MOSCOW, Idaho - The New Mexico State football team fell to the Idaho Vandals 37-14, Saturday afternoon. The Aggies are now 1-6 on the season and 0-3 in conference play, while the Vandals improve to 4-3 on the year and 1-2 in the WAC.
Matt Christian threw for 134 yards on 8-of-29 passing and two touchdowns, while Kenny Turner led the running attack with 77 yards on 18 carries. Tight end Kyle Nelson caught two passes for 48 yards and a touchdown for the Aggies, a 17-yard pass from Christian in the first half, while Kenonte Howard caught the other touchdown for NM State.
As a team, the Aggies tallied 298 yards of total offense, allowing the Vandals 392 yards on the day.
Defensively, Alphonso Powell and Donyae Coleman had eight tackles each, followed by Frank Padilla with seven. Augafa Vaaulu tallied two sacks in the game.
Taveon Rogers started the second half off for the Aggies with a 54-yard kickoff return but the Aggies failed to take advantage going three and out. The NM State defense would hold and force a Vandal punt. The NM State offense couldn't get anything going and were forced to punt but the defense again forced an Idaho punt giving the ball back to the Aggies with 9:12 to go in the third quarter.
The Aggies would take the ball inside the 10-yard line but a personal foul penalty forced them back to the 26-yard line and the Aggies stalled. Stampler came on to attempt a 43-yard field goal but missed wide right. The defense would hold the Vandals and force another punt.
After a three and out by the Aggies, the Vandals took the ball over and eventually kicked a field goal to take a 34-7 lead with 2:30 to go in the third quarter.
The Aggie offense would drive the ball down inside the 5-yard line but the Aggies would be stopped just short of the goal line turning the ball over on downs.
The Vandals would add another field goal to make it 37-7 with just under three minutes to go in the game. The Aggies then added a touchdown with 19 seconds on the clock to make it 37-14, as Christian hit Kenonte Howard on a 28-yard pass. The game would end at 37-14.
The Vandals got the ball to start the game and ended the drive with a 41-yard field goal to take a 3-0 lead with 12:07 on the clock. After an Aggie punt, Idaho took possession at the NM State 42-yard line. Seven plays later, Enderle hit Preston Davis for an 11-yard touchdown pass, giving the Vandals a 10-0 with 7:24 to go in the first quarter.
The Aggie offense would stall giving the ball back to Idaho. The Vandals quickly moved the ball down the field inside the 5-yard line. Enderle then hit Shaw for a 3-yard touchdown pass to give the Vandals a 17-0 lead with 2:20 to go in the first quarter. The Aggies were forced to punt again but a personal foul on the punt gave the Aggies a first down to keep their drive alive. Six plays later the Aggies would punt the ball away.
Idaho drove 83 yards, capped off by a 14-yard touchdown run by McCarty, giving the Vandals a 24-0 lead with 9:32 to go in the half. The Aggies would force the Vandals to punt for the first time in the game with a little over four minutes to play but gave the ball right back.
The Vandals added another touchdown with less than a minute to go in the half to go up 31-0. The Aggies would get the ball back and after a 54-yard kickoff return by Taveon Rogers the Aggies drove down the field and scored on a 17-yard touchdown pass from Matt Christian to Kyle Nelson with seven second remaining in the half. The score would remain the same at 31-7 going into the locker room.
Quarterback Matt Christian threw for 52 yards on 4-of-16 passing in the first half, while running back Kenny Turner tallied 56 yards rushing on nine carries. Wide receiver Todd Lee caught two passes for 27 yards, while tight end Kyle Nelson caught one pass for 17 yards and a touchdown. Safety Alphonso Powell led the defense with six tackles in the first half.
The Aggies will be back in action on Oct. 30 against San Jose State at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. (MT).