Sophomore running back Robert Clay led the New Mexico State football team with a career-high 108 rushing yards, but the Aggies fell to Louisiana Tech, 41-20.
Clay paced the ground attack with 22 carries, and he is now the first Aggie to rush for more than 100 yards this season. NM State moved to 2-8 and 1-5 in the WAC, while the Bulldogs improved to 4-6 and 3-3.
Freshman quarterback Andrew Manley threw for 216 yards on 20-of-40 passing and a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Marcus Allen grabbed seven receptions for 80 yards and senior tight end Kyle Nelson caught six passes for 47 yards. Junior wide receiver Todd Lee caught three passes for 73 yards and a 30-yard touchdown. Sophomore linebacker B.J. Adolpho and junior defensive back Donyae Coleman led the defense with 13 and 12 tackles, respectively.
NM State started with the ball in the second half but was forced to punt. The Aggie defense reacted and junior linebacker Boyblue Aoelua grabbed his first career interception that he returned 41 yards for a touchdown. The scored pulled the Aggies within seven, 24-17.
Louisiana Tech struck first in the fourth quarter with a 21-yard field goal to extend its lead to 27-17 with 10:14 remaining in the game. The Aggies answered with 12-play, 54-yard drive that resulted in a 31-yard field from sophomore kicker Tyler Stampler that narrowed the gap to seven, 27-20, at the 6:14 mark.
The Bulldogs responded on the next series with a 62-yard rushing touchdown on a reverse to take a 34-20 advantage. On the ensuing kickoff, the Bulldogs capitalized on an Aggie miscue, a muffed kick, which LA Tech converted into its final touchdown of the game.
In the first quarter, the Aggies would get on the board with a 26-yard field goal by Stampler. LA Tech then responded with two quick touchdowns to take 14-3 with just under five minutes left in the first quarter. NM State then began to drive down field but Manley was picked off deep in LA Tech territory stopping the Aggies’ threat. The Bulldogs then took the ball deep into the NM State side of the field as the first quarter expired.
LA Tech then hit a 47-yard field goal with just 11 second gone in the second quarter to take a 17-3 lead. The Aggies then marched down the field 85-yards on 10 plays capping off the scoring drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Manley to Lee with 8:47 left in the second quarter. Manley went 6-for-6 passing on the drive. It was Lee’s third touchdown reception of the season and Manley’s first career touchdown pass.
The Aggies would be forced to punt on their next possession with just over five minutes left in the half. LA Tech then took the ball 83 yards on nine plays capped off by a 7-yard touchdown run to bring the score to 24-10 with 1:31 left in the half. The Aggies would run a hand full of plays before the end of the half, going into the locker room down 24-10.
The Aggies travels to Reno, Nev., Nov. 20 to take on No. 21 Nevada. Game time is set for 2 p.m.