NM State and BYU Meet for First Time, Saturday
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  11/15/2011

        The New Mexico State (4-6, 2-3) football team will travel to Provo, Utah for its first ever meeting with the BYU Cougars (7-3), Saturday, Nov. 19. Game time is set for 8:15 p.m. (MT) at LaVell Edwards Stadium.

        This will be the third game this season the Aggies have faced a team for the first time in school history. (Ohio, Minnesota, BYU)

        You can listen to all the action with the Kyle Doperalski and color analyst Jason Scott beginning at 7:15 p.m. on KGRT 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 ESPNU as play-by-play man Adam Amin and color analyst David Diaz-Infante bring you all the action from the booth.

Aggies/ BYU, the Series

        Despite never facing BYU on the grid iron, the Aggies have faced other teams from the state of Utah, including WAC member Utah State, Southern Utah and Weber State. NM State holds a 1-0 record against both Weber State and Southern Utah, while Utah State holds the series edge at 31-7. The Aggies will face Utah State in their final regular season game of the 2011 season.

        NM State has only played one of the four current Independent football schools in Army. The Aggies first met Army in 1999, as the Black Knights won 35-18 in West Point, N.Y. NM State then hosted Army in 2000, winning the home game at Aggie Memorial Stadium 42-24, behind 21 points in the second quarter.

Walker at BYU

        NM State head coach DeWayne Walker is familiar with the BYU football program. Back in 1994, Walker served as defensive backs coach under then head coach LaVelle Edwards. The Cougar went 10-3 that season, as Walker helped guide BYU to a 31-6 win over Oklahoma in the 1994 Copper Bowl.  

        Walker recruited quarterback Steve Sarkisian and defensive back Tim McTyer to BYU. He was also the first African-American coach to be hired at BYU.

Scouting the Cougars

        This season the Cougars have been a balanced team through the air and on the ground, averaging 233.9 yards passing and 165.0 yards rushing a game. BYU has been outscoring its opponents 28.7 points per game to 21.7 this season. With a 7-3 record the Cougars have been great in the red zone, converting on 79 percent of their trips inside the 20-yard line. This past weekend the Cougars defeated Idaho, 42-7, at home.

        BYU is outscoring its opponents in the first, second and fourth quarter this season, being outscored in the third quarter by just three points.

        Individually for BYU, quarterback Riley Nelson has thrown for 1,104 yards and 13 touchdowns in 10 games for the Cougars, averaging 110.4 yards in the air. Nelson has also rushed for 379 yards and a touchdown. J.J. Di Luigi leads the rushing attack for BYU, averaging 45.7 yards a game with three touchdowns, while Cody Hoffman leads the receiving corps. Hoffman has recorded 43 catches for 672 yards and six touchdowns.

        Brandon Ogletree leads the Cougars' defense with 56 tackles on the season, followed by Kyle Van Noy with 49.

Last Time against an Independent Football Team

        New Mexico State returned two interceptions and a punt return for touchdowns, leading the Aggies to their first win of the season, a 42-23 decision over Army.

        Jamar Lawrence and Oliver Soukup had interception returns of 41 and 46 yards, marking the first time in 30 years that New Mexico State had run back two picks for scores. Donald Malloy and Jascon Willis also recorded interceptions. Ronshay Jenkins returned a punt 85 yards, the first time an Aggie had run a punt back for a touchdown in seven seasons.

        The Cadets actually recorded more first downs (20-17) and total yards (379-303) than NM State. Army totaled 235 yards rushing, led by Michael Wallace's 111 yards and two touchdowns. Omari Thompson caught five passes for 73 yards.

        The Aggies jumped to a 21-0 lead mid-way through the second quarter thanks to a six-yard touchdown run by Chris Barnes and scores by Jenkins and Soukup.

        Army and New Mexico State traded touchdowns before Army's Brendan Mullen closed the first half scoring with a 35-yard field goal as time expired.

        Army's Alton McCallum opened the scoring in the second half with a three-yard touchdown run that pulled Army within 28-17, but Kenton Keith came back with a 40-yard scoring run for the Aggies. New Mexico State put the contest away on Lawrence's interception run back for a touchdown with just more than two minutes remaining.

        Army won the time of possession battle, 32:36-27:24, marking the first time a Tony Samuel team had won a game when controlling the ball less than 30 minutes.

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 2,013 in all-purpose yards, averaging 223.7 yards per game. He has recorded five games with over 200 all-purpose yards, including 969 of those yards in the last two games.

        Versus Fresno State, Rogers broke the single-game school mark for all-purpose yards in a game with 412, breaking Ron 'Po' James record that was set back in 1968.

        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 3,755 all-purpose yards, which ranks him fourth all-time in the school's record book. Rogers needs 1,230 yards to move into the top-3 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 240 yards and two touchdowns on 17-of-24 yards passing, completing 70.8 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.

Turner Scores Four the Hard Way

        Running back Kenny Turner had a career-night against Fresno State, helping the Aggies to a first ever win over the Bulldogs. He rushed for 112 yards on 27 carries and a career-high three touchdowns, while catching two passes for 30 yards and a touchdown. It was Turner's fifth 100-yard game of the season, while becoming the first Aggie since 2006 to account for four touchdowns in a game. Jeremiah Williams accomplished this feat against Texas Southern that season.

        For is effort, Turner was picked as the College Sports Madness WAC Offensive Player of the Week.

        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 799 yards rushing and nine touchdowns, averaging 79.9 yards a game and 5.0 yards a carry. He also second on the team in receptions with 42 on the year, for 494 yards and three receiving touchdowns.

        Turner has five 100-yard rushing games this year and 1,309 all-purpose yards. He is first on the team in scoring with 76 points. Turner ranks fifth in the WAC in rushing yards per game and fourth in points per game.

        For his career, Turner has 1,260 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and 697 yards receiving and three touchdowns.

Smith Doesn't Miss an Opportunity

        Safety Justin Smith started his first collegiate game against Fresno State, helping the Aggies to their first ever win in the series. Smith, who was filling in for the injured Donyae Coleman, made the most of his opportunity, leading the team in tackles with a career-high 13.

        On the season, Smith has 25 total tackles.


Rogers Return Man for NM State

        Kick returner Taveon Rogers has broken three school records this season in the kicking game. Most recently, Rogers broke the single-season and career mark for most kick returns for a touchdown, after a 99-yard score against Fresno State. He now has three on the season and three in his career.

        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 seven returns against Nevada, Rogers smashed the long-standing record and now has returned 94 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 94 returns for 2,552 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 27.1 yards a return. This season, Rogers has returned 42 kickoffs for 1,142 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 27.2 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 three games, Bradley has 26 tackles, two tackles for a loss and a pass break-up.

        On the season, Bradley is second on the team with 73 tackles, four tackles for a loss, three pass break-ups and an interception.

        For his career, Bradley has 78 tackles.

Niumatalolo Earns Academic All-District Award

        New Mexico State senior defensive lineman David Niumatalolo was named to the Capital One Academic All-District VII first team, for the second straight year, the College Sports Information Directors of America announced.

        Niumatalolo, a member of the Aggie football team, now qualifies for the All-America honor, which will be released later this month.  A native of Kahuku, Hawai'i, Niumatalolo has a 4.0 G.P.A. in biology.

Mahoney Steppin' Up

        Defensive tackle David Mahoney is making some noise on the defensive line as of late. Over the last four games, Mahoney has tallied 15 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 26 tackles, third most of any defensive lineman for the Aggies. For his career, Mahoney has 34 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 32 passes on the season for 505 yards and three touchdowns. His total receiving yards and touchdown receptions are second on the team, while his 15.8 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 90 receptions for 1,100 yards and seven touchdown receptions.

Christian Fights the Pain

        Quarterback Matt Christian threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns in the Aggies' win over Fresno State. He also rushed for 37 yards in the game. He has now two games with over 350 yards passing this season and four multi-touchdown passing games.

        He 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 1,808 yards passing and 13 touchdowns, while rushing for 260 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 3,180 yards and 21 touchdowns, while rushing for 478 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 fifth in the league and 28th in the nation. Niumatalolo has 56 tackles on the year, 11.5 tackles for a loss, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.

        For his career, Niumatalolo has 139 tackles, eight sacks, 17.5 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 11th 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.

Two Former Aggies to Play for a Trip to the CFL's Grey Cup

        Hamilton Tiger-Cats' Chris Williams and Winnipeg Blue Bombers' Buck Pierce will square off this weekend as their respective teams face each other for the right to play in the 2011 CFL Grey Cup. Williams was recently named the East Division's Most Outstanding Rookie.

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.

        Guard Sioeli Fakalata led the team with nine knockdowns each against Fresno State, a season-high for Fakalata.

Rogers Named WAC Special Teams Player of the Week

        Kick returner/Wide Receiver Taveon Rogers has been named the Verizon WAC Special teams Player of the Week as announced by the conference office. This is Rogers' second WAC special teams award of the season.

        Rogers, a senior from Lancaster, Calif. (Antelope Valley College), returned eight kickoffs for a career-best 246 yards including a 99-yard return for a touchdown in New Mexico State's 48-45 win over Fresno State.  It was his third touchdown return of the season, breaking a school record.  Rogers also caught 10 passes for 166 yards to tally a school-record 412 all-purpose yards in the game.  It was the first ever win for the Aggies over Fresno State in 18 tries.

        Rogers was also named the College Football Performance National Kickoff Returner of the Week.


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