The New Mexico State Aggies (1-8, 0-4) host the San Jose State Spartans (7-2, 3-1) this Saturday, Nov. 10, at 1:30 p.m. MT at Aggie Memorial Stadium in Las Cruces. This is the 20th meeting between the two schools, with the Spartans holding a 16-3 advantage in the series.
The Aggies’ last win in the series was back in 2010, which was NM State’s first win in the series since the 1994 season and was the first win for the Aggies since joining the WAC.
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 KGRT 104 FM. Also catch the action in Spanish with Bob Sherman on Vista 98.7 FM.
The game will be televised on Aggie Vision around the state of New Mexico on Comcast, My50-TV (KASY) in Albuquerque, Comcast SportsNet Houston, El Paso-Las Cruces 24-hour Weather Channel available over the air on channel 7.3, on Comcast Cable channel 204 in Las Cruces or Time Warner Cable channel 367 in El Paso, ESPN3 and ESPN GamePlan .
Aggies/Spartans, the Series
The Aggies and Spartans have met 19 times prior to Saturday’s game with San Jose State holding a 16-3 series lead. The first game in the series was back in 1984 when the Spartans won 14-0. The Aggies and the Spartans were conference foes once before, from 1984 to 1995, as both were members of the Big West Conference. The Spartans won the first eight games in the series before the Aggies got their first victory in 1992 with a 34-24 win in San Jose.
In fact two of the three Aggies’ wins have come in San Jose. The Aggies defeated the Spartans in 2010 for the first time since the 1994 season and the first time since the Aggies joined the WAC. It was also NM State’s first win against SJSU at home.
Scouting the Spartans
The San Jose State Spartans are currently 7-2 overall. The Spartans are 4-1 on the road this season. This past weekend San Jose State defeated Idaho 42-13 on the road and improved to 3-1 in WAC play.
As a team the Spartans are averaging 109.6 yards on the ground and 328.6 yards per game through the air. SJSU is averaging 33.8 points a game while allowing its opponents 21.4 points a game.
Individually for the Spartans, quarterback David Fales leads the charge with 2,850 yards passing this season with 21 touchdowns. De’Leon Eskridge heads up the Spartans running game, averaging 70.3 yards a game, 4.4 yards per carry and has scored six rushing touchdowns this season. Noel Grigsby leads the receiving corps with 55 catches for 853 yards.
Defensively, Vince Buhagier and Keith Smith lead the team in tackles with 59 each. Cullen Newsome is third on the team with 57 tackles. SJSU has recorded 32 sacks this season.
Last Time Year versus San Jose State
The New Mexico State football team dropped its opening Western Athletic Conference (WAC) game of the season 34-24 at San Jose State Saturday afternoon.
NM State dropped to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play. San Jose State earned its first win of the year to improve to 1-3 overall and begin WAC play at 1-0. The Aggies were flagged for eight fouls for 76 yards while the Spartans drew one penalty for five markers on the day.
Aggie senior quarterback Matt Christian made his first start of the season, throwing for 238 yards on 17-of-28 passing with an interception and a touchdown. Christian also rushed for a 9-yard touchdown as part of his 58 yards rushing on 13 carries.
Starting at running back today, junior Kenny Turner compiled a career-high 129 yards on 17 carries including a career-long 78-yard touchdown. Turner also nabbed his first career touchdown reception on an 18-yard strike from Christian, finishing with three grabs for 19 yards. Senior wide receiver Taveon Rogers amassed a career-high 120 yards on five catches and totaled 67 yards on four kick returns.
Defensively, senior Courtney Viney eclipsed his season total (12) in tackles with 14 stops including 1.5 tackles-for-loss. Senior Donyae Coleman recorded his second straight game with 10 tackles, his third double-digit effort of the season to go with two pass breakups. Senior tackle David Mahoney recovered his first career fumble in the second quarter that led to NM State's first touchdown drive of the game.
On the second play of the third quarter, SJSU threw for a 64-yard touchdown to take a 17-10 lead with 14:12 left. The Aggies then drove the ball down in four plays to tie the game at 17-17 with 12:31 to go in the third. Christian scored his first rushing touchdown of the season on a 9-yard run. Christian was a perfect 2-for-2 and rushed for 24 yards on the drive.
The Aggie defense stopped the Spartans on a third-and-one to force a punt with 10:34 left in the third. Turner then took the ball on a second-and-10 and turned it up the field for 78 yards and a touchdown, giving NM State a 24-17 lead with 8:35 to go in the quarter. It was Turner's career-long run, while pushing him over the 100-yard rushing mark for the first time as an Aggie.
The Spartans took the ball and drove 75 yards in 14 plays to tie the game at 24-24 with 3:19 to go in the third, on a 3-yard touchdown pass. Christian then threw an interception on the Aggies' next drive to give SJSU the ball back with 1:20 left in the third. The quarter ended with the score tied 24-all and the Spartans driving deep into NM State territory.
The Spartans scored on a 2-yard run to take a 31-24 lead with 13:59 left in the game. It was Rutley's second rushing touchdown of the game. SJSU's scoring drive was 53 yards on six plays in 2:20. The Aggies' next drive stalled and was forced to punt the ball away to the Spartans with 10 minutes left in the game.
SJSU would kick a field on its next possession to extend their lead to 34-24 with 7:07 remaining in the game.
NM State went three-and-out on the ensuing drive after a false start penalty.
San Jose State started its next drive with 5:43 remaining. The Spartans rushed the ball six times in seven plays to wind down the clock as NM State used its second timeout of the game. SJSU turned it over on downs with 1:43 remaining.
The Aggies took over on their own 33-yard line with 1:43 left in the contest. NM State moved into Spartan territory and called its final timeout with 1:02 remaining. Christian utilized the two-minute offense to move the Aggies to the Spartan 20-yard line before time ran out.
The Aggies got on the board first with a 19-yard field goal by Tyler Stampler. NM State took the opening drive 77 yards on 10 plays, taking a 3-0 lead with 9:41 to go in the first quarter. The Spartans turned right around and scored on their first play of the game, a 66-yard rushing touchdown, to give SJSU a 7-3 with 9:29 left in the first.
The Spartans attempted a 37-yard field goal with 4:05 to go in the first quarter, but it sailed wide right giving the ball back to NM State at its own 20-yard line. The Aggies then went three-and-out, having to punt the ball away for the second time in the game. SJSU held a 7-3 lead after one quarter, while driving into NM State territory.
Just seconds into the second quarter the Aggies forced the Spartans to punt the ball back at the 14:56 mark. The Aggies started their drive at the 2-yard line after a solid special teams play by the Spartans. NM State moved the ball into the Spartans' side of the field but were forced to punt, downing the ball inside the 2-yard line of SJSU with 11:03 to go in the half.
The Spartans slowly moved the ball up field before defensive lineman David Mahoney recovered a fumble snap by the Spartans quarterback to give NM State excellent field position at the SJSU 45-yard line with 6:14 to go in the half. It was Mahoney's first career fumble recovery.
The Aggies moved the ball inside the SJSU 20-yard line with just under five minutes to play in the half. Christian then hit Turner on an 18-yard diving touchdown catch to put the Aggies up 10-7 with 4:12 left in the first half.
SJSU drove the ball to the NM State 25-yard line with 22 seconds left in the half and were forced to attempt a field goal. The 42-yard attempt was good, tying the game at 10-all with just 17 second to go in the half.
Christian threw for 140 yards on 6-of-11 passing and a touchdown in the first half. Turner led the Aggies with 40 yards rushing, while Taveon Rogers caught four passes for a career-high 105 yards. Turner also caught a touchdown pass in the first half. The defense was led by Courtney Viney and Boyblue Aoelua each with seven tackles. The Aggies totaled 188 yards of offense compared to SJSU's 213 yards in the first half.
Franklin Joins 1,000-yard Club
Wide receiver Austin Franklin joined an elite Aggie club against Auburn with seven catches for 154 yards. He became just the fifth player in school history to record over 1,000 yards receiving in a single-season. This year, Franklin has 1,119 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 17.5 yards per catch.
He has also recorded seven 100-yard receiving game of the season. He has eight 100-yard receiving games in his career, including seven this season (Sac State – 236; UTEP – 107; New Mexico – 107; UTSA – 105; Idaho – 115; Louisiana Tech – 139; Auburn - 154).
Franklin also leads the team in scoring with 56 points on nine touchdown receptions and a two-point conversion catch. He is seventh in the conference in scoring with 6.2 points per game.
Nationally, Franklin ranks third in receiving yards per game, is 11th in receptions per game and 33rd in all-purpose yards. He ranks first in the WAC in receiving yards per game and second in receptions per game.
For his career, Franklin has caught 98 passes for 1,643 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 16.8 yards per catch.
Walls has Career Day
Tight end Trevor Walls continues to be a productive play maker for the Aggies this season. Against Auburn, Walls had a career day with highs in both receptions (6) and yards (39). Over the last three games, Walls has 11 catches for 102 yards, averaging 9.3 yards per catch. On the season, Walls has 14 receptions for 131 yards and a touchdown, averaging 9.4 yards per catch.
For his career, Walls has 25 receptions for 275 yards and a touchdown, averaging 11.0 yards a catch.
Callendar Grabs First Career INT
Safety George Callender has made is impact felt in the Aggie secondary this season. Against Auburn, Callendar had 10 stops and recorded his first career interception, while going over the 100 tackles mark for his career. Versus No. 24 Louisiana Tech, Callender recorded a career-high 14 tackles. Against Utah State, Callender tallied nine tackles. It was the third time this season that Callender recorded nine tackles in a game. On the season, Callender has 67 tackles, 42 of those are solo efforts, ranking him third on the team and seventh in the WAC at 7.4 tackles per game.
For his career, Callendar 101 tackles and two pass break-ups.
Aggies’ Scoring in the Fourth
NM State is averaging 19.4 points a game this season, while giving up 34.4 points per game. The Aggies have been outscored 259 to 97 in the first three quarters this season, but have outscored their opponents 78 to 51 in the fourth quarter.
The Aggies are only giving up 5.6 points this season in the fourth quarter, while giving up 28.7 points in the first three quarters.
Morrison Continues to Run Hard
Running back Germi Morrison has stepped into the lead running back position over the last few games for the Aggies. Versus Auburn, Morrison recorded 79 yards on the ground, his fourth straight game with over 75 yards rushing. Against Utah State, Morrison had a career-high 96 yards on 19 carries. He also caught a career-high four passes for 28 yards. Versus Louisiana Tech, Morrison recorded his second straight game with over 90 yards rushing, while catching a career-high four passes for 51 yards.
On the season, Morrison has 530 yards on the ground to lead NM State on 110 carries with one touchdown. He is fifth on the WAC in rushing yards per game 58.9. Morrison also has 11 catches for 91 yards on the year.
Tiger Back in the Endzone
Running back Tiger Powell has made his name for the Aggies this season on short yardage runs. Against Auburn, Powell had five attempts for 15 yards including a 2-yard touchdown.
On the season, Powell has 144 rushing yards and leads the team in rushing touchdowns with five. He also has two catches for 11 yards.
Harris a Tough Cornerback
Cornerback Jeremy Harris recorded a career-high three pass break ups against No. 24 Louisiana Tech He also had six tackles for the second straight week. Over the course of the last three games, Harris has 16 tackles, a tackles for a loss and three pass break ups. On the season he leads the team in pass break ups with eight, ranking him tied for fifth in the WAC. He also ranks tied for sixth in the conference in forced fumbles with two, which also leads the Aggies.
On the season, Harris has 43 tackles, an interception, eight pass break ups and two forced fumbles.
Cazares Leads Team/WAC in Tackles
Safety Davis Cazares currently leads the team in tackles with 91 thru nine games. He also leads the WAC in tackles per game and is 21st in the nation. Cazares had a career day against New Mexico with 19 tackles and a forced fumble. He had eight solo tackles and 11 assisted. On the season, Cazares has recorded five games with double-digit tackles.
Cazares' previous high was 10 tackles against Sacramento State to start the season. He then followed that performance with a 10 tackles against UTSA. This past weekend, Cazares had 15 tackles about No. 24 Louisiana Tech.
In 2011, Cazares played in 13 games for the Aggies on special teams and at safety. He tallied 12 tackles on the season. Cazares recorded a season-high three tackles against Fresno State (Nov. 12) and two tackles versus Ohio (Sept. 3), New Mexico (Oct. 1) and Nevada (Oct. 29).
For his career, Cazares has 111 tackles, two tackles for a loss, a pass break-up and a forced fumble.
Sacking the QB
The Aggie defense had three sacks against Utah State. It was the most for the Aggies as a team this season. NM State has recorded three of more sacks in a game only four other times since the 2009 season. Donte Savage had two against Utah State, while Trashaun Nixon recorded the other sack.
On the season, NM State has eight sacks.
Savage Close to Breaking into Top-5
Defensive end Donte Savage had his best game of the 2012 season against Utah State. Savage tied a season-high six tackles, two sacks, two and half tackles for a loss and four quarterback hurries. He was named an honorable mention Defensive Lineman of the Week by College Football Performance.
On the season, Savage has three sacks and 34 tackles. His six tackles for a loss ranks him seventh in the WAC, while his three sacks’ leads the team.
For his career, Savage has 134 tackles, 28.0 for a loss, four forced fumbles, three recovered fumbles, a blocked PAT and a blocked punt. Savage looks to make his mark on the sack record book. He currently has 14 for his career and needs two to break into the top five all-time at NM State.
Franklin’s Award List Grows
New Mexico State wide receiver Austin Franklin was added to the 2012 Biletnikoff Watch List in late September and most recently was named a fourth team Mid-Season All-American by Phil Steele Magazine.
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 17 years. This is the second straight season an Aggie wide receiver has been named to the watch list. (Taveon Rogers – 2011)
Franklin has caught 64 passes for 1,119 yards and nine touchdowns, leading the Aggies. He has also tallied 1,184 all-purpose yards.
The recipient of the 2012 Biletnikoff Award will be announced live on ESPN on The Home Depot College Football Awards in early December. The Biletnikoff Award Presentation Banquet will be held at the University Center Club at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013.
Nixon the Man in the Middle
Linebacker Trashaun Nixon has played solid for the Aggies over the last four games. On the first play of the game against Idaho, Nixon recorded his first career interception. He also a team-high eight tackles, two tackles for a loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two quarterback hurries.
He followed that performance with seven tackles, a sack, a tackles for a loss and a quarterback hurry versus Utah State. He then added eight tackles against No. 24 Louisiana Tech and five stops versus Auburn.
Over the last four games, Nixon has 28 tackles, averaging seven tackles a game and a sack.
Nixon is fifth in the WAC with 7.9 tackles a game, ranking 100th in the country. He is also fifth in the WAC in tackles for a loss.
On the season, Nixon is second on the team in tackles with 71, with eight tackles for a loss, two sacks, five quarterback hurries, two pass break ups, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception.
Bateman Coming on as of Late
Wide receiver Kemonte Bateman has been quietly putting up numbers over the last seven games for NM State. He has recorded at least five receptions in five of the seven games, including a season-high seven against UTEP and UTSA. He also had a career-high 115 yards versus UTEP. Bateman has three touchdowns in the last seven games.
Since the UTEP game, Bateman has 34 receptions, which is second on the team, 440 yards receiving, averaging 12.9 yards a catch and three touchdowns, averaging 62.9 yards a contest.
On the season, Bateman has caught 40 catches for 518 yards and three scores. He ranks sixth in the WAC in receiving yards per game and sixth in receptions per game.
Manley by the Numbers
This season, Manley has thrown for 2,312 yards and 12 touchdowns, completing 54.6 percent of his passes.
Against UTEP, Manley surpassed the 2,000-yard passing mark with 290 yards on 20-of-47 passing. Manley has thrown for over 200 yards in a game nine times in his career and has now thrown a touchdown pass in nine straight games. Against Idaho, Manley recorded his third 300-yard passing game, with 309 yards on 28-of-45 passing and a touchdown. He broke the 3,000-yard passing mark for his career in that game as well.
Manley is currently fourth in the WAC in passing yards per game (256.9) and fourth in total offense per game (244.0).
For his career, Manley has thrown for 3,808 yards and 21 touchdowns, while completing 54.5 percent of his pass attempts.
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 eight of the season.
Guard Andy Cunningham led the Aggies with four knockdowns against Auburn.
Additions to the Staff in 2012
The Aggies welcome four new coaches to the staff in 2012. Jerry McManus takes over as offensive coordinator for the departed Doug Martin, while David Elson will handle the defensive coordinator duties after the retirement of Dale Lindsey. Both McManus and Elson have several years at the college level as top assistants, while Elson holds head coaching experience.
Brad Bedell comes to NM State as the new offensive line coach, while Romeo Bandison will oversee the defensive line. Bedell and Bandison each have professional football playing experience, while Bandison has coached at top programs like Boise State and Colorado.
Honors in 2011
The New Mexico State football team received several honors after the 2011 football season both for on-the-field accomplishments and in the classroom. Taveon Rogers was selected as a third team Yahoo Sports and honorable mention Pro Football Weekly All-American teams. Five players including Rogers, Donyae Coleman, Davonte Wallace, Jonte Green and Kenny Turner all garnered All-WAC honors the most all-conference picks since joining the WAC. Valerian Ume-Ezeoke was also named to the Rivals.com Freshman All-WAC team. Defensive lineman David Niumatalolo was selected as CoSIDA Academic All-American, the team’s first Academic All-American since 1999. The Aggies also landed 16 players on the Academic All-WAC list.
House, Green and Rogers Playing in the NFL
The Aggies currently have three players in the NFL. Defensive back Davon House who was drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft, becoming the first Aggies to be drafted since 2003. In 2012, defensive back Jonte Green was selected in the sixth round by the Detroit Lions, while wide receiver/kick returner Taveon Rogers was signed as a free agent by the Cincinnati Bengals. Rogers has since moved to defensive back.
Aggies on Twitter
The Aggie Athletics department has a Twitter account where media and fans can get all your in-game scores at www.twitter.com/nmstateaggies. Head Coach DeWayne Walker also has a twitter account for all the latest football news, as media and fans can go to www.twitter.com/dwalkerfootball.