NM State Faces Utah State in Season Finale
Courtesy: New Mexico State University  
Release:  11/28/2011

$5 Tickets for Kids 12 and Under

   The New Mexico State (4-8, 2-4) football team will host the Utah State Aggies (6-5, 4-2) this Saturday, Dec. 3, at Aggie Memorial Stadium. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m., for the 35th 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 12:30 p.m. 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

New Mexico State-Utah State Rivalry

          The Utah State Aggies hold a 27-7 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).

Scouting Utah State

          A third-year head coach in Gary Anderson leads the 2011 edition of the Utah State Aggies football team. The Aggies have faced a very tough non-conference schedule in 2011 with games against Auburn, Colorado State, Wyoming and BYU. Utah State stands at 6-5, 4-2 coming into the game with NM State. Utah State is 2-3 on the road this season.

    The Aggies are scoring 35.5 points per game and are racking up 453.5 yards of total offense. Utah State has also scored 91 percent of the time in the red-zone. The Aggies' defense is allowing its opponents to score 28.9 points per game and record 365.4 yards of total offense a game.

          Individually, the Aggies are led by quarterback Adam Kennedy. He leads the way with 786 passing yards in six games with seven touchdown passes. Robert Turbin leads the running backs with 1,318 yards rushing, averaging 6.5 yards per carry with 19 touchdowns, while Matt Austin has caught 29 passes for 433 yards and four touchdowns to lead the receivers.

          Defensively, Bobby Wagner has 134 tackles on the season, including 9.5 tackles for a loss to lead the Aggies.

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

        The New Mexico State Aggies fell to the Utah State Aggies in Logan, Utah. NM State outgained Utah State in total offense 346 to 296, but was outscored 17-5 in the second half after holding a 17-10 lead at halftime.

        Junior Matt Christian led the Aggies in passing with 191 yards and a touchdown, while also recording 41 yards and a touchdown on the ground. Sophomore running back Kenny Turner led the Aggies rushing and receiving, tallying 68 yards on 17 carries and 64 yards receiving on seven catches. Defensively for NM State, Alphonso Powell, Davon House and B.J. Adolpho all recorded seven tackles each.

        Both teams were forced to punt on their first two possessions of the second half. Utah State took the ball 66 yards down the field, scoring on a 3-yard touchdown run by Diondre Borel to tie the game at 17 all with 2:50 left in the third quarter. Penalties kept the Utah State drive alive, allowing them to tie the game.

        The Aggies were forced to punt giving Utah State good field position towards the end of the third quarter but the NM State defense held Utah State with 13:40 remaining in the game. The Aggies drove down inside Utah State's side of the field but was stuffed. Stampler came on to kick a career-long 48-yard field goal to give NM State a 20-17 lead with 9:29 to go in the game.  

        On the ensuing kickoff Utah State returned the ball to the NM State 27-yard line as the Aggies were flagged for a personal foul giving Utah State field position at the 12-yard line. Utah State then scored on the next play on a 12-yard run, giving Utah State a 24-20 lead with 9:07 to go in the game.

        The NM State offense went three-and-out giving the ball back to Utah State with 7:33 left in the game. Utah State then ate up over four minutes on the clock, settling for a field goal, making it 27-20 with 2:44 remaining in the game. NM State took the ball over at its own 12-yard line. The Aggies drove the ball down to the Utah State 27-yard line with just under a minute left in the game but could not convert on fourth-and-three, turning the ball over on downs with 52 seconds left.

        Utah State would kneel on the ball three times and on fourth down with eight seconds to go, Utah State took a safety in the endzone running the clock out. Despite the safety, Utah State won the game 27-22.

        After a 37-yard kickoff return by Rogers, the Aggies drove 58 yards on 10 plays to take an early 7-0 capped off by a Christian 9-yard touchdown run with 9:33 left in the first quarter. The Aggies would take the ball over again after two punts by Utah State and marched down the field on five plays covering 86 yards, as Christian hit Todd Lee on a 32-yard touchdown pass. NM State took a 14-0 lead with 52 seconds left in the first quarter.

        An 84-yard kickoff return by Utah State gave the Aggies the ball inside NM State's 10-yard line. Two plays later Utah State scored on a 2-yard run by Derrvin Speight, to pull within seven at 14-7, ending the first quarter.

        Safety Alphonso Powell would intercept a Utah State pass to give the Aggies the ball back at the Utah State 31-yard line. The Aggies' offense couldn't get anything going but Tyler Stampler came in and hit a 46-yard field goal with 10 minutes left in the half to take a 17-7 lead.

        Utah State then took the ball down into NM State territory but the Aggie defense held forcing Utah State to settle for a 44-yard field goal to bring to score to 17-10 in favor of NM State with 7:41 to go in the half. NM State and Utah State would be forced to punt on their next possessions. The Aggies would get the ball back right before the half but stalled, running the clock out and went into the locker room up 17-10.

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 2,217 in all-purpose yards, averaging 201.5 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 3,968 all-purpose yards, which ranks him fourth all-time in the school's record book.

Colwell Not Playing like a Freshman

        Freshman quarterback Travaughn Colwell has played in seven games for the Aggies in 2011. To date, Colwell has thrown for 419 yards and two touchdowns on 39-of-60 yards passing, completing 65 percent of his passes.

        Colwell stated his first game as an Aggie against Louisiana Tech. He threw for 118 yards.

        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 Goes Over 1,000

        Running back Kenny Turner rushed for 149 yards on 29 carries against Louisiana Tech. It was Turner's sixth 100-yard rushing game of the season. The 149 yards also pushed Turner over 1,000-yard mark for the season. He becomes the first Aggie to rush for 1,000 yards in a season since Seth Smith in 2009.

        Turner leads the team with 1,009 yards rushing and nine touchdowns, averaging 84.1 yards a game and 4.9 yards a carry. He is also second on the team in receptions with 46 on the year, for 514 yards and three receiving touchdowns.

        Turner has six 100-yard rushing games this year and 1,539 all-purpose yards. He is first on the team in scoring with 76 points. Turner ranks third in the WAC in rushing yards per game and ninth in points per game.

        For his career, Turner has 1,470 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns and 717 yards receiving and three touchdowns.

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 101 returns for 2,671 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 26.4 yards a return. This season, Rogers has returned 49 kickoffs for 1,261 yards and three touchdowns, averaging 25.7 yards a return. Both the returns and yardage are in the top-10 for single season marks at NM State.

Green Records First INT

        Defensive back Jonte Green recorded his first interception of his career against Louisiana Tech. He returned that interception for 33 yards. Green is currently fifth on the Aggies in tackles with 64 on the season and has a team leading 14 pass break-ups.

        For his career, Green has 212 tackles and 31 pass break-ups.

Franklin a Bright Spot

        Freshman wide receiver Austin Franklin has been a bright spot for the future this season for NM State. The young wide receiver has caught 32 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns in 2011. Over the last four games, Franklin has 16 catches for 175 yards and a touchdown.

        His best game of the season came against in-state rival New Mexico. Against the Lobos, Franklin caught five passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. It was his first 100-yard receiving game and first career touchdown catch. He has five catches for 40-plus yards this season.

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.

Williams Named CFL's Top Rookie

        Speedy Hamilton Tiger-Cats rookie receiver and former Aggie Chris Williams was named the CFL's top rookie at the 2011 Gibson's Finest CFL Player Awards.

        In his first CFL season, Williams had 70 receptions for 1,064 yards and six touchdowns. His highest output of the season came in his third career game when he had eight receptions for 189 yards and a touchdown.

        The New Mexico State product also had six carries for 43 yards. Williams was also called upon to return kicks on occasion. He returned 12 punts for 81 yards and 12 kickoffs for 252 yards, including a 93-yard touchdown.


        Wide Receiver Todd Lee has had a very productive senior season but a very quiet season at the same time. Lee has caught 35 passes on the season for 538 yards and three touchdowns. His total receiving yards and touchdown receptions are second on the team, while his 15.4 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 93 receptions for 1,133 yards and seven touchdown receptions.

Christian Ready for Final Aggie Game

        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 seventh in the league and 62nd in the nation. Niumatalolo has 67 tackles on the year, 12.5 tackles for a loss, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble.

        For his career, Niumatalolo has 150 tackles, eight sacks, 18.5 tackles for a loss, two fumble recoveries, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal attempt.

Coleman's Makes Way into Record Books

        Senior Safely Donyae Coleman grabbed his sixth interception of the season against Louisiana Tech. This puts Coleman in a tie at second for most interceptions in a season by an Aggie.

        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 years 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. 

        For his career, Coleman has 209 tackles, three and a half tackles for a loss, 17 pass break-ups, four fumble recoveries, three forced fumbles, a sack and six interceptions.

        He currently ranks first in the WAC in interceptions and fifth in the nation. He is second in the WAC in tackles per game with 10.0 and 18th in the nation. Coleman also ranks first in the league in fumble recoveries and forced fumbles.

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 12 of the season.

        Tackle Aundre McGaskey led the team with seven knockdowns against Louisiana Tech.

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