NM State-Louisiana Renew Series, Saturday
The New Mexico State football team (1-7) travels to Lafayette, La., to face the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (5-2, 3-0), Saturday, Nov. 2. Kick off between these two former and future Sun Belt Conference opponents is scheduled for 3 p.m. (MT).
You can listen to all the action with the ‘Voice of the Aggies’ Jack Nixon and color analyst Preston Williams beginning at 5 p.m. on KGRT 104 FM. Also catch the action in Spanish with Bob Sherman and Sal Betancourt on Vista 98.7 FM.
The game will be brought back to the local area via Aggie Vision. All the action will be brought to you by Jeff Palermo (PxP), Scott Brazda (Color Analyst) and Lauren Poumaroux (Sideline).
Aggies-Ragin’ Cajuns, the Series
NM State and Louisiana were once conference members in the Sun Belt from 2001-04. The first meeting between the two schools came in 1975, as Louisiana won 31-7. This year will mark the sixth time in the series that that game has been played in Lafayette. The two schools have met twice in Las Cruces (2002 & 2004).
The series favors Louisiana, 4-3, but five of the seven games have been decided by three points or less, including the last four contests. NM State holds a 3-1 record in those games.
The Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns are 5-2 on the season and 3-0 in Sun Belt Conference play, riding a five-game winning streak going into Saturday’s game against the Aggies. Louisiana has only played two games at home this season, winning over both Nicholls State and Texas State.
Louisiana is averaging 444.3 yards of total offense per game this season, while holding its opponents to just 367.3 yards a game. The Ragin’ Cajuns have scored 30 of 35 times in the red zone this year and are converting on 52 percent of their third-down efforts.
Louisiana is led on offense by quarterback Terrance Broadway, who has thrown for 1,448 yards and 11 scores, while rushing for 222 yards and five touchdowns. Alonzo Harris carries the load in the backfield with 549 yards rushing on 106 carries and a team-leading seven scores. At wide receiver, Jamal Robinson is the featured target, catching 33 passes for 540 yards and six touchdowns.
Defensively, Justin Anderson leads the team with 71 tackles, followed by Sean Thomas with 36. Anderson also leads the team in tackles for a loss and fumble recoveries. As a team, the defense has nine interceptions and 11 sacks.
Morrison Has Career Night
Running back Germi Morrison came into the game against Abilene Christian after starting running back Brandon Betancourt went down with an injury. Morrison proceeded to record a career-high in rushing yards with 146 on a career-high 28 carries. He also tied a career-high with two touchdowns in a single game.
On the season, Morrison has 306 total rushing yards and leads the team with four rushing touchdowns. It was also his second 100-yard rushing performance of his career.
For his career, Morrison has 1,073 yards and six scores.
Franklin Back to his Old Self
Wide receiver Austin Franklin got his mojo back against Abilene Christian, looking like his old self from 2012. Against the Wildcats, Austin had a career-high 11 catches for 122 yards. His 11 receptions allowed him to move into ninth all-time for receptions in a career with 127.
His 11 catches marks the ninth most in a single game in school history, while his 122 yards receiving moved him into third all-time for most 100-yard receiving games with eight.
On the season, Franklin has 19 catches for 263 yards and a touchdown, averaging 13.8 yards per catch in just four games.
For his career, Franklin is now over 2,000 receiving yards (2,032), with 127 receptions and 13 touchdowns.
Fuller Grabs First Career INT
Defensive back Cameron Fuller made his return to the field after battling injuries against Abilene Christian. Fuller recorded his first interception of his career in the second quarter. He also tallied three tackles and a pass break-up in that game.
On the season, Fuller has 11 tackles and two pass break-ups.
For his career, Fuller has 49 tackles and eight pass break-ups, including the interception.
Kawe Records Career-High in Second Start
Freshman safety Kawe Johnson recorded a career-high and team leading 12 tackles in just his second start of the season against Abilene Christian. He also recorded a pass break-up.
On the year, Johnson has 28 tackles, an interception and two pass break-ups.
Wearing Black Pants
The NM State football team wore black pants against Abilene Christian. This was the first time since the 2004 season that the Aggies have worn black football pants. That season, NM State was 5-6 overall and 4-3 in the Sun Belt. The Aggies were a perfect 4-0 at home that season and won three of their last four games to end the year.
Martin Records First Win
Head Coach Doug Martin earned his first win as the Aggies’ head coach this past weekend against Abilene Christian. It was also Martin’s 30th career win.
Maxwell on a Roll
Place kicker Maxwell Johnson has been on point over the last four games of the season. Since San Diego State on Sept. 28, Johnson is a perfect 6-for-6 on field goal attempts, including a career-long of 49 yards against Rice.
On the season, Johnson is 6-of-7 on field goal attempts and 16-of-19 on PATs.
Defense in the backfield
Getting to the quarterback or tackling your opponent behind the line of scrimmage is a positive play for the defense and this season the Aggies have done just that through eight. To date, the Aggies have recorded 31 tackles for a loss, including eight sacks.
In 2012, the Aggies had 15 tackles for a loss and five sacks through eight games.
Linebacker Trashaun Nixon ranks first on the team with eight tackles for a loss.
New Mexico State is just one of two schools in the country that have a left-footed kicker at both its starting punter (Cayle Chapman-Brown) and starting field goal kicker (Maxwell Johnson). Tennessee is the only other school to have this combination. However, Michael Palardy handles both positions for the Vols.
Wallace and the Streak
Offensive left tackle Davonte Wallace returns for his senior season, anchoring the Aggies’ offensive line. He has started in 44 straight games for the Aggies on the offensive line. Against No. 15 Texas, Wallace recorded four knockdowns. He followed that with three knockdowns against Minnesota. Against UTEP, Wallace had three knockdowns. He recorded two knockdowns against UCLA. On the season, Wallace has 34.5 knockdowns and has allowed two sacks.
In 2012, Wallace earned second team All-WAC honors for the second straight season. He became the first offensive lineman since the 2003 and 2004 season to earn back-to-back all-conference awards. He was a vital part of the Aggies pass protection that allowed wide receiver Austin Franklin to earn All-America honors.
Wallace also helped quarterback Andrew Manley throw for 2,764 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2012, as he ranked 47th in the nation in passing. The 2,764 passing yards by Manley is sixth all-time in a single season, while the 18 touchdown passes rank tied for seventh in a single season.
Local New Mexicans Heavily Represented on 2013 Roster
The 2013 New Mexico State football team is well represented with players from the Land of Enchantment. The roster features 20 players in all from New Mexico, including six from Las Cruces and 10 from the surrounding Albuquerque area.
Local players expected to contribute to the squad this season include wide receivers Joshua Bowen and Adam Shapiro, running backs Brandon Betancourt and Xavier Hall, kicker Brock Baca, offensive lineman Abram Holland and defensive lineman Matt Ramondo.
NM State joins Sun Belt in Football Only Starting 2014
New Mexico State University and its athletics department announced in the spring of 2013 that an invitation has been extended and accepted to join the Sun Belt Conference as a football-only member. This move is pending NM State Board of Regents approval. NM State will begin competition in the Sun Belt in the fall of 2014.
There is no question that the Sun Belt Conference is a league on the rise in football. The conference finished with its most non-conference wins in league history in 2012 and also sent a record four teams to bowl games. The conference also finished the 2012 season with its best-ever average computer ranking – finishing ahead of Conference USA and the Mountain West. The league also had two wins over top-25 ranked opponents and Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State won their respective bowl games.
Chapman-Brown named to Ray Guy Watch List
Punter Cayle Chapman-Brown was named to the Ray Guy Award Preseason Watch list for the best punter in the nation.
In the first game of the 2013 season, Chapman-Brown punted the ball nine times for an average of 39.3 yards per punt with a long of 47 yards. Against Minnesota in game two, Chapman-Brown booted the ball five times for an average of 48.8 with a long of 73 yards. His 73-yard punt is the fifth-longest punt in school history. Versus UTEP, Chapman-Brown booted the ball five times for 225 yards, averaging 45 yards a punt, with a long of 66. Against UCLA, Chapman-Brown punted the ball twice for 73 yards, averaging 36.5 yards a kick. Versus New Mexico, Chapman-Brown recorded his best yards per punt average of the season, 51.8 yards a punt with a long of 70. Against Rice, Chapman-Brown tallied a 39.9 average with a long of 62. Versus Abilene Christian, he recorded a 43.5 yards per punt average and recorded a long of 51 yards.
On the season, Chapman-Brown is averaging 43.0 yards a punt, ranking him 26th in the nation and second among Independent football schools.
Ume-Ezeoke named to 2013 Rimington Trophy Watch List
Junior center Valerian Ume-Ezeoke has been named to the Rimington Trophy 2013 Spring Watch List. The list includes 17 returning players from the 2012 Watch List. In all, there are 44 players on the Watch List.
Ume-Ezeoke recorded six knockdowns against No. 15 Texas to open the 2013 season. He followed that with five knockdowns against Minnesota. Two games later, Ume-Ezeoke had a team-high five knockdowns. On the season, he has tallied 32.5 knockdowns and received just two penalties.
Ume-Ezeoke played in all 12 games for the Aggies in 2012, starting at the center position. He recorded 44 knockdowns and allowed no sacks during the season. He was a vital part of the Aggies pass protection that allowed wide receiver Austin Franklin to earn All-America honors. Ume-Ezeoke also helped quarterback Andrew Manley throw for 2,764 yards and 18 touchdowns in 2012, as he ranked 47th in the nation in passing. The 2,764 passing yards by Manley is sixth all-time in a single season, while the 18 touchdown passes rank tied for seventh in a single season. Ume-Ezeoke was named an Academic All-WAC selection and a 2012 Capital One Academic All-District VII first team member for his work in the classroom.
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:
Tackle Davonte Wallace led the Aggies with eight knockdowns against Abilene Christian.
House, Green, Rogers and Harris 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 Aggie 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. In 2013, Jeremy Harris was selected in the seventh round of the draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Aggies on Twitter
The Aggie Athletics department has a Twitter account where media and fans can get all their in-game scores at www.twitter.com/nmstateaggies.