The Aggies (1-4, 0-1) travel to Moscow, Idaho, Oct. 6 to face the Idaho Vandals (0-5, 0-0) at 3:00 p.m., in the Kibbie Dome.
The first meeting between the Aggies and Vandals came back in 1971 as Idaho pulled out a slim 19-14 win in Las Cruces. The Vandals hold a 13-5 series lead over NM State, as the Aggies have won four of their five wins in Las Cruces. The Aggies last win in the series came in 2011 as they defeated Idaho 31-24.
The game will be televised locally only.
You can listen to all the action with the ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon and color analyst Jason Scott beginning at 2:00 p.m. on KRGT 104 FM. Also catch the action in Spanish with Martin Cortez and Bob Sherman on Vista 98.7 FM.
New Mexico State-Idaho Rivalry
The Aggies and Vandals have played some exciting games in the 18 times the two schools have met. Idaho has won three of the last six games in the series, including two in Moscow and one in Las Cruces. Eleven of the 18 games have been decided by eight points or less. The Aggies’ first win in the series came in 1999 as NM State hosted Idaho and won 42-14 at Aggie Memorial Stadium. NM State has won just one game in Moscow, a 35-31 decision in 2002.
Scouting the Vandals
The Vandals are currently 0-5 overall on the season, dropping five straight, including this past weekend to North Carolina. Idaho has played four BCS schools this season. The Vandals will open conference play this weekend against the Aggies.
Idaho is averaging 13.4 points per game as the Vandals have put up 312.3 yards of total offense in 2012. Idaho tallies 86.2 rushing yards a game and 226 yards passing a contest.
Individually, quarterbacks Logan Bushnell and D. Blackman have each seen time in four games this season. Blackman leads the Vandals with 961 passing yards and six touchdowns. Ryan Bass leads the Vandals’ rushing attack with 230 yards on the ground and no touchdowns. Najee Lovett leads the Vandal receiving corps. Lovett has caught 26 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns.
Defensively, Gary Walker leads the Vandals with 38 tackles in 2012, followed by Homer Mauga with 29. The Vandals have nine sacks and four interceptions on the year.
Last time against the Vandals
The New Mexico State football team defeated Idaho, 31-24, for its first WAC win of the season.
The Aggies moved to 3-3 and 1-1 in the WAC, while Idaho slipped to 1-6 and 0-3 in a special teams extravaganza with two kickoff returns and a punt return for touchdowns.
Junior running back Kenny Turner rushed for a career-high 171 yards in his third consecutive game with 100 yards rushing. Junior wide receiver Kemonte’ Bateman posted two receiving touchdowns. Senior quarterback Matt Christian threw for 102 yards and a touchdown, and freshman quarterback Travaughn Colwell also threw for 100 yards and his first career touchdown.
In the fifth annual Tough Enough to Wear Pink game the Aggies moved to 3-0 under head coach DeWayne Walker.
The Aggies scored on the opening drive for the second consecutive game. NM State marched down the field, and Turner capped the drive with a 14-yard rushing touchdown. The score was his third rushing touchdown of the season.
On the ensuing kickoff, senior safety Donyae Coleman forced and recovered a fumble on the 27-yard line. The Aggies capitalized on the next play to extend the lead to 14-0. Christian found Bateman on the left side of the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown.
An Aggie miscue allowed Idaho to score and cut into NM State’s lead, 14-7. The Aggies answered when senior wide receiver Taveon Rogers returned the kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown to give NM State a 21-7 advantage. It was Rogers’ career-long return and second kickoff return for a touchdown of the year. Idaho trimmed the Aggie lead to 21-10 with a field goal at 2:05 of the first quarter.
Neither team scored until the third quarter when a 64-yard Vandal punt return for a touchdown pulled UI within four, 21-17. On the kickoff, Rogers returned the ball to the 27-yard line. He is now the school leader in career kickoff return yardage with 1,890 yards.
On the next Idaho possession, Coleman grabbed his fourth interception of the season.
The turnover spurred the Aggie offense to another score for a 28-17 lead. Playing for the injured Christian, Colwell threw his first career touchdown pass to Bateman from the one-yard line.
Idaho countered with a returned kickoff for a touchdown to stay within four, 28-24. To start the fourth quarter, junior kicker Tyler Stampler gave the Aggies a seven-point lead, 31-24, with a 20-yard field goal.
On the next possession, junior linebacker Numi Lolohea recovered his first career fumble with 13:08 minutes remaining in the game. The Aggie offense moved the ball but stalled at the 37-yard line with 8:23 to play. The NM State defense held strong and stopped Idaho on fourth and goal at the one-yard line with 21 seconds left on the clock.
Franklin Continues to Be the Aggies’ Top Receiver
Wide receiver Austin Franklin recorded his fourth 100-yard receiving game of the season against UTSA with a team-leading seven catches for 105 yards and a score. He has five 100-yard receiving games in his career, including four this season (Sac State – 236; UTEP – 107; New Mexico – 107; UTSA - 105)
Franklin also leads the team in scoring with 42 points on seven touchdown receptions. He is tied for fifth in the conference in scoring with 8.4 points per game.
Nationally, Franklin ranks seventh in receiving yards per game, is 25th in receptions per game and 48th 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 61 passes for 1,044 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 17.1 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 33 passes for 627 yards and seven touchdowns, leading the Aggies. He has also tallied 637 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.
Tight Ends Get in the Mix
Over the last three games, tight ends Trevor Walls and Perris Scoggins have made some big plays for the Aggie offense. Scoggins is third on the team is receptions over the last three games with six catches for 69 yards, averaging 11.5 yards per catch.
Walls has caught three passes for 29 yards, averaging 9.7 yards a catch. He also caught his first career touchdown pass against UTSA on an 8-yard pass from Manley.
In the Aggies first two games, the tight ends had no receptions.
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. He then followed that performance with 10 tackles against UTSA.
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 68 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 1,321 yards and 10 touchdowns, completing 53.3 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 eight straight games.
Manley is currently third in the WAC in passing yards per game (264.2) and fourth in total offense per game (247.6). He now has nine games in his career with over 200 yards passing and two games with over 300 yards passing.
For his career, Manley has thrown for 2,817 yards and 17 touchdowns, while completing 53.9 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 41 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and a sack.
He currently ranks fifth in the WAC for tackles per game and is tied for 89th 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 123 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 five 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 23.1 yards a return on kickoffs, which is sixth in the WAC and is 91st 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 27 punts for 1,184 yards, averaging 43.9 yards a punt, with 10 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 average in the WAC and 27th 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.
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 five of the season.
Tackle Davonte Wallace led the team with eight knockdowns each against UTSA.
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.
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 118 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 (70), sixth attempted (75) and sixth in PAT percentage (.933).
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.
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.