Lafayette, La. – The New Mexico State football team fell to Louisiana, 49-35, Saturday afternoon. NM State moves to 1-8 on the season, while Louisiana improved to 6-2 overall.
NM State had 450 yards of total offense on the night, as quarterback Andrew McDonald led NM State with 327 yards passing and three touchdown passes. Wide receiver Austin Franklin caught a career-high 13 passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns, while Travaughn Colwell led NM State with 58 yards rushing on the day.
Defensively, Thomas Warren led the Aggies with a career-high 11 tackles, followed by Darien Johnson with eight. The Aggies allowed 440 yards of total offense to Louisiana.
The Aggies opened the game with an 11 play 75-yard drive that was capped off by a McDonald 1-yard run, giving NM State a 7-0 lead with 9:35 to go in the first quarter. It was McDonald’s third rushing touchdown of the season. The defense held Louisiana and forced a punt, giving the Aggies the ball back.
Five plays later, McDonald hit Franklin for a 65-yard touchdown pass, extending the Aggies’ lead to 14-0 with 4:51 left in the first quarter. The reception gave Franklin his ninth career 100-yard receiving game and moved him into sixth all-time in touchdown receptions with 14.
Louisiana responded on their next offensive play, scoring on an 86-yard touchdown pass, making the score 14-7 with 4:37 to go in the first quarter.
With 48 seconds remaining in the first quarter, McDonald hit Travaughn Colwell for a 48-yard touchdown pass, pushing the Aggies’ lead to 21-7. It was Colwell’s first career touchdown reception. The Aggies would punch the ball in one more time in the first half on a 1-yard run by Xavier Hall with 9:23 left in the second quarter. It was Hall’s first career touchdown run.
Louisiana added one more score before the half, as NM State held a 28-14 lead.
McDonald threw for 245 yards on 12-of-15 passing, while Franklin caught five passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. He also led the Aggies in rushing with 30 yard on four carries. As a team, the Aggies racked up 317 yards of total offense in the first half, while allowing Louisiana just 174 yards of total offense.
Louisiana started the third quarter with the ball but fumbled and gave the ball back to NM State. The offense then went three-and-out and was forced to punt. Louisiana then took the ball 85 yards on nine plays for the score, missing the extra point try, as NM State held a 28-20 lead with 9:22 to go in the quarter.
Louisiana then added another score on a 51-yard run to pull within one point at 28-27 with 6:35 to go in the third quarter.
The Aggies would score late in the fourth quarter to make it 42-35 with less than 3 minutes remaining but Louisiana’s 22 points in the fourth quarter was too much for NM State to overcome in the end, as the Ragin’ Cajuns won 49-35.
The Aggies will host Boston College on Saturday, Nov. 9 in Aggie Memorial Stadium. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m.