The New Mexico State Aggies (1-6, 0-3) take on the San Jose State Spartans (1-7, 0-3) this Saturday, Oct. 30, at 2:00 p.m. in Las Cruces, N.M., at Aggie Memorial Stadium. This is the 18th meeting between the two schools, with the Spartans holding a 15-2 advantage in the series.
Saturday’s game will also be the Aggies’ annual homecoming game. Over the last 10 years, the Aggies are 5-5, with wins over Idaho (twice), Florida International, UL-Lafayette and Tulsa on homecoming.
The game will be televised live on Aggie Vision on Comcast (Ch. 4), Albuquerque (Ch. 77), Santa Fe (Ch. 21) and Gallup (Ch. 66). Also live on Altitude 2 and ESPN GamePlan. Glen Cerny will bring you all the action from the television booth.
You can listen to all the action with the ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon and color analyst Jason Scott beginning at 1 p.m. on KGRT 104 FM. Also catch the action in Spanish with Martin Cortez and Bob Sherman on Vista 98.7 FM. Cuyler Frank will also broadcast the game in Navajo from Aggie Memorial Stadium on KNDN 960 AM (Farmington) and KGAK 1330 AM (Gallup).
Aggies/Spartans, the Series
The Aggies and Spartans have met 17 times prior to Saturday’s game with San Jose State holding a 15-2 series lead. The first game in the series was back in 1984 when the Spartans won 14-0. The Aggies and the Spartans were conference foes once before, from 1984 to 1995, as both were members of the Big West Conference. The Spartans won the first eight games in the series before the Aggies got their first victory in 1992 with a 34-24 win in San Jose, Calif.
In fact the Aggies’ two wins have both come in San Jose, while they are 0-8 at home against the Spartans. New Mexico State’s last win in the series was in 1995, as NM State pulled off a 24-21 win on a 5-yard Kirk Compton touchdown run in the final 1:30 of the game.
NM State Football Team Talk about Twitter Ban on ESPN College Game Day
ESPN College Game Day was in Las Cruces, Oct. 21, to talk with head coach DeWayne Walker and players about the Twitter ban the team made before the start of the 2010 season. As a team, the Aggies decided to ban the use of Twitter during the season. Walker, running backs Kenny Turner and Robert Clay, place kicker Tyler Stampler and quarterback Matt Christian sat down with ESPN to talk about the team’s decision.
The Twitter segment will air on Oct. 30th on ESPN during the popular college football show. The show will air from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. (MT); 10 a.m. to Noon (ET)
Scouting the Spartans
The San Jose State Spartans are currently 1-7 overall and 0-3 in the WAC. The Spartans are 0-4 on the road this season. This past weekend San Jose State fell to Fresno State 33-18.
As a team the Spartans are averaging 73.4 yards on the ground and 180.9 yards per game through the air. SJSU is averaging 10.0 points a game while allowing its opponents 34.0 points a game.
Individually for the Spartans, quarterback Jordan La Secla leads the charge with four touchdown passes and 1,246 yards passing this season. Lamon Muldrow heads up the Spartans running game, averaging 46.3 yards a game, 4.6 yards per carry and has scored one rushing touchdown this season. Chandler Jones leads the receiving corps with 31 catches for 276 yards and a touchdown.
Defensively, Vince Buhagiar has collected 59 tackles for the Spartans. Tiuke Tuipulotu is second on the team with 50 tackles, while Travis Johnson leads the team with 2.5 sacks.
Last Time against San Jose State in Las Cruces
Kyle Flynn returned a 90-yard interception to lead San Jose State to a 31-14 win versus New Mexico State in Aggie Memorial Stadium.
The run by Flynn was the second longest interception return for a TD in San Jose State history, and it opened the door for the Spartans to open their conference season with three consecutive wins for the first time in the team's 13 seasons in the WAC. The Aggies fell to 0-4 against the Spartans since NM State joined the WAC in 2005.
San Jose State dealt another blow when Duke Ihenacho picked off an Aggie screen pass and returned for a 43-yard TD and 21-point advantage early in the second quarter.
Wide receiver Chris Williams responded with a 73-yard catch-and-run play followed by a 7-yard diving TD catch to put NM State on the scoreboard at 21-7, where the score remained through the third quarter.
Quarterback Chase Holbrook narrowed the deficit to 21-14 seconds into the fourth quarter with a 2-yard rush, but a 33-yard field goal by Jared Strubeck and a 12-yard TD rush by Brandon Rutley sealed the Spartan victory with five minutes remaining.
The San Jose State defense pounded Holbrook, who gave up two interceptions and five sacks as he completed 23-of-38 for 206 yards in the face of the Spartan defensive attack.
Kyle Reed threw three interceptions of his own as he connected for 50 yards on 8-of-18 attempts. The Spartan offense was built on 151 yards rushing compared to 35 yards by NM State.
Last Year against the Spartans
The New Mexico State Aggies dropped a heartbreaker to the San Jose State Spartans, Saturday night at Spartans Stadium, 13-10.
Running back Seth Smith led the Aggies with 120 yards on the night, recording his fourth 100-yard game of the season. Jeff Fleming threw for 51 yards on 6-of-13 and an interception. Fleming would also have the Aggies only touchdown on the night, a one-yard run in the second quarter. Todd Lee led the wide receivers with four catches for 30 yards. Defensively, Stephon Hatchett had 12 tackles and a forced fumble, while Ross Conner tallied 11 tackles on the night.
As a team, the Aggies rushed for 167 yards on 38 attempts, while throwing for 51 yards. The Aggie defense held the Spartans to just 293 yards of total offense, while recovering a fumble and grabbing an interception.
The Spartans started with the ball in the second half but the Aggie defense forced a three-and-out to give the ball back to the offense with 13:22 to go in the third quarter.
On the third play of the drive, Smith's 15-yard carry put him over 100 yards for the game. It was Smith's 100-yard game first since Fresno State (10/24). The Aggies continued to move the ball down the field and found themselves inside the Spartan 20-yard line. NM State would get as far as the nine-yard line before being forced to kick a 24-yard field goal, tying the game at 10-10 with 5:58 to go in the third quarter.
On the Spartans next drive, San Jose State would fumble the ball on its own 49-yard line, giving the ball back to the Aggies at the end of the third quarter.
NM State would be forced to punt the ball back to the Spartans just three plays later. San Jose State then took the ball into NM State territory to start the fourth quarter. But a tackle-for-a-loss, a sack and an interception by Chris Buckner on the next three plays gave the ball back to the Aggies with 10:37 left on the clock.
The Aggies would go three-and-out and were forced to punt the ball back to the Spartans with 9:46 left in the game. But the NM State defense again stopped the Spartan attack and forced a punt with 8:46 to go in the contest. The Aggie offense couldn't get anything going as well and was forced to punt again.
The Spartans then took the ball 82 yards in 12 plays down to the NM State 2-yard line before kicking the winning field goal with 34 seconds left on the clock. The drive’s big play was a 57-yard pass play from La Secla to Beauchman on second and eight from the SJSU 29-yard line.
The Aggies would have one last chance but could not move the ball down the field as the Spartans held on for the 13-10 win over the Aggies.
Nelson Catches Second Touchdown
Tight end Kyle Nelson caught his second touchdown of the season against Idaho on a 17-yard pass from Matt Christian with seven seconds remaining in the first half. On the season, Nelson has caught 21 passes for 180 yards and a touchdown, averaging 8.6 yards a catch.
For his career, Nelson has caught 46 passes for 368 yards and two scores.
Howard makes good on Lone Reception
Kenonte Howard has played in five games for the Aggies this season and before this past weekend’s game against Idaho he hadn’t caught a pass. Following the game with the Vandals, Howard had caught one pass for his first career touchdown reception. With just 19 seconds left in the game, quarterback Matt Christian hit Howard for a 28-yard touchdown pass.
Sack Happy Defense
After recording no sacks in its first four games for the season, the Aggie defense has become a sack happy team in the last three games. NM State has recorded six sacks over the past three games including a high of three against Idaho this past weekend.
The last time the Aggies recorded at least three sacks in a game was in 2009 against San Jose State, as NM State tallied five.
Turner a Dual Threat
Running back Kenny Turner continued to put up the numbers against Idaho. He rushed for 77 yards on 18 carries and caught two passes for 22 yards.
Against Fresno State, Turner rushed for 79 yards on 15 carries, scoring his second touchdown of the season on a 19-yard run late in the fourth quarter. He also led the Aggies with three catches for 61 yards, both career highs.
Turner’s first touchdown as an Aggie came against San Diego State in the first game of the season, an 18-yard run. Both of Turner’s touchdown runs this season have been 18-yards or longer.
On the season, Turner has rushed for 267 yards and two touchdowns and has caught nine passes for 106 yards, averaging 11.8 yards per catch.
Coleman Making his Mark
Safety Donyae Coleman recorded a team-high eight tackles against Idaho. On the season, Coleman has 62 tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and a pass break up. This was the third time this season that Coleman has led the Aggies in tackles in a single game and the fifth time he tallied at least eight tackles. He has also recorded two games with double-digit tackle figures.
Coleman currently ranks third in the WAC and 50th in the nation in tackles per game at 8.9
For his career, Coleman has 69 tackles, a sack, three tackles for a loss and a pass break up.
Aggies in the Second Half
The last three games the Aggies have held their opponents to just nine points in the second half. In fact, the NM State defense allowed 48 passing yards and eight rushing yards against Idaho in the second half this past weekend.
The Aggies’ defense allowed just 40 yards rushing by Fresno State in the second half after giving up 183 in the first half. The Bulldogs had only 96 yards of total offense in the second half.
Against New Mexico, the Aggies held the Lobos scoreless in the second half and allowed just 89 yards of total offense including 37 yards rushing.
Capraro Continues to Punt Well
Jake Capraro saw his first action as the Aggies’ starting punter against No. 3 Boise State, kicking nine punts for 334 yards, averaging 37.1 yards per punt, with a long of 52 yards, while downing two punts inside the Broncos’ 20-yard line.
He followed that performance with seven punts for 252 yards, averaging 36 yards per punt against New Mexico. Then nine punts for 293 yards, averaging 32.6 yards per punt against Fresno State.
On the season, Capraro had tallied 34 punts for 1,211 yards, averaging 35.6 yards per kick. He has a long of 52 yards and has recorded nine punts downed inside the 20-yard line.
Rogers a Return Specialist
Junior wide receiver/kick returner Taveon Rogers is averaging 27.6 yards per kick return this season on 30 returns for the Aggies. He currently ranks second in the WAC and 16th in the nation. His long for the year is 54 yards versus Kansas.
Rogers recorded six kickoff returns against Kansas, totaling 219 yards - a new school record for the Aggies. His six returns tied a school record for the most kickoff returns in a game. Rogers had three returns of 40-plus yards, including a career-long of 54 yards. His 219 yards broke Tony Lukins’ record from 2001 (189 yards).
He would tie his own record against No. 3 Boise State with six kickoff returns for 136 yards. On the season, Rogers has 30 returns for 827 yards, while also leading the team in all-purpose yards with 909. He is now first all-time in kick return yardage in a season and is fourth all-time for number of returns in a season. He is sixth in the WAC in all-purpose yards and 39th in the nation.
The Aggies’ primary kick returner has averaged at least 20 yards per return for 13 consecutive seasons.
Freshmen with Time
The Aggies have relied heavily on incoming freshmen this season. In fact, the Aggies have played nine true freshmen this season, starting six of them over the first seven games. The Aggies rank 24th in the nation among schools with the most true freshmen played.
Kicker Tyler Stampler, quarterback Andrew Manley, defensive backs Darien Johnson and George Callender, offensive lineman Davonte Wallace and defensive lineman Augafa Vaaulu have all made starts for NM State this season.
Other true freshmen with playing time include linebacker Anthony Joyner, Dylan Davis and wide receiver Jerrel Brown.
Rogers, Allen, House and Coleman Named to Phil Steele Midseason All-WAC Team
Phil Steele has released his Midseason All‑WAC Team. Phil Steele’s College Football Preview is one of the nation’s most informative preseason football magazines and has always released Preseason, Midseason and Postseason All-American teams as well as All-Conference teams.
Kick returner Taveon Rogers was named to the first team, while wide receiver Marcus Allen, cornerback Davon House and safety Donyae Coleman earned third team honors.
Rogers is second in the WAC and is 27th in the nation in kick return yardage with 27.2 yards per return. Allen leads the Aggies in receiving with 20 catches for 351 yards and two touchdowns, while House is fifth on the team with 31 tackles, an interception and four pass break-ups. Coleman leads the team in tackles with 54, which is third in the WAC and 44th in the nation.
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 seven of the season.
Aundre McGaskey leads the team with 41 knockdowns, while the offensive line has given up just seven sacks in seven games, which is third in the WAC.
House Named to 2010 Jim Thorpe Watch List
The 2010 Jim Thorpe Award preseason "watch list" announced in August includes 35 of the nation's best defensive backs as the leading candidates for this year's trophy, including New Mexico State's senior defensive back Davon House. House becomes the first defensive back at NM State to be named to the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list.
In 2009, House, a native of Palmdale, Calif., was named a first team All-WAC selection, after leading the league and the Aggies in passes defended and interceptions. House also broke the school record for most interception return yards for a career. He tallied 68 tackles on the season and three interceptions. House recorded two touchdowns on the year, one interception return for a touchdown against Hawai'i (11/14) and the other a fumble recovery and return for a touchdown at Louisiana Tech (10/17). With his fumble return and interception return for touchdowns, House became the first Aggie player to do both during a single season since Gary Jessie accomplished this feat back in the mid-1990s. House also proved to be in the right place at the right time for interceptions in his career. He has nine to his name, which ranks him ninth all-time at NM State. With the 58-yard interception return against Hawai'i, House broke the school record for interception return yardage held for 28 years by James Ferebee (1978-81). House now has 271 interception return yards. House was also named a 2009 Phil Steele's Postseason All-WAC selection.
The Thorpe Award is one of college football's most sought after and prestigious awards. It is named after history's greatest all-around athlete, a man who excelled as a running back, passer and kicker on offense, but also was an awesome defensive back. Recognized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame simply as "The Legend", Thorpe also played professional baseball and won Olympic gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon.
Aggies in the Preseason Picks
The Aggies were selected to finish eighth in the 2010 Western Athletic Conference football coaches and media polls at the WAC Football Media Days. NM State received 81 points in the media poll and 21 points in the coaches' poll. In 2009, the Aggies were also picked to finish eight by the coaches while the media placed the Aggies ninth in the media poll. NM State finished the 2009 campaign with a 3-10 overall record and 1-7 conference record to tie for eighth in the conference.
In the media poll, Boise State received the number one spot with 42 of the polls' first-place votes, followed by Nevada (333), who tallied one first-place vote. Fresno State (300) and Idaho (207) took the third and fourth spots, respectively. Louisiana Tech and Utah State received 200 and 196 points. Hawai'i (166), NM State (110) and San Jose State (66) rounded out the voting.
In the coaches’ poll, Boise State received 73 points from the nine WAC coaches while Nevada was close behind with 56 points. Fresno State (52) and Utah State (42) took the third and fourth spots, followed by Hawai'i (39), Idaho (38), Louisiana Tech (31), NM State (21) and San Jose State (17) rounded out the coaches’ poll.