POSTED: Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 5:04pm
UPDATED: Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 9:37pm
It was the first win against a Big Ten team and the first against a BCS school since 1999, as the NM State football team defeated Minnesota 28-21, improving to 1-1 on the season. This was also the Aggies’ first road win since 2009 against New Mexico.
The Aggies tallied 421 yards of total offense behind quarterback Andrew Manley’s 288 yards passing on 20-of-31 and three touchdowns. Robert Clay rushed for 97 yards and a touchdown, while Taveon Rogers caught four passes for 88 yards a two touchdowns. Defensively, the Aggies allowed 419 yards, led by Jonte Green, who had 10 tackles, followed by Alexander LaVoy who grabbed a career high eight tackles.
Minnesota started with the ball in the second half and drove down deep into the Aggies field. The NM State defense stopped the Gophers and forced a field goal. The 39-yard attempt was missed as the Aggies took over at its own 22-yard line.
The Aggies would go three-and-out on their first possession of the second half, punting the ball away with 10:19 to go in the third quarter. Neither team could get anything going offensively over the next eight minutes as the score remained 21-14 in favor of the Aggies with 2:06 left in the third quarter.
The Aggies would get the ball back in their own five-yard line and drove the ball deep into Minnesota’s field with less than a minute to go in the third quarter. A pass interference call gave the Aggies the ball at the 2-yard line at first and goal. Two plays later Robert Clay would take it in from 2-yards out to give the Aggies a 28-14 lead with 31 second to go in the third quarter.
Minnesota then put together a 68-yard drive to pull within seven at 28-21 with 11:47 to go in the game on a 2-yard touchdown reception.
Manley was then intercepted by the Gophers on a third-and-seven, as Minnesota took over at the Aggies’ 33-yard line. The Gophers quickly took the ball inside the 10-yard line with just under eight minutes to play. The Gophers had the ball on the 1-yard line on fourth and goal and were stopped by the Aggie defense with 7:27 to go in the game.
The Aggies took over and ate up the next six minutes on the clock but were forced to punt the ball back to Minnesota. The Gophers began to march down the field and got to the Aggies 30-yard line and couldn’t convert of a fourth-and-10 as the Aggies took the win, 28-21.
The Aggies took the opening drive of the game and drove 60 yards on six plays, capped off by a 26-yard touchdown pass from Manley to Rogers. The Aggies led 7-0 with 12:01 to go in the first quarter. The NM State defense then came on the field and forced the Gophers to go three-and-out, as the Aggies fair caught the Minnesota punt at their own 22-yard line.
The Aggies then took the ball into Gopher territory but were forced to punt after a third and two failed. The Gophers took over on its own 12-yard line. Minnesota then drove the ball 88 yards on 10 plays, tying the game at seven all on a four yard rushing touchdown with 4:17 to go in the first quarter.
Minnesota would get the ball back and drive down the field inside the Aggies 10-yard line. On a third and goal, linebacker Boyblue Aoelua incepted the ball in the end zone, his second of his career, giving the Aggies the ball on their own 20-yard line with 13:29 to go in the half.
The Aggies took the ball 80 yards on three plays as Manley connected with Rogers for the second time in the game on a 41-yard touchdown pass, giving NM State a 14-7 lead with 12:11 left in the half. The Aggies then tried and onsides kick but the ball was recovered by Minnesota in Aggie territory.
The Aggie defense then responded with a stop on fourth-and-one, giving the ball back to the offense in its own 42-yard line. Manley drove the Aggies down 58-yards, throwing his third touchdown pass of the day to David Quiroga, a 4-yard pass to give the Aggies a 21-7 lead with 6:35 to go in the half. It was Quiroga’s first career touchdown reception. Manley went 12-of-12 passing to start the game.
The Aggie defense then forced Minnesota to another 3-and-out but an interception by Manley with just under three minutes to play gave the Gophers the ball back. Just as quick as the Gophers got the ball back, NM State’s Bradley intercepted the ball with 2:42 to go in the half.
The Aggie offense would stall as place kicker Tyler Stampler came on to try a 49-yard field goal. The kick was short, as Minnesota took over at its own 31-yard line with 51 second left in the half. Minnesota then took the ball right into Aggie territory. With just eight second to go in the half, Minnesota scored on a 10-yard touchdown pass to bring the score to 21-14 at the half.
The Aggies had 272 yards of total offense in the first half, rushing for 46 and passing for 226. Manley was 14-of-17 for 226 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Clay rushed for 35 yards on nine carries, while Rogers caught four passes for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Linebacker Alexander LaVoy let the defense with five tackles. The Aggie defense held Minnesota to just 17 yards rushing and 140 yards of total offense in the first half.
The Aggies will be back at home on Sept. 17, as the UTEP Miners visit Las Cruces for the Sonic Battle of I-10 Rivalry Game at 6 p.m.
Walker Post Game Quotes –
On the Game:
“I guess I would be lying if you didn’t say it wasn’t a good feeling to beat my alma mater but this is just a great win for our entire program, coaches, players, administrators and most importantly for the University and the Las Cruces community. This was a team win and that is how we are going to continue to build this program is winning as a team.”
On the rushing Game and Offensive Line:
“We focused on the run game on both sides of the ball and it was good to see it pay off today.”