The New Mexico State Aggies (0-0) will open their 2013 season against No. 15 Texas Longhorns, Saturday, August 31 at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, in Austin, Texas. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (MT).
This will be the fifth meeting between the two schools, all of which have been played in Austin and won by the Longhorns. The last time these two teams met on the gridiron, was on August 31, 2003, as Texas won 66-7.
You can listen to all the action with the ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon and color analyst Preston Williams beginning at 5 p.m. (MT) on KGRT 104 FM. Also catch the excitement in Spanish on Vista 98.7 FM.
The game will be televised on the Longhorn Network.
Texas posted a 9-4 record in 2012 which ended with a thrilling 31-27 victory over No. 15/14 Oregon State in the Valero Alamo Bowl. The Longhorns ended the year ranked No. 19 in the Associated Press poll and 18th in the USA Today Coaches poll. It marked the 14th winning season in Mack Brown’s 15 as head coach of Texas. Brown has led his teams to winning records in 22 of the last 23 seasons.
Texas welcomes back starters at 19 positions, including 10 on offense and nine on defense. There are 16 offensive players who started a game in 2012 back for the 2013 campaign while the defense includes 18 players with at least one start last season
Mack Brown, who is in his 16th season at Texas, is just the fourth coach in the 120 years of Texas football to lead the team for at least a decade and just the second coach to win 100 games while at the school.
Texas was selected fourth by media representative who cover the Big 12 Conference in the conference’s preseason poll, behind Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and TCU.
The Series versus Texas
The Aggies season opener with the Longhorns will mark the fifth meeting between the two schools and the fourth time that the two schools have met in a season opener. Texas holds a 4-0 record against NM State, as the first meeting between the two schools was on Sept. 7, 1994, as Texas won 41-7.
All four previous games have been played in Austin, Texas, as the Longhorns have averaged 53.5 points per game in those contests. The last meeting in the series was also on August 31 in 2003. Texas won that game 66-7. NM State’s best showing against Texas came in 1998, as the Aggies put up 33 points on the Longhorns, falling to a final score of 66-33.
Last Time against Texas
Selvin Young returned two kicks for touchdowns and Derrick Johnson and Michael Huff returned interceptions for two more Sunday night as No. 5 Texas overwhelmed New Mexico State 66-7 in the opener for both teams.
Chance Mock passed for two touchdowns in his first career start. Both went to Roy Williams, who extended his school record with his sixth straight 100-yard receiving game.
Mock's backup, Vince Young, got into the act too, adding a pair of rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Selvin Young's return in the second wiped out a 7-0 New Mexico State lead and started the rout. He also had a 39-yard punt return for a TD in the fourth.
Sparked by Young's kickoff return, Texas exploded for 31 points by halftime to get its 20th straight win at Royal-Memorial Stadium, a streak that dates to 1999.
Johnson returned his fifth career interception for his first touchdown and Mock hit Williams with a 15-yard scoring toss in the second quarter.
The win wasn't without its warts for the Longhorns. The first quarter was downright ugly.
Mock was sacked on his first pass attempt, tailback Cedric Benson had a rare fumble and Selvin Young fell down behind the line of scrimmage on his first carry. The running game that was supposed to be revamped and more intimidating than last year slugged out a meager 35 yards in the first half.
Chalk it up to first-game jitters. None of it mattered when once Texas' big playmakers took over.
New Mexico State scored when Paul Dombrowski turned the corner on the option and went 18 yards for the Aggies' first TD of the season in the second quarter. The lead lasted all of 14 seconds.
On the ensuing kickoff, Young caught the ball at the 3 and went straight up the middle before breaking toward the left sideline near midfield. He shook a tackle, danced two steps near the chalk and cut up field with a burst of speed to the end zone.
After Benson's 2-yard TD run made it 14-7, New Mexico State quarterback Buck Pierce dropped back for a pass but had to throw off his back foot as rushers closed in. The ball floated to Johnson, who grabbed it, spun around and dashed up the right sideline before breaking a tackle inside the 5 to fall in for a 21-7 lead.
Texas jumped on another turnover when Dombrowski, rotating at QB with Pierce, fumbled the snap at the Aggies' 15. Mock hit Williams in the left corner of the end zone on the next play.
Mock and Williams hooked up again in the third, this time on a 53-yard TD on the fourth play of the second half. Williams finished with four catches for 104 yards.
Huff then picked off another bad pass from Pierce, taking the Longhorns' third interception of the game 55 yards for another score. His third career interception return for a touchdown tied the Texas school record.
Mock finished with 156 yards on 7-of-15 passing. Vince Young led the Longhorns with 61 yards on five carries.
NM State versus the Big 12
NM State has played a total of 18 games against current Big 12 teams, tallying a record of 2-16 overall. The Aggies two wins came against Iowa State in 1983 (24-17) and Kansas in 1988 (42-29). Iowa State is the only Big 12 school that the Aggies hold a winning record against at 1-0. Kansas was the last Big 12 school NM State faced back in 2010, as the Aggies fell to the Jayhawks, 42-16.
NM State Recent History against Ranked Opponents
The Aggies have locked up with nationally ranked opponents 19 times since 1999. The Aggies lone win in those games came back in 1999 when the Aggies stunned No. 22 Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz., 35-7.
The Aggies have faced at least one ranked opponent each season since 1999, (except for 2011) competing against three in 2001 (No. 5 Texas, No. 22 Oregon State, No. 12 Kansas State). NM State faced No. 6 Boise State and No. 17 Ohio State in 2009.
Five of the Aggies’ 17 games against ranked opponents have been played in Aggie Memorial Stadium, while NM State has been outscored by their ranked opponents by an average of 27.25 points per game.
The Aggies last ranked opponent was No. 24 Louisiana Tech in 2012. The Aggies lost 28-14. The highest ranked opponent NM State has faced at home was No. 3 Boise State back in the 2010 season.
McDonald named Starting Quarterback
Midway through fall camp senior quarterback Andrew McDonald was named the team’s start for the 2013 season. McDonald played in just one game for the Aggies in 2012 against Ohio, completing his only pass for three yards.
McDonald played two seasons at Santa Ana College at the quarterback position. In 2011, he threw for 2,033 yards and 22 touchdowns, while rushing for 123 yards and four touchdowns. McDonald completed 169-of-273 pass attempts for a completion percentage of .619, averaging 207.9 yards of total offense a game. He was named a first team All-East Conference selection in 2011. McDonald also rushed for seven touchdowns.
As a freshman, McDonald finished the season 167-for-242 passing for 2,196 yards and 28 touchdowns. He also rushed for six touchdowns. McDonald set the Santa Ana College single season record with 28 touchdown passes and single season record for completion percentage at 69.0, while tying the single-game record with five touchdown passes against College of the Desert. He also rushed for nine touchdowns. McDonald was named a first team All-East Conference. He was named first team all-state as a freshman and a first team all-region member as a sophomore.
Cazares Back after Solid 2012 Campaign
Safety Davis Cazares returns for his senior season after a solid 2012 campaign, which saw him lead the WAC and the Aggies in tackles with 116.
Cazares started 10 games for the Aggies at free safety and played in all 12 games. He led the WAC with 9.7 tackles per game and was ranked 27th nationally. For his efforts on the season, Cazares was selected to the All-WAC second team. He recorded 116 total tackles, three tackles for a loss, one forced fumble, one pass break-up and one blocked kick on the season. Cazares led the team with 19 tackles against New Mexico (Sept. 22), which was also a career high. He recorded a forced fumble against the Lobos as well.
Wallace and the Streak
Offensive left tackle Davonte Wallace returns for his senior season, anchoring the Aggies’ offensive line. He has started in 36 straight games for the Aggies on the offensive line. In 2012, Wallace earned second team All-WAC honors for the second straight season. He became the first offensive lineman since the 2003 and 2004 season to earn back-to-back all-conference awards. He was a vital part of the Aggies pass protection that allowed wide receiver Austin Franklin to earn All-America honors.
Wallace also helped quarterback Andrew Manley throw for 2,764 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2012, as he ranked 47th in the nation in passing. The 2,764 passing yards by Manley is sixth all-time in a single season, while the 18 touchdown passes rank tied for seventh in a single season.
Morrison/Betancourt give NM State a 1-2 Punch
Running backs Germi Morrison and Brandon Betancourt will carry the load for the Aggie running back corps in 2013. Last season the Aggies rushed for 1,171 yards as a team and 11 touchdowns. This season, Morrison and Betancourt look to boost those numbers.
In 2012, Morrison was the team’s leading rusher in 2012 and led the team with 159 rushing attempts, 767 rushing yards and 63.9 rushing yards per game. Morrison also scored two rushing touchdowns on the season. Morrison earned his first career-start against Idaho (Oct. 6), where he ran the ball 16 times for 66 yards. In his second start against Utah State (Oct. 20), Morrison set a career high with 19 rushing attempts for 96 yards. Morrison started the last seven games of the season for the Aggies and ran for double-digit attempts in each game as well as rushing for 50 yards or more in every start. Morrison saved his best for last when the Aggies played Texas State (Dec. 1), where Morrison ran the ball 19 times for a career-high 123 yards, including a 51 yard run, and scored a touchdown. Morrison was named Academic All-WAC for fall 2012.
Betancourt played in three games for the Aggies in 2012 as a kick returner. He returned two kicks on the season, both against Idaho (Oct. 6), for 25 yards including a 20-yard return. Betancourt turned the heads of the coaching staff during spring practice and quick made his way to No. 2 on the depth chart.
Also a factor in the run game this season will be freshman Xavier Hall, who was a standout running back in the state of New Mexico.
Local New Mexicans Heavily Represented on 2013 Roster
The 2013 New Mexico State football team is well represented with players from the Land of Enchantment. The roster features 20 players in all from New Mexico, including six from Las Cruces and 10 from the surrounding Albuquerque area.
Local players expected to contribute to the squad this season include wide receivers Joshua Bowen and Adam Shapiro, running backs Brandon Betancourt and Xavier Hall, kicker Brock Baca, offensive lineman Abram Holland and defensive lineman Matt Ramondo.
NM State joins Sun Belt in Football Only Starting 2014
New Mexico State University and its athletics department announced in the spring of 2013 that an invitation has been extended and accepted to join the Sun Belt Conference as a football-only member. This move is pending NM State Board of Regents approval. NM State will begin competition in the Sun Belt in the fall of 2014.
There is no question that the Sun Belt Conference is a league on the rise in football. The conference finished with its most non-conference wins in league history in 2012 and also sent a record four teams to bowl games. The conference also finished the 2012 season with its best ever average computer ranking – finishing ahead of Conference USA and the Mountain West. The league also had two wins over top-25 ranked opponents and Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State won their respective bowl games.
Having reached the 12-team mark, the Sun Belt Conference can now play a football championship game should it choose to do so. Both New Mexico State and Idaho will be immediately eligible to compete for the Sun Belt football championship and also for a spot in postseason bowl games.
NM State, which was most recently a member of the Sun Belt Conference from 2001-2005, will also renew several historic rivalries with former conference foes Arkansas State, Louisiana, and Louisiana-Monroe.
The Aggies began conference affiliation in athletics in 1932 when they joined the Border Conference. The Aggies left that league at the end of the 1961-62 academic year and became independent for the next nine years. NM State rejoined conference play in 1971 when the school joined the Missouri Valley Conference. The Aggies left the MVC at the end of the 1982-83 academic year and joined the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference, which became the Big West Conference in 1989.
The Aggies left the Big West at the end of the 1999-2000 academic year and joined the Sun Belt, where they were members from 2000 until the summer of 2005. Most recently, NM State was a member of the Western Athletic Conference starting in the 2005-06 academic year and will remain as members in all sports, except for football. The Aggies’ women’s athletic teams were also members of the Intermountain Conference of the AIAW from 1973 through 1982 and the High Country Athletic Conference from 1982 through 1990.
Best Home Schedule in School History
The NM State Football team will play an Independent football schedule in 2013, perhaps the greatest home schedule in school history. NM State will face four teams from BCS conferences in 2013, including two of them at home. The Aggies will be one of six schools in 2013 to play an Independent football schedule.
The home schedule includes several high points:
- Seven homes game, tied for the most to ever be held in Aggie Memorial Stadium
- NM State will host two schools from a BCS conference, the first time in program history
- For the first time, a Big 10 opponent will play in Aggie Memorial Stadium (Minnesota)
- For the first time, an ACC team will play in Aggie Memorial Stadium (Boston College)
- Two Conference USA teams in rival UTEP and Houston-based Rice
· Mountain West stalwart San Diego State
Twelve Aggies Earn Preseason Honors from College Sports Madness
The New Mexico State football team had twelve players picked in the Madness 2013 Independent Preseason All-Conference Teams announced by College Sports Madness. The Aggies earned five offensive picks, six defensive selections and three selections on special teams.
Junior Austin Franklin was named a first team selection at wide receiver and was joined by senior offensive tackle Davonte Wallace. Franklin and Wallace were the only two Aggies to earn offensive first team honors. Offensive guard Andy Cunningham earned second team honors, while running back Germi Morrison and tight end Perris Scoggins were named to the third team.
Linebacker Trashaun Nixon was selected to the defensive first team and was the only Aggie selected first team. Defensive linemen Matt Ramondo and Willie Mobley joined linebacker Bryan Bonilla as second team selections. Defensive backs Davis Cazares and George Callender were named third team selections.
Punter Cayle Chapman-Brown was a third team selection, while Franklin was named second team kick returner and third team punt returner.
Chapman-Brown named to Ray Guy Watch List
Punter Cayle Chapman-Brown was named to the Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch list for the best punter in the nation.
Chapman-Brown played in all 12 games for the Aggies as a punter in the 2012 season. He was named a second team all-WAC selection in 2012, while being named the WAC Special Teams Player of the Week once during the season. He had a record-setting year as well as he found his way into the record books in several categories. Chapman-Brown had 70 punts on the season, which ties him for eighth with Cliff Olander in number of punts in a season. He totaled 3,099 yards punting which put him at fifth in punting yards in a season. He also averaged 44.3 yards per punt, which ranks first in punting average in a season. He had 19 punts go over 50 yards in 2012. Chapman-Brown had 22 of his punts land inside the opponent’s 20 yard-line while only punting four touchbacks.
Ume-Ezeoke named to 2013 Rimington Trophy Watch List
Junior center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke has been named to the Rimington Trophy 2013 Spring Watch List. The list includes 17 returning players from the 2012 Watch List. In all, there are 44 players on the Watch List.
Ume-Ezeoke played in all 12 games for the Aggies in 2012, starting at the center position. He recorded 44 knockdowns and allowed no sacks during the season. He was a vital part of the Aggies pass protection that allowed wide receiver Austin Franklin to earn All-America honors. Ume-Ezeoke also helped quarterback Andrew Manley throw for 2,764 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2012, as he ranked 47th in the nation in passing. The 2,764 passing yards by Manley is sixth all-time in a single season, while the 18 touchdown passes rank tied for seventh in a single season. Ume-Ezeoke was named an Academic All-WAC selection and a 2012 Capital One Academic All-District VII first team member for his work in the classroom.
Eleven Aggies Earn Preseason Honors from Phil Steele
The New Mexico State football team landed 11 players on the Phil Steele's 2013 Preseason All-Independent Team as announced by Phil Steele. The Aggies had four offensive players including two offensive linemen on the list, while the defense grabbed six awards as well. Special teams were not overlooked as two Aggies were recognized.
Junior Austin Franklin was named a first team selection at wide receiver and was the only Aggie to be named to the first team for the offense. Offensive tackle Davonte Wallace earned second team honors, while running back Germi Morrison and offensive guard Andy Cunningham and were named a third team picks.
Defensively, Trashaun Nixon earned first team honors at linebacker, while defensive lineman Willie Mobley, safety Davis Cazares and linebacker Bryan Bonilla garnered second team honors. Defensive lineman Matt Ramondo and safety George Callender earned a spot on the third team list.
Punter was selected as a second team member, while Franklin earned a place on the third team as a kick returner.
House, Green, Rogers, Bateman and Harris Playing in the NFL
The Aggies currently have five 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. In 2013, Jeremy Harris was selected in the seventh round of the draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars, while wide receiver Kemonte Bateman signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos.
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.