The New Mexico State (1-9, 0-5) football team will host the BYU Cougars (6-5), Saturday, Nov. 24. Game time is set for 1:30 p.m. (MT) at Aggie Memorial Stadium.
The two teams first met in 2011, as BYU beat the Aggies 42-7 in Provo, Utah.
You can listen to all the action with the Jack Nixon and color analyst Jason Scott beginning at 7:15 p.m. on KGRT 104 FM. Also catch the action in Spanish with Edgar Gardell and Bob Sherman on Vista 98.7 FM
The game will be televised by ESPN3.com as play-by-play man Peter Young and color analyst John Fina bring you all the action from the booth.
Aggies/ BYU, the Series
Despite facing BYU on the grid iron just once, in 2011 as the Cougars beat NM State, 42-7, the Aggies have a long history with 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 32-7. The Aggies faced Utah State earlier this season.
NM State has only played two of the four current Independent football schools in Army and BYU. 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 235.1 yards passing and 163.9 yards rushing a game. BYU has been outscoring its opponents 27.3 points per game to 14.7 this season. With a 6-5 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 lost to San Jose State, 20-14, in San Jose.
Individually for BYU, quarterback Riley Nelson has thrown for 2,011 yards and 12 touchdowns in nine games for the Cougars, averaging 223.4 yards in the air. Nelson has also rushed for 183 yards and a touchdown. Jamaal Williams leads the rushing attack for BYU, averaging 62.0 yards per game with 11 touchdowns, while Cody Hoffman leads the receiving corps. Hoffman has recorded 78 catches for 952 yards and six touchdowns.
Brandon Ogletree leads the Cougars’ defense with 82 tackles on the season, followed by Danie Sorensen with 62.
Last Time against BYU
The New Mexico State football team fell 42-7 at the Cougars’ LaVell Edwards Stadium.
Freshman wide receiver Austin Franklin caught a career-high eight receptions for 66 yards and his third career touchdown to lead the Aggie receiving corps. Junior running back Kenny Turner finished with 61 yards rushing on 16 carries. Senior quarterback Matt Christian played just shy of three quarters and finished with 98 yards on 12-of-23 passing with a touchdown and an interception. Freshman Travaughn Colwell took over for the Aggies and went 7-for-11 on the night for 61 yards the rest of the way.
Linebackers Bryan Bonilla and Boyblue Aoelua led the Aggies with eight tackles apiece on defense.
BYU opened the second half on offense and drove inside NM State territory but missed a 37-yard field goal wide left to remain ahead, 21-7, with 12:06 left in the third quarter.
Later BYU drove 57 yards on nine plays to increase its lead to 28-7 after a 2-yard touchdown run out of the Wildcat formation by Matt Marshall with 7:01 left in the quarter.
Colwell entered the game with just under five minutes left in the quarter. A few plays later, the Cougar defense got to Colwell in the backfield and forced a fumble recovered by BYU at the NM State 40-yard line. BYU quickly scored on a nine-yard touchdown reception by Matt Edwards from Jake Heaps to give the Cougars a 35-7 lead with 3:14 remaining in the third. The Cougars tacked on another touchdown in the fourth quarter to yield the final score.
The Aggie offense moved into Cougar territory on its initial drive to open the game. But inside the BYU 30-yard line, the Cougar defense sacked Christian who fumbled and BYU recovered near midfield.
BYU took advantage of the miscue. The home team drove 52 yards in 12 plays capped off by a four-yard touchdown run by Bryan Kariya to put the Cougars up 7-0 with 5:38 left in the first quarter.
The Cougars opened the second quarter with the ball on their own 36-yard line. After a BYU penalty to open the quarter, safety Donyae Coleman made his fifth interception of the season at the Cougars’ 39-yard line to give the NM State offense good field position.
A few plays later Turner converted a 4th-and-1 with a 12-yard gain up the middle to move the Aggies to the BYU 17-yard line. Soon after the conversion Christian connected with Franklin for a three-yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 7-7 with 9:40 left before halftime. Christian went 5-for-5 on the scoring drive.
On the ensuing drive, BYU marched 90 yards in 15 plays to score on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Heaps to Ross Apo. The score gave BYU a 14-7 advantage with 3:25 before the half.
After the Aggie offense went three-and-out on the next possession, BYU took over inside NM State territory with 2:14 remaining. The Cougars capitalized with another scoring drive as Apo caught an eight-yard touchdown reception from Heaps with 30 ticks left on the clock. Apo’s second score of the game put BYU up 21-7 just before the half.
Ume-Ezeoke named Academic All-District
New Mexico State sophomore offensive lineman Valerian Ume-Ezeoke has been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-District VII first team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), the organization announced Thursday.
As a result of his first-team all-district selection, Ume-Ezeoke will now be placed on the ballot for the Capital One Academic All-America team. The team will consist of first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees and will be selected later on this month.
Ume-Ezeoke is in his second year as an offensive lineman on the NM State football team. The Garland, Texas, native has started all nine games at center for the Aggies this season. Ume-Ezeoke is an integral part of an offensive line that so far this year has helped produce over 2,000 yards passing from sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley, over 500 yards rushing from junior running back Germi Morrison and over 1,000 yards receiving from sophomore wide receiver Austin Franklin, who is also first in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and third in the nation in receiving yards per game.
Franklin has Best Return Game
Wide receiver Austin Franklin took over kick return duties for the Aggies against San Jose State. He recorded three returns for 83 yards with a long of 33 yards for the Aggies. Last season, Franklin had three returns for 103 yards, averaging 34.3 yards a return. This season, Franklin has five returns for 110 yards, averaging 22 yards a return.
Callendar grabs another 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. He followed that performance by grabbing his second interception against San Jose State. 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 72 tackles, 44 of those are solo efforts, ranking him third on the team and ninth in the WAC at 7.2 tackles per game.
For his career, Callendar 106 tackles and two pass break-ups.
Franklin named to Biletnikoff Semifinalist List
New Mexico State wide receiver Austin Franklin was one of ten wide receivers named to the 2012 Biletnikoff Award semifinalist 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 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 66 passes for 1,135 yards and nine touchdowns, leading the Aggies. He has also tallied 1,293 all-purpose yards.
Other semifinals include Tavon Austin, West Virginia; Stedman Bailey, West Virginia; Brandin Cooks, Oregon State; Cobi Hamilton, Arkansas; Austin Hill, Arizona; Deandre Hopkins, Clemson; Marqise Lee, Southern California; Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech and Terrance Williams, Baylor.
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.
Chapman-Brown named WAC Special Teams Player of the Week
Chapman-Brown, a junior from Sydney, Australia (Snow College), punted seven times for 356 yards, a 50.9-yard average in the game against San Jose State. He had two punts downed inside the 20-yard line and had a long of 61 yards.
On the season, Chapman-Brown has recorded 60 punts for 2,631 yards, averaging 43.8 yards a punt, with 22 punts downed inside the 20-yard line and 16 punts over 50 yards. He also has a long of 63 yards this season. His 43.8 yards per punt currently ranks as the best punting average in a single-season in school history.
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 1,135 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 17.2 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 10th in the conference in scoring with 5.6 points per game.
Nationally, Franklin ranks sixth in receiving yards per game, is 23rd in receptions per game and 37th in all-purpose yards. He ranks second in the WAC in receiving yards per game and in receptions per game.
For his career, Franklin has caught 100 passes for 1,659 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 16.6 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). Then versus San Jose State, Walls caught his second touchdown pass of the season. Over the last three games, Walls has 11 catches for 95 yards, and a touchdown. On the season, Walls has 17 receptions for 161 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 9.5 yards per catch.
For his career, Walls has 28 receptions for 305 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 10.9 yards a catch.
Aggies’ Scoring in the Fourth
NM State is averaging 18.2 points a game this season, while giving up 35.7 points per game. The Aggies have been outscored 306 to 97 in the first three quarters this season, but have outscored their opponents 85 to 51 in the fourth quarter.
The Aggies are only giving up 5.1 points this season in the fourth quarter, while giving up 30.6 points in the first three quarters.
Cazares Leads Team/WAC in Tackles
Safety Davis Cazares currently leads the team in tackles with 100 thru 10 games. He also leads the WAC in tackles per game and is 22nd in the nation. He became the 23rd player in school history to have over 100 tackles in a single season.
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 120 tackles, two tackles for a loss, a pass break-up and a forced fumble.
Morrison Continues to Run Hard
Running back Germi Morrison has stepped into the lead running back position this season 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 195 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 14 tackles, a tackles for a loss and three pass break ups. On the season he leads the team in pass break ups with nine, ranking him tied for fourth 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 47 tackles, an interception, nine pass break ups and two forced fumbles.
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 37 tackles. His seven tackles for a loss ranks him ninth in the WAC, while his three sacks’ leads the team.
For his career, Savage has 137 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.
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 three games, Nixon has 21 tackles, averaging seven tackles a game and a sack.
Nixon is seventh in the WAC with 7.9 tackles a game, ranking 93rd in the country. He is also fourth in the WAC in tackles for a loss.
On the season, Nixon is second on the team in tackles with 79, 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 eight games for NM State. He has recorded at least five receptions in five of the eight 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 36 receptions, which is second on the team, 451 yards receiving, averaging 12.9 yards a catch and three touchdowns, averaging 62.9 yards a contest.
On the season, Bateman has caught 42 catches for 529 yards and three scores. He ranks ninth in the WAC in receiving yards per game and eighth in receptions per game.
Manley by the Numbers
This season, Manley has thrown for 2,358 yards and 14 touchdowns, completing 53.8 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 (235.8) and fifth in total offense per game (223.6).
For his career, Manley has thrown for 3,854 yards and 21 touchdowns, while completing 54.0 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 10 of the season.
Center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke led the Aggies with seven knockdowns against San Jose State.
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.