The NM State football (1-3, 0-0) team will welcome new WAC member UTSA (4-0, 0-0) to Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 29. The game is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MT) The game will also be televised on AggieVision on Comcast around the state of New Mexico (tape delayed in Las Cruces) and Altitude.
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.
This will be the first meeting between the two schools and the second FCS school NM State will play this season. UTSA is in its final year of transition from FCS to FBS. This game will also mark the second team this season that NM State will play for the first time in the program's history. The Aggies will also have another first in program history, when they face Texas State in the last game of the season.
The Roadrunners come to Las Cruces with a 4-0 record after a solid 56-3 win over Northwestern Oklahoma State. UTSA is 2-0 on the road and 2-0 at home this season.
UTSA is averaging 404 yards per game of total offense, 200.2 yards passing and 203.8 yards on the ground. The defense is allowing just 16 points a game and 247.8 yards a contest.
Eric Soza leads the Roadrunner offense with 695 yards passing this season and seven touchdown passes, averaging 173.8 yards a game. The rushing attack is led by David Glasco II, who is averaging 63 yards a game and 8.4 yards a carry this season. Earon Holmes and Kam Jones lead the receiving corps. Holmes has caught five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, while Jones has six catches for 144 yards and a score.
Defensively, Brandon Reeves leads the way with 27 tackles, followed by Triston Wade and Blake Terry each with 24.
NMSU Aggies Are Tough Enough to Wear Pink
For the sixth year in a row, the New Mexico State football team will join together with the University, local businesses and the Las Cruces community to raise money for breast cancer research. This year, co-chairs Magellia Boston (wife of Athletics Director Dr. McKinley Boston), Laura Conniff (NM State Regent), Mary Henson (wife of Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Lou Henson) and Pat Sisbarro (wife of car dealer Lou Sisbarro) enter their sixth year with the initiative.
In a unique opportunity in 2007, the New Mexico State Athletics Department agreed to designate the football game on September 29 against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, as a breast cancer awareness initiative and fundraiser. Former NM State coach Hal Mumme brought together four honorary chairwomen for this event, all with strong ties to New Mexico State University and all cancer survivors.
In 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 TETWP's combined fundraising efforts with Cowboys for Cancer Research made "NMSU Aggies are Tough Enough to Wear Pink" the No. 1 TETWP event in the world. Last year over $500,000 was raised.
The Aggie football team will be wearing pink ribbons on its helmets as well as pink socks and wrist bands.
NM State against FCS Schools
The Aggies do have a history of playing FCS programs. In fact, the Aggies are 41-25-1 all-time against Championship Subdivision programs. The last FCS school NM State played was against Sacramento State to open the 2012 season, on Aug. 30, winning 49-19 in Las Cruces.
The Aggies last lost to a Championship Subdivision team in overtime in 1997 at home against Cal Poly, 38-35. Northern Arizona is the FCS program that NM State has faced the most. The Aggies hold a 17-7-1 record over the Lumberjacks with the first game played in 1930 and the last in the series in 1982.
Former Aggie offensive lineman Polo Gutierrez is currently UTSA's running back coach. Gutierrez played for the Aggies from 2005-08 under then head coach Hal Mumme.
Coaches versus Cancer
The NMSU and UTSA coaching staffs will be wearing Coach to Cure MD patches this week to raise awareness and funding for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy research. Fans are encouraged to donate online at www.CoachtoCureMD.org or donate $5 by texting CURE to 90999.
The Aggies are 1-6 all-time in WAC openers, with their only win coming against Nevada in 2008 in Reno, 48-45. The Aggies faced Louisiana Tech in their first WAC game in school history, falling 34-14. Five of the Aggies' seven WAC openers have been on the road, while NM State has opened WAC play against a team from the State of Idaho twice.
Franklin Continues to Be the Aggies' Top Receiver
Wide receiver Austin Franklin recorded his third 100-yard receiving game of the season against New Mexico with a team-leading six catches for 107 yards and a score. He has four 100-yard receiving games in his career, including three this season (Sac State - 236; UTEP - 107; New Mexico - 107)
Franklin also leads the team in scoring with 36 points on six touchdown receptions. He is tied for second in the conference in scoring with 9.0 points per game.
Nationally, Franklin ranks first in receiving yards per game, is 28th in receptions per game and 37th in all-purpose yards. He ranks first in the WAC in two categories (receptions per game and receiving yards per game).
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 54 passes for 939 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 17.4 yards per catch.
Franklin Added to Biletnikoff Watch List
New Mexico State wide receiver Austin Franklin has been added to the 2012 Biletnikoff Watch List. The award is named for Fred Biletnikoff, the Florida State University All-America receiver and a Pro-Football Hall of Famer. The award has been given out for the past 17 years. This is the second straight season an Aggie wide receiver has been named to the watch list. (Taveon Rogers - 2011)
Franklin has caught 26 passes for 522 yards and six touchdowns, leading the Aggies. He has also tallied 527 all-purpose.
The recipient of the 2012 Biletnikoff Award will be announced live on ESPN on The Home Depot College Football Awards in early December. The Biletnikoff Award Presentation Banquet will be held at the University Center Club at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.
Cazares has Career Day
Safety Davis Cazares had a career day against New Mexico with 19 tackles and a forced fumble. He had eight solo tackles and 11 assisted. Cazares' previous high was 10 tackles against Sacramento State to start the season.
In 2011, Cazares played in 13 games for the Aggies on special teams and at safety. He tallied 12 tackles on the season. Cazares recorded a season-high three tackles against Fresno State (Nov. 12) and two tackles versus Ohio (Sept. 3), New Mexico (Oct. 1) and Nevada (Oct. 29).
For his career, Cazares has 58 tackles and a forced fumble.
Joyner Makes Good on First Start
Linebacker Anthony Joyner made his first career start at middle linebacker for NM State against New Mexico. He tallied a career-high 12 tackles versus the Lobos.
In 2011, Joyner did not play and redshirted. For his career, Joyner has 19 tackles.
Manley Stacking up to Last Year's Numbers
Quarterback Andrew Manley's productivity this season is similar to his numbers in his only three games last season. This season, Manley has thrown for 1,045 yards and eight touchdowns, completing 53.5 percent of his passes.
Against UTEP, Manley surpassed the 2,000-yard passing mark with 290 yards on 20-of-47 passing. Versus in-state rival New Mexico, Manley threw for over 200 yards in a game for the eighth time in his career and has now thrown a touchdown pass in seven straight games.
Manley is currently fourth in the WAC in passing yards per game (261.2) and fifth in total offense per game (244.8). He now has eight games in his career with over 200 yards passing and two games with over 300 yards passing.
For his career, Manley has thrown for 2,541 yards and 15 touchdowns, while completing 54.1 percent of his pass attempts.
Bonilla Proves a Solid Linebacker
Linebacker Bryan Bonilla has started the 2012 season on a strong note, recording three games with 10 tackles or more. On the season, Bonilla has 36 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and a sack.
He currently ranks fourth in the WAC for tackles per game and is tied for 50th 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 118 tackles, three tackles for a loss, two pass break-ups and two sacks.
Powell Hard to Stop in Red Zone
Running back Tiger Powell has been a scoring machine for the Aggies in the first four games of the season. Against Sacramento State, Powell punched it in twice, then again versus Ohio and added to his total versus UTEP with a 1-yard plunge.
Powell has rushed for four of the Aggies' 10 red zone touchdowns this season. He has recorded 111 yards on the ground in four games and is second on the team behind teammate Austin Franklin for the team's leading scorer.
Mustafa Hits Big Return
Running back Akeelie Mustafa became an Aggie double threat against Ohio, 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 58 yards and averaged 24.4 yards a return on kickoffs, which is fourth in the WAC and is 40th in the nation.
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 23 punts for 1,029 yards, averaging 44.7 yards a punt, with seven punts over 50 yards. He was named an honorable mention Punter of the Week by College Football Performance following his five punt performance, which averaged 50.8 yards per punt against New Mexico.
Chapman-Brown currently ranks third in punting averaging in the WAC and 21st 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 ranked 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 and his fourth on a 1-yard carry against UTEP. The Aggies have recorded a touchdown score in 8-of-10 trips in the red zone this season, six of which have come on the ground. NM State is 9-of-10 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 63.9 yards a kick with just one return for 22 yards. Against Ohio, Baca had five kickoffs with three touchbacks. Baca hit two touchbacks against UTEP.
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 four games gone in the season the Aggies have recorded 12.
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. Savage was hard to handle at UTEP with six tackles, a quarterback hurry and a pass break-up. Versus UNM, Savge had five tackles and a tackle for a loss.
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 117 tackles, 24.5 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 intercepted a pass to go with his two tackles in the game. Versus UTEP, Anaya had five tackles, his first career sack, a tackle for a loss, a blocked PAT and a quarterback hurry.
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), sixth in PATs made (68), sixth attempted (73) and eighth in PAT percentage (.929).
To start the 2012 season, Stampler nailed 16 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 and 4-of-4 versus UTEP.
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 his 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 four of the season.
Tackle Davonte Wallace and guard Andrew Kerstne led the team with five knockdowns each against UTEP.
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.