Saturday's game between New Mexico State and UTEP is the 90th meeting between the two schools. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. (MT) start at the Sun Bowl, Sept. 15 in El Paso, Texas. This season NM State is sitting at 1-1, 0-0 while the Miners are 0-2, 0-0 after falling to No. 5 Oklahoma to open the season and SEC power Ole' Miss this past week.
The Aggies and Miners have split the last four meetings, with UTEP winning the last two contests. The Aggies broke an 11-year losing streak in El Paso in 2008, winning 34-33.
You can listen to all the action with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon and color analyst Jason Scott beginning at 5 p.m. on KGRT 104 FM. Also catch the action in Spanish with Martin Cortez and Bob Sherman on Vista 98.7 FM.
New Mexico State-UTEP Rivalry
The Aggie football team renews the program's second longest rivalry with the Miners of Texas-El Paso, Sept. 15, at the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. The game will mark the 90th meeting between the Miners and Aggies with UTEP leading the series, 52-35-2. This will be just the 10th meeting between the two rivals in the last 11 years after the two schools played every year from 1935 to 2000. The series took a break in 2001 and 2003.
DeWayne Walker and Mike Price will square off for the fourth time as head coaches. Before the 2009 meeting, the two had met twice before back in 1996 and 1997, when Walker was an assistant at California and Price was the head coach at Washington State. Last season the Aggies fell to UTEP, 16-10 in Las Cruces.
Scouting the Miners
This season the UTEP Miners are 0-2 after a loss to No. 5 Oklahoma and Ole Miss this past week. This will be the Miners second home game of the season. UTEP is 7-3 over the last ten games against the Aggies.
The Miners are scoring 8.5 points per game and are racking up 283.0 yards of total offense. UTEP has also scored 25 percent of the time in the redzone. The Miners' defense is allowing opponents to score 26.0 points per game and record 482.5 yards of total offense a game.
Individually, the Miners are led by quarterback Nick Lamaison. Lamaison leads the way with 252 passing yards in two games and one touchdown pass. Nathan Jeffery leads the running backs with 177 yards rushing, averaging 8.4 yards per carry. Michael Edwards has caught nine passes for 88 yards to lead the receivers. The Miners have scored just one offensive touchdown in their first two games.
Defensively, Josh Fely has 21 tackles on the season to lead the Miner defense. The Miners also have four sacks on the year.
Miscellaneous NM State versus UTEP Notes
- Historically speaking, the Aggies are better off playing in tight games against their I-10 Miner rivals. In the 89 previous meetings between NM State and UTEP, there have been two ties, 37 games decided by seven points or less and 50 games decided by more than eight points. In games decided by seven points or less, New Mexico State owns a 21-16 record against UTEP. In the 50 games decided by more than seven points, the Aggies are just 14-36. Here is a breakdown of the scoring margin in series history:
- NM State's record against UTEP in games decided by:
- o Three points or less: 11-8
- o From 1972-85, nine games between the Aggies and the Miners were decided by three points or less, including five straight from 1976-80. In that span between 1972 and 1985, New Mexico State won six of those nine games. The last game in the series that was decided by three points or less was in 2008, a 34-33 New Mexico State victory in El Paso, Texas.
- o Four to seven points: 10-9
- o Eight to 14 points: 5-10
- o 15+ points: 9-26
- o Saturday's game against UTEP will be New Mexico State's third game in the series played on Sept. 15. NM State won both games, one in Las Cruces and one in El Paso.
NM State vs. UTEP Traveling Trophies
Over the course of the 89-year football rivalry between neighboring New Mexico State and the UTEP, two traveling trophies have been created to honor the series victor:
The Silver Spade
Since 1955, the winner of the New Mexico State vs. UTEP football game has taken home the Silver Spade, a replica prospector's shovel. The origin of the Silver Spade dates back to 1947, when an old prospector's shovel was unearthed in an abandoned mine in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces. The whereabouts of the original spade is a mystery, but the current spade (on which are engraved the score of each year's Aggie-Miner game) has been traded between the two schools since 1955. The relevance of the spade may be due to the fact that at the time of its discovery, the tool was related to the major field of study at both universities-agriculture at New Mexico A&M, and mining and metallurgy at the College of Mines.
The Brass Spittoon
The newer of the two traveling trophies in the New Mexico State - UTEP series is the 17-year-old Brass Spittoon, formally titled the Mayor's Cup. The Brass Spittoon came into existence in 1982, when former Las Cruces Mayor David Steinborn and former El Paso Mayor Jonathan Rogers agreed to present an additional trophy to the winner of the storied Aggie-Miner football rivalry.
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.
Last Season against UTEP
In a game that was decided in the final minutes, the New Mexico State football team fell to I-10 rival UTEP, 16-10.
Sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley threw for 242 yards on 20-of-37 passing with a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Taveon Rogers was Manley's favorite target with five receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown catch.
Defensively, senior linebacker Boyblue Aoelua led the Aggies with a game-high 11 tackles and a fumble recovery, which was the third of his career.
On the opening drive of the game, the Aggies marched down the field but a miscue at the goal line gave UTEP the ball at the 20-yard line.
For the third consecutive game, NM State forced a turnover and recorded an interception in the first half. Senior safety Donyae Coleman grabbed his second interception of the year and his career with 1:22 remaining in the first quarter at the 45-yard line.
The rivalry game was scoreless until UTEP tallied the first points of the contest with a 42-yard field goal from junior kicker Dakota Warren with 9:15 to play until halftime.
The Miners added another field goal from 47 yards to extend their lead to 6-0 with 2:24 left in the second quarter.
The Aggies responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive to take a 7-6 lead with 17 seconds remaining in the second quarter. NM State capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Manley to Rogers, who had a touchdown reception in the first three games of the season.
NM State increased its lead to 10-6 with a 20-yard field goal from junior kicker Tyler Stampler. At the end of the third quarter, UTEP utilized a 60-yard fake punt to move the ball to the NM State 6-yard line that set up the Miners' first and only touchdown of the game for a 13-10 lead.
UTEP made its third field goal of the game with a 37-yard shot at the 10:37 mark of the fourth quarter to take a six-point advantage, 16-10.
The Aggies had a chance in the final two minutes of the game, when UTEP fumbled the snap with 1:38 to play but NM State failed to convert on the turnover.
Manley Stands Strong in the Pocket
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. After two games this season, Manley has 499 yards and four touchdowns, completing 56.6 percent of his passes.
Manley is currently third in the WAC in passing yards per game (249.5), fourth in total offense per game (229.0) and second in pass efficiency (172.0). 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 1,995 yards and 11 touchdowns, while completing 54.7 percent of his pass attempts.
Franklin Continues to Be the Aggies' Top Receiver
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.
Against Ohio, Franklin again led the Aggies with five catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. He also recorded his first career field goal block on special teams.
Nationally, Franklin ranks second in receiving yards per game, is tied for 35th in receptions per game and tied for 25th in all-purpose yards. He ranks first in the WAC in two 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 49 passes for 832 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 16.9 yards per catch.
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. Bonilla then tallied 10 tackles against Ohio this past week, breaking the 100-tackle mark for his career.
He currently ranks fourth in the WAC for tackles per game and is tied for 37th 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 103 tackles, two and a half tackles for a loss, two pass break-ups and a sack.
Powell Hard to Stop in Red Zone
Running back Tiger Powell has been a scoring machine for the Aggies in the first two games of the season. Against Sacramento State, Powell punched it in twice and then again versus Ohio this past weekend.
Powell has rushed for three of the Aggies' five red zone touchdowns this season. He has recorded 60 yards on the ground in two games and is tied with teammate Austin Franklin for the team's leading scorer. Powell is also fourth in the WAC in scoring.
Mustafa Hits Big Return
Running back Akeelie Mustafa became an Aggie double threat against Ohio this past week, averaging 9.5 yards per carry on the ground and totaling 180 return yards on six kickoffs, including a 91-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Mustafa became the first Aggie since Taveon Rogers last season to return a kickoff for a score. It was also Mustafa's first career kickoff return for a touchdown.
Mustafa was named National Kickoff Returner of the Week by College Football Performance Awards.
On the season, Mustafa has rushed for 48 yards and averaged 25.1 yards a return on kickoffs, which leads the WAC and is 31st in the nation.
Junaid Makes Good on First Start
Safety Dele Junaid made his first career start for the Crimson and White against Ohio. Junaid led the team with 15 tackles. This is the second time this season that an Aggie has recorded at least 15 tackles. The first was Trashaun Nixon against Sacramento State in the season opener.
Junaid played one season at Eastern Arizona at safety. He tallied 32 tackles in six games, including two interceptions, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. Junaid spent two seasons at Ole Miss, redshirting his freshman season. As a redshirt freshman, Junaid played primarily on special teams.
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.
On the season, Chapman-Brown has 13 punts for 571 yards, averaging 43.9 yards a punt, with four punts over 50 yards,
Chapman-Brown currently ranks second in punting averaging in the WAC and 24th 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.
Powell recorded his third score of the season on a 2-yard plunge against Ohio. The Aggies have recorded a touchdown score in 5-of-7 trips in the red zone this season, all of which have come on the ground. NM State is 6-of-7 overall in red zone scoring.
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. Against Ohio, Baca had five kickoffs with three touchbacks.
It 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 and with just two games gone in the season the Aggies have recorded 10.
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. Against Ohio, Brown had a big third-down catch for 11 yards that led to a score.
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 nine catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 16.6 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 second in the WAC in tackles per game and third in tackles for a loss. He is tied for 15th in the nation in tackles per game and tied for 51st in tackles for a loss. Against Ohio, Nixon recorded nine tackles and a tackle 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.
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. He then followed that performance with three tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and his first sack of the season against Ohio.
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 106 tackles, 23.5 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 12 for his career and needs four to break into the top five 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. Then against Ohio, Anaya recovered a fumble to go with his two tackles in the game.
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 (24) and attempted (33), seventh in PATs made (62), sixth attempted (67) 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. He then hit 3-of-3 on PATs and 1-of-2 on field goals against Ohio.
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 eclipsed the 100 point mark for his career.
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 two of the season.
Tackle Dada Richards led the team with 9.5 knockdowns against Sacramento State, followed by Davonte Wallace with eight.
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.