MOSCOW, Idaho (Oct. 6)-The New Mexico State football team was unable to pull off a late fourth quarter comeback against Idaho on the road, falling short 26-18.
The Aggie offense recorded 407 total yards with 98 rushing yards and 309 passing yards. Quarterback Andrew Manley went 28-of-45 for 309 yards and one touchdown and ran for an additional four yards. Wide receiver Austin Franklin led all NM State receivers by notching nine catches for 115 yards, his fifth game of at least 100 yards receiving this season. Wide receiver Kemonte' Bateman caught five balls for 76 yards and also returned two kicks for 25 yards. Running back Germi Morrison led all Aggie running backs with 66 total yards on the ground, averaging 4.1 yards per carry. Quarterback Travaughn Colwell took some snaps in a wildcat scheme, adding 22 yards of rushing on four carries for the Aggies.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Aggies recorded one interception and one forced fumble. Linebacker Trashaun Nixon and safety Davis Cazares led all Aggies in tackles, each recording eight tackles. Nixon recorded two tackles for loss and was responsible for forcing both Aggie turnovers.
NM State intercepted the first attempted play by Idaho on its opening drive when linebacker Trashaun Nixon picked off a throw down the sideline by Idaho quarterback Dominique Blackman. The interception by Nixon was the first of his career.
The Aggies struck first midway through the first quarter when kicker Tyler Stampler nailed a 42-yard kick to put the Aggies up 3-0. Morrison broke through the line for a 20-yard run early in the first quarter on the second drive by the Aggies. Morrison's 20-yard run ties the longest single carry by an Aggie running back so far this season. The drive was capped off by a 42-yard kick by Stampler.
Idaho answered with its own field goal on the following drive, and also completed a 35-yard touchdown pass on a later drive. The first quarter ended with NM State down 10-3.
After a 17-yard touchdown pass by Idaho put the Vandals up, 17-3, the Aggies answered with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Manley to Bateman at just over five minutes remaining in the second half to bring the score to 17-10.
Nixon added to his forced turnover total when he forced and recovered a fumble from Idaho wide receiver Jahrie Level near the 50 yard line, bringing his game total and career total of turnovers to two.
The second quarter ended on a 55-yard kick by Idaho, setting the score at 20-10 as the Aggies headed into halftime down by 10.
The Aggies finished the first half with 205 yards of total offense, including 92 rushing yards and 113 passing yards. Manley went 8-of-14 with one touchdown and accounted for all 113 passing yards by the Aggies in the first half. Bateman and Franklin each caught for at least 30 yards in the first half. Bateman's only catch of the first half was the 30-yard touchdown pass from Manley. Franklin ended the first half with 57 yards on three receptions.
The third quarter began with a 32-yard field goal by Idaho on its opening drive to put the score at 23-10. Idaho later made a 53-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter to bring the score to 26-10.
The Aggies marched down the field on a drive late in the fourth quarter that began at their own 11 yard line and was capped with a 1-yard touchdown run by Manley. The Aggies were able to execute the 2-point conversion when Manley rolled to his right and threw across his body to Franklin. After the Aggies failed to recover the ensuing on-side kick, the Vandals ran down the clock.