Aggies versus Aggies, Saturday
The New Mexico State (2-6, 1-3) football team will travel to Logan, Utah to face the Utah State Aggies (2-6, 0-4) this Saturday, Nov. 6, at Romney Stadium. Game time is set for 1:00 p.m., for the 34th meeting between the two schools.
You can listen to all the action with the 'Voice of the Aggies' Jack Nixon and color analyst Jason Scott beginning at noon on KRGT 104 FM. Also catch the action in Spanish with Martin Cortez and Bob Sherman on Vista 98.7 FM.
New Mexico State-Utah State Rivalry
The Utah State Aggies hold a 26-7 advantage over the New Mexico State Aggies, but NM State holds an important victory over Utah State in 1960, beating USU in the Sun Bowl, 20-13. Since that win, Nm State has won just six games in the series, three at home and three in Logan, Utah, including a 20-17 win in 2009 in Las Cruces. It was the Aggies' second win in the series since the 2003 season. At one point in the series, Utah State held a 19-game winning streak from 1968 to 1998.
Five of the seven NM State wins have been by eight points or less with the biggest margin of victory of 22 points coming in 2007. Since 1985, NM State and Utah State have been conference members in four different conferences (Pacific Coast, Big West, Sun Belt and WAC).
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 Nov. 6 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 Utah State
A second-year head coach in Gary Anderson leads the 2010 edition of the Utah State Aggies football team, like NM State. The Aggies have faced a very tough non-conference schedule in 2010 with games against Oklahoma, Idaho State, San Diego State and BYU. Utah State stands at 2-6, 0-4 coming into the game with NM State. Utah State is 2-2 at home this season.
The Aggies are scoring 22.4 points per game and are racking up 352.4 yards of total offense. Utah State has also scored 92 percent of the time in the red-zone. The Aggies' defense is allowing its opponents to score 33.9 points per game, as opponents are recording 442.9 yards of total offense a game.
Individually, the Aggies are led by quarterback Borel Diondre. He leads the way with 1,595 passing yards in eight games with seven touchdown passes. Derrvin Speight leads the running backs with 434 yards rushing, averaging 3.6 yards per carry with four touchdowns, while Dontel Watkins has caught 34 passes for 423 yards and three touchdowns to lead the receivers.
Defensively, Bobby Wagner has 88 tackles on the season, including 4.5 tackles for a loss to lead the Aggie defense.
MN State's 1960 Sun Bowl Win over Utah State
New Mexico State, making its second consecutive appearance in the Sun Bowl, rallied from a 13-7 halftime deficit to defeat Utah State, 20-13.
NM State quarterback Charley Johnson threw for 190 yards and was tabbed the Sun Bowl's MVP for the second straight year. Johnson is the only player to earn the Sun Bowl's MVP honor twice.
The NM State defense held the nation's top offense to just 268 total yards.
Utah State's defense was equally as impressive. USU, led by future Hall of Famer Merlin Olsen, held the NM State offense to only 224 yards, including just 44 rushing yards on 32 carries.
Utah State took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter, but Johnson connected with Pervis Atkins on a 3-yard pass to tie the game. Trailing 13-7, Aggie Bob Gaiters scampered 32 yards for a TD and Johnson hit E.A. Sims on a 7-yard pass for the final score.
Last Time against Utah State in Logan
The New Mexico State football team concluded its 2008 season with a hard loss to Utah State at Romney Stadium. The Aggies fell 47-2 to USU Aggies and finished the season 3-9 overall and 1-7 in the WAC. Utah State finished its season 3-9 as well and 3-5 in conference play.
Quarterback Chase Holbrook finished out his career with 163 yards passing on the day on 27-of-37 attempts. At the time, he stood 11th all-time in NCAA history for passing yards in a career. Wide receiver AJ Harris led the receiving corps with six catches for 53 yards and he moved into 14th all-time in NCAA history for receptions in a career after the 2008 campaign. Free safety Derrick Richardson ended his career with his eighth double-digit tackle performances, collecting 10 tackles in the game.
On NM State's first possession of the game Harris moved into 15th all-time on the NCAA receptions list, as the Aggies failed to convert on a fourth-and-one from their own 44-yard line. Utah State then took the ball right down the field and scored on four plays covering 41 yards to take an early 7-0 lead with 10:07 left in the first quarter.
USU quickly scored two more touchdowns, both rushing, to take a 21-0 lead with 2:13 remaining in the first quarter. Utah State forced NM State to punt and Holbrook threw an interception to set-up those two scores.
After another Aggie punt, NM State would stop USU for the first time in the game and forced them to punt, giving the Aggies the ball back with 7:34 left in the half on their own 20-yard line. During the Aggies' drive, Holbrook hit Kenneth Buckley for a 14-yard pass, moving Holbrook into 11th all-time in NCAA history for passing yards in a career. But the Aggies were sacked on a third-and-five, forcing them to punt the ball for the third time in the game.
Utah State then broke a 64-yard run for a touchdown to take a 28-0 lead with 2:32 left in the half. Utah State would take that 28-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Holbrook threw for 85 yards on 16-of-23 and one interception in the first half, while Marcus Anderson led the wide receiving corps with three receptions for 16 yards. Safety Derrick Richardson tallied six tackles in the first half, moving him into 10th all-time in school history for tackles in a career.
After a failed on-side kick attempt to start the second half by NM State, Utah State started with a short field on the NM State 39-yard line. The Aggie defense tightened up deep in their own territory, holding Utah State to a field goal, as USU held a 31-0 lead with 9:05 left in the third quarter.
The Utah State defense stopped the Aggies on a fourth down attempt and took over inside NM State's half of the field. USU drove the ball down inside the Aggies' 10-yard line before scoring their fifth rushing touchdown of the game to take a 38-0 lead with 2:11 to go in the third.
On the Aggies' next possession, Holbrook hit Harris for a 14-yard gain, moving Harris into 14th all-time in NCAA history for receptions in a career. The Aggies' drive would stall, forcing them to punt the ball for the fifth time. On the second play of Utah State's drive, Aggie defensive lineman Oren Long recorded his first safety of his career to get NM State on the board, as USU led NM State 38-2 with 13:43 to go in the game.
New Mexico State would fumble the ball on its next possession to give Utah State excellent field position, but the NM State defense tightened up again, forcing a USU to try a 56-yard field goal. Utah State would make the attempt, giving them a 41-2 lead with 8:06 left in the game. Utah State would add one last touchdown with under a minute to go to give USU a 47-2 victory over New Mexico State.
Last Year against Utah State
Sophomore kicker Kyle Hughes made a 28-yard field goal as time expired to lift the New Mexico State football team over Utah State, 20-17, at Aggie Memorial Stadium in Las Cruces, N.M. The win marked the first WAC victory of the season for the Aggies and first career conference win for head coach DeWayne Walker.
Senior wide receiver Marcus Anderson set up the NM State game-winning score with a 56-yard punt return to USU's 29-yard line with 1:48 remaining. Anderson had 91 yards on four punt returns. Offensively, junior running back Seth Smith led the Aggies with 98 rushing yards on 26 carries.
The Aggie defense shutout USU in both the first and fourth quarters of the game with senior linebacker Jason Scott tying a career high for tackles with 14.
In the first quarter, the Aggies took advantage of a Utah State miscue and recovered a fumbled punt return with a short field. NM State started the drive at USU's 44-yard line. On the first play from scrimmage, Smith rushed for 18 yards. Four plays later, senior running back Marquell Colston scampered to the one on a 27-yard run.
NM State scored on a redshirt freshman quarterback Trevor Walls' keeper for a 7-0 lead with 3:48 left in the first quarter. The touchdown was Walls' second rushing score of the season.
The Aggies added three points, 10-0, at the 9:35 mark of the second quarter with a 31-yard field goal from Hughes after a 13-play, 67-yard drive. The series included a career-long 33-yard pass from Walls to senior wide receiver Marcus Allen.
Utah State responded with a 34-yard field goal to cut the NM State lead, 10-3, with 7:09 remaining in the first half. The Navy-clad Aggies marched 53-yards in seven plays for the score.
With only 48 seconds before halftime, USU tied the game when sophomore wide receiver Standley Morrison threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Omar Sawyer. USU took its first lead of the game, 17-10, on the first drive of the second half. The score was a 21-yard reception from junior quarterback Diondre Borel to senior wide receiver Xavier Bowman.
The Aggies tied the game at 17-17 on a one-yard touchdown run from Smith. The drive started when Anderson returned a punt 31 yards to the USU 15-yard line.
House Invited to the 2011 Senior Bowl
Senior defensive back Davon House has been invited to participate in the 2011 Senior Bowl, in Mobile, Ala. The event is scheduled for Jan. 29, 2011 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and will be televised on the NFL Network.
House becomes the fifth player in school history to be named to the Senior Bowl. Other Aggies to have played in the Senior Bowl are Jim Bohl ('67), Jim Germany ('75), Walt Williams ('77) and Andre Anderson ('78).
House was a preseason Jim Thorpe Award candidate after a superb junior campaign. In 2010 House has tallied 43 tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and a team-leading six pass break-ups. He ranks fifth in the WAC and 61st in the country in passes defended.
The Senior Bowl is the nation's most unique football game and a premier pre-draft event, annually featuring the country's best senior collegiate football stars and top NFL draft prospects on teams representing the North and South, which are coached by the entire coaching staffs from two NFL teams.
Rogers Breaks Out at Wide Receiver
Wide receiver Taveon Rogers caught a career-high five passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning touchdown pass from Matt Christian as time expired to beat San Jose State, 29-27, this past Saturday.
Entering the game, Rogers had caught just two passes for 40 yards and no touchdowns. Rogers also returned one kick off for 24 yards, bringing his all-purpose yards for the game to a team leading 114.
On the season, Rogers has caught seven passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns, with an average of 127.9 all-purpose yards a game.
Christian has Career Day
Quarterback Matt Christian had a career day for the Aggies against San Jose State, in a 29-27 victory. Christian passed for a season-high 259 yards while also recording season highs in pass attempts (44) and completions (23). Christian's two touchdown passes were also a season-high. He also scored his first rushing touchdown of the season on a 28-yard run from scrimmage.
On the season, Christian has passed for 1,181 yards and seven touchdowns, completing 47.8 percent of his passes for 168.7 yards a contest. He has also rushed for 177 yards, which ranks third on the team, and is averaging 3.3 yards per carry.
Green Tough on the Corner
Defensive back Jonte Green tallied a team high eight tackles and a career-high four pass break ups in the Aggies' first conference win over San Jose State, 29-27. This was the fourth time this season Green has tallied at least eight tackles in a game.
Green has also recorded a team leading seven pass break-ups this season and is second on the team in tackles with 58. He also has a fumble recovery. Green ranks fifth in the WAC in passes defended and sixth in the WAC in tackles per game.
For his career, Green has 132 tackles and 15 pass break ups. He needs just two more pass break-ups this season to eclipse last year's total of eight.
Stampler Hits Three Field Goals, Earns WAC Player of the Week
Stampler went 3-for-3 on field goal attempts for the Aggies in their 29-27 win over San Jose State. He made field goals of 42, 25 and 43 yards. His field goal of 43 yards was a career-long. He has now hit three field goals of 39 yards or more this season.
Stampler was named WAC Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season and Place Kicker Performer of the Week by CollegeFootballPerformance.com
On the season, Stampler is 9-of-11 on field goal attempts this season and 11-of-12 on PAT's
Rushing the Ball a Team Effort
The Aggie offense is spreading the ball around this season on the ground. NM State has 1,067 yards rushing and five touchdowns this season with 14 different Aggies with at least one rushing attempt. At this point last season, the Aggies had 10 players with at least one rushing attempt but had 1,203 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns.
Kenny Turner leads the rushing attack with 88 carries for 341 yards and two touchdowns, while fellow running back Seth Smith has 315 yards on the ground and two touchdowns as well. Eight of the 14 players with a rushing attempt are not running backs.
Allen Leads Receiving Corps
Wide receiver Marcus Allen started his senior season off on the right foot against San Diego State.
Allen caught four passes for 114 yards, a career high in the season opener against San Diego State. He also tallied a career-long touchdown catch of 58 yards in the third quarter of the game.
He followed that performance with five catches for 65 yards against UTEP and again led the Aggies versus Kansas, catching five passes for 89 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 45 yards on four carries. He added three more catches for 46 yards against No. 3 Boise State.
On the season, Allen has caught 27 passes for 440 yards and two touchdowns. Currently, Allen ranks seventh in the WAC in reception yards per game.
For his career, Allen has now caught 53 passes for 748 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 14.1 yards per catch and 39.4 yards per game.
Rogers a Return Specialist
Junior wide receiver/kick returner Taveon Rogers is averaging 28.4 yards per kick return this season on 30 returns for the Aggies. He currently ranks first in the WAC and 12th 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 40th 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 seven of them over eight games. The Aggies rank 24th in the nation among schools with the most-true freshmen played.
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 first in the WAC and is 12th in the nation in kick return yardage with 28.4 yards per return. Allen leads the Aggies in receiving with 27 catches for 440 yards and two touchdowns, while House is fifth on the team with 43 tackles, an interception and six pass break-ups. Coleman leads the team in tackles with 64, which is fourth in the WAC and 80th 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 50 knockdowns, while the offensive line has given up just seven sacks in eight 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.