The Aggies' football team (4-7, 2-3) travels to Louisiana Tech (7-4, 5-1) Saturday, Nov. 26 at Joe Aillet Stadium beginning at 2:00 p.m. It will also be the fifth meeting between the two schools in Ruston, where the Aggies are 0-4. The home team has lost just two games in the series, which stands at 6-4 in favor of the Bulldogs.
The Aggies are 10-10 against Division I-A teams from Louisiana and 12-10 overall against all teams from Louisiana. NM State is 5-4 in its last eight contests against teams from Louisiana.
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.
New Mexico State/ Louisiana Tech, the Series
This will be just the 11th meeting between the two schools. The Bulldogs lead the series at 6-4. The first meeting between the two schools was back in 1967 when the Aggies crushed Louisiana Tech, 48-7. NM State then traveled to Ruston, La., in 1968 as the Bulldogs were victorious, 42-24.
The series then took a 15-year break before resurfacing in 1983, as the Aggies beat the Bulldogs 15-7 in Las Cruces. In 1995, the Aggies again hosted the Bulldogs as Cody Ledbetter threw for a team record five touchdowns in a 48-13 win. In their first conference battle in the WAC during 2005, the Bulldogs beat the Aggies, 34-14, in Ruston. The Aggies then ended the 2006 season with a 50-23 win over the Bulldogs in Las Cruces before losing at LA Tech beat NM State 22-21, in 2007. The following year the Bulldogs defeated NM State 35-31 in Las Cruces. Last season the Bulldogs defeated the Aggies 41-20 in Las Cruces.
Scouting the Bulldogs
The Louisiana Tech Bulldogs are 7-4 overall in 2011 with a 5-1 WAC record. This past weekend the Bulldogs defeated Nevada, 24-20. The Bulldogs are 5-2 on the road this season and 2-2 on their home turf.
As a team, Louisiana Tech is averaging 29.4 points per game and allowing 24.5 points a contest. They are putting up 395.5 yards a game, 249.8 yards through the air and 145.7 yards a game on the ground. The Bulldogs have scored 83 percent of the time they are in the red zone, while their opponents are scoring 96 percent of the time inside the 20-yard line.
Individually for the Bulldogs, Colby Cameron leads the passing attack with 237.2 yards a game with 10 touchdowns on the season. Lennon Creer heads the Bulldog running attack with 838 yards on the ground this season and nine touchdowns. Quinton Patton leads the receiving corps with 71 receptions and 1,081 yards and team leading 10 touchdowns.
Adrien Cole is LA Tech's leading tackler on defense with 108 on the season, followed by Jay Dudley with 85.
The Last Season against the Bulldogs
Running back Robert Clay led the New Mexico State football team with a career-high 108 rushing yards, but the Aggies fell to Louisiana Tech, 41-20.
Clay paced the ground attack with 22 carries, and he is now the first Aggie to rush for more than 100 yards this season. NM State moved to 2-8 and 1-5 in the WAC, while the Bulldogs improved to 4-6 and 3-3.
Quarterback Andrew Manley threw for 216 yards on 20-of-40 passing and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Marcus Allen grabbed seven receptions for 80 yards and senior tight end Kyle Nelson caught six passes for 47 yards. Junior wide receiver Todd Lee caught three passes for 73 yards and a 30-yard touchdown. Sophomore linebacker B.J. Adolpho and junior defensive back Donyae Coleman led the defense with 13 and 12 tackles, respectively.
NM State started with the ball in the second half but was forced to punt. The Aggie defense reacted and junior linebacker Boyblue Aoelua grabbed his first career interception that he returned 41 yards for a touchdown. The scored pulled the Aggies within seven, 24-17.
Louisiana Tech struck first in the fourth quarter with a 21-yard field goal to extend its lead to 27-17 with 10:14 remaining in the game. The Aggies answered with 12-play, 54-yard drive that resulted in a 31-yard field from sophomore kicker Tyler Stampler that narrowed the gap to seven, 27-20, at the 6:14 mark.
The Bulldogs responded on the next series with a 62-yard rushing touchdown on a reverse to take a 34-20 advantage. On the ensuing kickoff, the Bulldogs capitalized on an Aggie miscue, a muffed kick, which LA Tech converted into its final touchdown of the game.
In the first quarter, the Aggies would get on the board with a 26-yard field goal by Stampler. LA Tech then responded with two quick touchdowns to take 14-3 with just under five minutes left in the first quarter. NM State then began to drive down field but Manley was picked off deep in LA Tech territory stopping the Aggies' threat. The Bulldogs then took the ball deep into the NM State side of the field as the first quarter expired.
LA Tech then hit a 47-yard field goal with just 11 second gone in the second quarter to take a 17-3 lead. The Aggies then marched down the field 85-yards on 10 plays capping off the scoring drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Manley to Lee with 8:47 left in the second quarter. Manley went 6-for-6 passing on the drive. It was Lee's third touchdown reception of the season and Manley's first career touchdown pass.
The Aggies would be forced to punt on their next possession with just over five minutes left in the half. LA Tech then took the ball 83 yards on nine plays capped off by a 7-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 24-10 with 1:31 left in the half. The Aggies would run a hand full of plays before the end of the half, going into the locker room down 24-10.
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 2,161 in all-purpose yards, averaging 216.1 yards per game. He has recorded five games with over 200 all-purpose yards, including 760 of those yards in the last three 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 3,903 all-purpose yards, which ranks him fourth all-time in the school's record book. Rogers needs 1,082 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 301 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-35 yards passing, completing 68.6 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.
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 860 yards rushing and nine touchdowns, averaging 78.2 yards a game and 4.9 yards a carry. He also second on the team in receptions with 45 on the year, for 511 yards and three receiving touchdowns.
Turner has five 100-yard rushing games this year and 1,387 all-purpose yards. He is first on the team in scoring with 76 points. Turner ranks seventh in the WAC in rushing yards per game and fifth in points per game.
For his career, Turner has 1321 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and 714 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 2,251 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 100 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 100 returns for 2,661 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 26.6 yards a return. This season, Rogers has returned 48 kickoffs for 1,251 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 26.1 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 four games, Bradley has 30 tackles, four tackles for a loss and a pass break-up.
On the season, Bradley is second on the team with 77 tackles, four tackles for a loss, three pass break-ups and an interception.
For his career, Bradley has 82 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 five games, Mahoney has tallied 16 tackles, four and half 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 27 tackles, third most of any defensive lineman for the Aggies. For his career, Mahoney has 35 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 34 passes on the season for 526 yards and three touchdowns. His total receiving yards and touchdown receptions are second on the team, while his 15.5 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 92 receptions for 1,212 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 1,906 yards passing and 14 touchdowns, while rushing for 247 yards and four touchdowns.
For his career, Christian has thrown for 3,278 yards and 22 touchdowns, while rushing for 465 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 sixth in the league and 40th in the nation. Niumatalolo has 60 tackles on the year, 11.5 tackles for a loss, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.
For his career, Niumatalolo has 143 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.
Coleman then recorded his 100th tackle in the first half against BYU. He is the fifth player in the last seven year to tally 100-plus tackles in a season. Coleman is also the first Aggie to lead the team in tackles in back-to-back seasons since Jimmy Cottrell in 2005 & 2006.
Coleman also grabbed his fifth interception of the season against BYU.
For his career, Coleman has 102 tackles, three and a half tackles for a loss, 13 pass break-ups, four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, a sack and five interceptions.
He currently ranks first in the WAC in interceptions and eighth in the nation. He is second in the WAC in tackles per game with 10.2 and 15th 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 - Nov. 14
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.