State with 24. New Mexico State was selected fourth with 22 points followed by Idaho with 17 points. Newcomers Texas State (10) and UTSA (7) were sixth and seventh, respectively.
Additions to the Staff in 2012
The Aggies welcome four new coaches to the staff in 2012. Jerry McManus takes over as offensive coordinator for the departed Doug Martin, while David Elson will handle the defensive coordinator duties after the retirement of Dale Lindsey. Both McManus and Elson have several years at the college level as top assistants, while Elson holds head coaching experience.
Brad Bedell comes to NM State as the new offensive line coach, while Romeo Bandison will oversee the defensive line. Bedell and Bandison each have professional football playing experience, while Bandison has coached at top programs like Boise State and Colorado.
Honors in 2011
The New Mexico State football team received several honors after the 2011 football season both for on-the-field accomplishments and in the classroom. Taveon Rogers was selected as a third team Yahoo Sports and honorable mention Pro Football Weekly All-American teams. Five players including Rogers, Donyae Coleman, Davonte Wallace, Jonte Green and Kenny Turner all garnered All-WAC honors, the most all-conference picks since joining the WAC. Valerian Ume-Ezeoke was also named to the Rivals.com Freshman All-WAC team. Defensive lineman David Niumatalolo was selected as CoSIDA Academic All-American, the team's first Academic All-American since 1999. The Aggies also landed 16 players on the Academic All-WAC list.
House, Green and Rogers Playing in the NFL
The Aggies currently have three players in the NFL. Defensive back Davon House who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, becoming the first Aggies to be drafted since 2003. In 2012, defensive back Jonte Green was selected in the sixth round by the Detroit Lions, while wide receiver/kick returner Taveon Rogers was signed as a free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals. Rogers has since moved to defensive back.
Aggies on Twitter
The Aggie Athletics department has a Twitter account where media and fans can get all your in-game scores at www.twitter.com/nmstateaggies. Head Coach DeWayne Walker also has a twitter account for all the latest football news, as media and fans can go to www.twitter.com/dwalkerfootball.