The New Mexico State (3-6, 1-3) football team is set to host a tough WAC opponent in the Bulldogs of Fresno State (3-6, 2-2). This weekend the Aggies and Bulldogs will meet on the gridiron for the 18th time, as Fresno State holds a 17-0 lead in the series. Game time is set for 6:07 p.m. (MT) at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12.
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
The game will be televised by Aggie Vision live around the state of New Mexico on Comcast and carried on Altitude in Denver, ESPN3 and ESPN GamePlan. Play-by-play man Glen Cerny and color analyst Danny Knee bring you all the action. The WAC Sports Network will also carry the game.
Aggies/ Bulldogs, the Series
The Aggies face the Bulldogs for the 18th time in school history Saturday. The Bulldogs hold a 17-0 series lead over the Aggies.
The series dates back to the 1972 season when the Bulldogs traveled to Las Cruces. Fresno State won that game, 49-17. The Aggies would get a chance at revenge two years later as the Bulldogs again made their way to the Mesilla Valley, but NM State fell just short, 9-7. The two schools became conference foes in 1984 as both were members of the Pacific Coast Conference and the Big West until 1992 when Fresno State made the jump to the WAC. As conference opponents in the WAC, this will be their seventh meeting.
Scouting the Bulldogs
This season the Bulldogs have been a balanced team through the air and on the ground, averaging 252.2 yards passing and 140.9 yards rushing a game. Fresno State has been outscored by its opponents 36.2 points per game to 27.8 this season. With a 3-6 (2-2, WAC) record the Bulldogs have been great in the red zone, converting on 85 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line. This past weekend the Bulldogs fell to Louisiana Tech, 41-21, at home.
Individually for Fresno State, quarterback Derek Carr has thrown for 2,270 yards and 18 touchdowns in nine games for the Bulldogs, averaging 252.2 yards in the air. Robbie Rouse leads the rushing attack for Fresno State, averaging 120 yards a game with seven touchdowns, while Devon Wylie leads the receiving corps. Wylie has recorded 37 catches for 479 yards and a touchdown.
Travis Brown leads the Bulldogs' defense with 61 tackles on the season, followed by Dennis Terrance with 59.
Last Time against Fresno State
The NM State football team dropped its second conference game of the season 33-10 at Fresno State's Bulldog Stadium.
After the loss, the Aggies fell to 1-5 overall and 0-2 in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), while Fresno State improved to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the league.
The Aggies racked up 267 yards of total offense. Junior quarterback Matt Christian threw for 155 yards on 11-of-22 passing. Senior running back Seth Smith led the rushing attack with 91 yards on 11 attempts while sophomore tailback Kenny Turner totaled 84 yards on 15 carries. Turner also led all receivers with 61 yards on three grabs. Defensively, Junior Donyae Coleman led the team with eight tackles.
The Bulldogs were led by in passing by senior quarterback Ryan Colburn who threw for 132 yards, going 12-of-20 in the game with a touchdown. Sophomore running back Robbie Rouse rushed for 152 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns on the ground. Freshman wideout Jalen Saunders totaled 64 yards on three receptions to lead the FS receiving corps. Chris Carter led the Bulldog defense with nine tackles on the night.
In the third quarter, Turner led the NM State offensive attack with two plays for big yardage - a 53-yard reception from Christian and an 18-yard run late in the quarter. The NM State defense held their opponent off of the scoreboard in the third quarter for the second straight game; keeping the score at 30-3 after three quarters.
Fresno State added to its lead in the fourth quarter after a 47-yard field goal by Kevin Goessling to make the score 33-3 with 12:13 remaining in the game.
Christian and Darrius Preston connected on a crucial 15-yard reception during a 4th-and-11 midway through the fourth quarter to set up Turner's second touchdown of the season. Turner's 19-yard scamper up the middle cut the FS lead to 33-10 with 7:44 left in the game.
The Aggie offense was stifled during the first series of the game by the Bulldog defense as freshman quarterback Andrew Manley made his first career start. On the ensuing Jake Capraro punt, Fresno State fumbled the ball and the Aggies recovered the pigskin at their own 49-yard line. However, the Bulldog defense held strong again forcing another NM State punt.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring on their first drive of the game on a 57-yard rushing touchdown by Rouse to lead 7-0 with 10:33 remaining in the first quarter. Fresno State tacked on two more points with 5:54 remaining to lead 9-0 after the Bulldog defense tackled Manley in the endzone after a fumbled snap.
Later in the first, FS extended its lead minutes later after wide receiver Isaiah Burse scored on a 30-yard reverse, diving into the right pylon of the endzone to make it 16-0 Bulldogs with 3:15 on the clock.
NM State got on the board after Tyler Stampler booted a 24-yard field goal with seven ticks left on the clock in the opening quarter to make it 16-3. The score was set up by a 47-yard pass from Christian to junior wide receiver Taveon Rogers who sprinted down the left sideline deep into Bulldog territory.
Rouse found his way into the endzone again in the second quarter on a 38-yard touchdown run to extend the Bulldog lead to 23-3 with 9:08 left in the half.
Aggie running back Seth Smith rattled off his longest run of the year midway through the second quarter via a 29-yard gash up the middle of the FS defense into Bulldog territory.
Fresno State closed the half on a short touchdown toss from senior quarterback Ryan Colburn to Tapa Taumoepeau for a 3-yard score with 1:04 remaining on the clock to make it 30-3.
The Aggies racked up 103 yards of total offense in the first half. Christian threw for 66 yards on 5-of-11 passing. Smith led the rushing attack with 41 yards on five attempts while Rogers tallied 47 yards on offense. Senior receiver Marcus Allen led the Aggies with three catches for 16 yards. Defensively, Jonte Green led the team with four tackles.
The Bulldogs were led by in passing by Colburn who threw for 75 yards, going 6-of-8 in the first half. Rouse rushed for 128 yards on nine carries and scored two touchdowns on the ground. Saunders totaled 51 yards on two receptions to lead the FS receiving corps. Kyle Knox led the Bulldog defense with seven tackles at the half.
Rogers is an All-Purpose Man
Kick returner/wide receiver Taveon Rogers continues to have a big year and is one of the nation's leaders in all-purpose yards per game, ranking first in the WAC and first in the nation. On the season, Rogers has 1,601 in all-purpose yards, averaging 200.1 yards per game. He has recorded four games with over 200 all-purpose yards, including 548 of those yards in the last two games.
Against Nevada, Rogers tallied 348 total yards, hauling in 207 yards receiving and 145 yards on kick returns. The 348 yards ranks second all-time in school history for all-purpose yards in a single-game.
For his career, Rogers has 3,343 all-purpose yards, which ranks him eighth all-time in the school's record book. Rogers needs just under 400 yards to move into the top-5 all-time.
Colwell Not Playing like a Freshman
Freshman quarterback Travaughn Colwell has played in four games for the Aggies in 2011. To date, Colwell has thrown for 233 yards and two touchdowns on 16-of-23 yards passing, completing 69.6 percent of his passes.
Against Georgia, Colwell came in late in the second quarter after an injury to Matt Christian. He proceeded to throw for a career-high 120 yards on 8-of-12 passing and a touchdown. Colwell did the same against Idaho, earlier in the year, throwing for 100 yards on 7-of-9 passing and a touchdown.
He has also rushed for 32 yards on the season.
Turner a Dual Threat
Running back Kenny Turner led the Aggies at No. 18 Georgia with a career-high 127 yards receiving and a touchdown, while catching a career-high eight passes. He would also rush for 94 yards and a touchdown. Turner leads the team with 687 yards rushing and six touchdowns, averaging 76.3 yards a game and 5.1 yards a carry. He also leads the team in receptions with 40 on the year, for 464 yards and two receiving touchdowns.
Turner has four 100-yard rushing games this year and 1,167 all-purpose yards. He is second on the team in scoring with 50 points.
For his career, Turner has 1,148 yards rushing and six touchdowns and 667 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Rogers Return Man for NM State
Kick returner Taveon Rogers has broken two school records this season in the kicking game.
Rogers broke the NM State school record for return yardage in a career against Idaho with 171 yards on four returns. Rogers' 14-yard return in the third quarter gave him the record, which now stands at 2,152 yards for his career, breaking Ron 'Po' James' record which stood for 40 years (1971). Rogers tied James' record of returns in a career after the Hawai'i game but with a career-high seven returns against Nevada, Rogers smashed the long-standing record and now has returned 86 kickoffs in just two seasons.
His 100-yard kick return for a touchdown against Idaho gave him two touchdown returns for his career and on the season which ties him with four other Aggies who accomplished the feat.
For his career, Rogers has 86 returns for 2,306 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 26.8 yards a return. This season, Rogers has returned 34 kickoffs for 896 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 26.4 yards a return. Both the returns and yardage are in the top-10 for single season marks at NM State.
Safe Bet with Bradley
Senior safety Ben Bradley recorded a career-high 12 tackles against Nevada. He also tallied a pass break-up. This was Bradley's first double-digit tackle performance of his career. Bradley then recorded 10 tackles against No. 18 Georgia, including a tackle for a loss.
Over the last two games, Bradley has 22 tackles, a tackle for a loss and a pass break-up.
On the season, Bradley is second on the team with 69 tackles, three tackles for a loss, three pass break-ups and an interception.
For his career, Bradley has 74 tackles.
Mahoney Steppin' Up
Defensive tackle David Mahoney is making some noise on the defensive line as of late. Over the last three games, Mahoney has tallied 13 tackles, four tackles for a loss and two sacks. The six games prior, Mahoney had just seven tackles, a half a tackle for a loss and a fumble recovery.
On the season, Mahoney has 23 tackles, third most of any defensive lineman for the Aggies. For his career, Mahoney has 31 tackles, two sacks, six tackles for a loss and a fumble recovery.
Quiet-LEE getting it Done
Wide Receiver Todd Lee has had a very productive senior season but a very quiet season at the same time. Lee has caught 26 passes on the season for 450 yards and three touchdowns. His total receiving yards and touchdown receptions are second on the team, while his 17.3 yards per catch ranks him third.
Against Nevada, Lee caught three passes for 50 yards, including a 36-yard touchdown reception. Six times this season, Lee has totaled over 50 yards receiving in a game.
For his career, Lee has 84 receptions for 1,045 yards and seven touchdown receptions.
Christian Fights the Pain to have Career Night
Quarterback Matt Christian threw for a career-high 432 yards and three touchdowns against Nevada. Christian was 20-of-44 with three interceptions, completing four passes of 35 yards or more in the game. It was the first time an Aggie quarterback has passed for over 400 yards since Chase Holbrook vs. LA Tech, 11/22/08 (486).
Versus the Hawai'i, Christian had 224 yards passing on 18-of-34 and two touchdowns.
Christian had a career night for the Aggies in their in-state rivalry game against New Mexico, throwing for a career-high 296 yards and four touchdowns, while rushing for a career-high 101 yards and a score. He was named WAC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts as well as College Sports Madness WAC Offensive Player of the Week, Rivals.com WAC Conference Player of the Week and College Football Performance Awards named him an Honorable Mention Quarterback of the Week. It was the first time since the 2003 season that an Aggie quarterback has rushed and thrown for over 100-yards each in a single game.
Christian made his first start under center for the Aggies against San Jose State. Christian threw for a then career-high 238 yards on 17-of-28 passing and a touchdown. He also rushed for 58 yards and a touchdown.
This season, Christian has 1,448 yards passing and 11 touchdowns, while rushing for 223 yards and four touchdowns.
Last year, Christian started at quarterback in eight games for the Aggies in 2010, missing four games due to injury. On the year, Christian led the Aggies in passing with 1,372 yards, including eight touchdowns. Christian was also fourth on the team in rushing with 218 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the Aggies in total offense on the year, averaging 198.8 yards per game.
For his career, Christian has thrown for 2,820 yards and 19 touchdowns, while rushing for 441 yards and six scores.
Niumatalolo: One Tough End
Defensive end David Niumatalolo has made the best of his senior season. He currently leads the Aggies in sacks with 6.5, ranking him fourth in the league and 19th in the nation. Niumatalolo has 49 tackles on the year, 9.5 tackles for a loss, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
For his career, Niumatalolo has 132 tackles, eight sacks, 15.5 tackles for a loss, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal attempt.
Coleman's Career Game Matches 2010 Mark
Senior Safely Donyae Coleman recorded a career-high 24 tackles against Nevada. He became the first defender to record 20+ tackles since Derrick Richardson at UTEP on 9/20/08 (21). Coleman now has six double-digit tackle games this season and nine for his career. His 24 tackles were just two short of the school record of 26 in a single game.
In the season opener against Ohio, Coleman led the Aggies with 14 tackles. He also grabbed his first career interception and his first career fumble recovery. Versus Minnesota, Coleman had five tackles. Against UTEP, Coleman grabbed his second interception of the season and his second double-digit tackle performance with 10. Coleman continued to rack up the tackles with 10 against San Jose State. Coleman then recorded his third interception of the season against in-state rival New Mexico and tallied 10 tackles for his fourth double-digit tackle performance of the season. Against Idaho, Coleman had 11 tackles, an interception, a fumble recovery, a forced fumble and a pass break-up.
Last season, Coleman had three double-digit tackle games, while leading the team in tackles with 92.
For his career, Coleman has 198 tackles, three and a half tackles for a loss, 13 pass break-ups, four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, a sack and four interceptions.
He currently ranks first in the WAC in interceptions and 12th in the nation. He is second in the WAC in tackles per game with 11.0 and eighth in the nation. Coleman also ranks first in the league in fumble recoveries and forced fumbles.
Several Aggies make Phil Steele's Midseason All-WAC List
Seven Aggies were recently named to the Phil Steele 2011 Midseason All-WAC team. Defensive end David Niumatalolo, safety Donyae Coleman and wide receiver/kick returner Taveon Rogers all made the first team list, while Rogers was named a second team wide receiver, along with defensive back Jonte Green. Running back Kenny Turner, wide receiver Todd Lee and offensive tackle Davonte Wallace were named to the third team list.
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 nine of the season.
Center Mike Grady and tackle Aundre McGaskey led the team with six knockdowns each against Georgia.
Rogers Added to Biletnikoff Watch List
New Mexico State wide receiver Taveon Rogers has been added to the 2011 Biletnikoff Watch List. The award is named for Fred Biletnikoff, the Florida State University All-America receiver and a Pro-Football Hall of Famer. The award has been given out for the past 16 years.
Rogers has caught 34 passes for a team leading 715 yards and eight touchdowns, averaging 89.4 yards a game and 21 yards per catch.
The recipient of the 2011 Biletnikoff Award will be announced live on ESPN on The Home Depot College Football Awards on Thursday, December 8th. The Biletnikoff Award Presentation Banquet will be held at the University Center Club at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday, February 11, 2012.
House, Smith and Nelson Get a Shot in the NFL
The Aggies currently have three players from the 2010 squad playing in the NFL. Defensive back Davon House was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, becoming the first Aggie to be drafted since 2003. Running back Seth Smith and tight end/long snapper Kyle Nelson were each picked up as free agents, as Smith went to the San Francisco 49ers and Nelson to the New Orleans Saints.