AUBURN, Ala. - The New Mexico State football team fell to Auburn Saturday afternoon, 42-7. The Aggies fall to 1-8 on the season, while Auburn improves to 2-7 on the year.
The Aggies tallied 205 yards of total offense, led by wide receiver Austin Franklin who caught seven passes for 154 yards. Running back Germi Morrison led the running attack with 79 yards on 19 carries, while Tiger Powell had the lone Aggie score on the day on a 2-yard run. Quarterback Andrew Manley threw for 222 yards on 17-of-30 passing and no interceptions. Defensively, the Aggies gave up 475 total yards to Auburn, as George Callender led the team with 10 tackles and an interception, the first of his career. Davis Cazares added eight stops.
Auburn opened the second half with the ball and marched 80 yards to take a 14-0 lead with 11:48 to go in the third quarter. The Tigers scored on a 1-yard run by Jay Prosch. The Aggie offense then took control and had moved the ball onto Auburn's side of the field before a fumble by Manley was scooped up by Auburn and returned 61 yards for a touchdown. Auburn took a commanding 21-0 lead with 8:38 to go in the third. The Tiger defense again stopped the Aggies and forced a punt. Seven plays later Auburn scored on a 38-yard touchdown run to take a 28-0 lead over NM State with 2:58 left in the third quarter. The Tigers got the ball back but were forced to try a 47-yard field goal attempt, missing wide right as the third quarter ended with Auburn leading 28-0.
The Aggies went quickly down the field to start the fourth quarter, scoring on a Powell 2-yard run, making it 28-7 with 12:36 to go in the game. It was Powell's fifth touchdown of the season and his first since the UTEP game back in mid-September. Franklin also went over 100-yards for the seventh time this season after a 51-yard catch from Manley down inside the Auburn's 5-yard line. Auburn responded right away with a 65-yard drive in 10 plays to extend its lead to 35-7 with 11:20 to go in the game.
The Aggies and Tigers both struggled on offense to start the game. The Aggies were forced to punt twice and were stopped on a fourth down try, while Auburn punted twice and threw an interception.
Callender recorded the interception for the Aggies, the first of his career. NM State took over at its own 2-yard line after the interception. Franklin caught three passes on the drive for 61 yards, pushing him over the 1,000-yard mark for receiving yards this season. As the first quarter came to a close the score remained 0-0 with NM State driving in Auburn territory. The Aggies held Auburn to just 29 total yards and minus one yard rushing in the first quarter.
The Aggies lined up for a 47-yard field goal attempt by Maxwell Johnson to start the second quarter. His kick came up short, giving Auburn the ball back at its own 30-yard line. The NM State defense held Auburn and forced the third Tiger punt of the game. The Aggies were again stopped on offense, giving Auburn the ball back with just under 10 minutes left in the second quarter. The Tigers then drove 89 yards on 13 plays taking up 6:50 on the clock as running back Tre Mason punched it in from five yards out. Auburn lead 7-0 with 4:56 left in the half. The NM State offense could not respond, having to punt the ball back to Auburn with 3:13 left in the second quarter. The defense forced another Auburn punt giving the Aggie offense 1:13 to work with before the end of the half. The Aggies would run three straight running plays and were forced to punt with: 11 seconds remaining in the half, running the clock out on the punt. At halftime, Auburn led NM State 7-0.
The Aggies had 178 total yards in the first half, while Auburn recorded 140 total yards. Manley was 10-of-18 for 113 yards, as Trevor Walls caught five passes for 32 yards and Franklin grabbed three catches for 61 yards. Morrison ran the ball 13 times for 67 yards, including a long of 31. Cazares led the defense with five tackles.
NM State is back in action on Saturday, Nov. 10 as the San Jose State Spartans visit Las Cruces. Kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. in Aggie Memorial Stadium.