The New Mexico State Aggies defeated the New Mexico Lobos 42-28 at University Stadium on Saturday night. It was the third straight win for the Aggies over their in-state rival Lobos and the first time since the 1966, ‘67 and ‘68 seasons that the Aggies have beaten the Lobos three years in a row.
The Aggies totaled 538 yards of offense in the game, led by quarterback Matt Christian who threw for a career-high 296 yards and a career-high four touchdown passes. Christian also rushed for 101 yards, another career-high and scored a rushing touchdown.
Running back Kenny Turner led the rushing attack with 109 yards and a touchdown. Four different Aggies caught touchdown passes, including Austin Franklin, Jerrel Brown, Todd Lee and Kemonte Bateman. Franklin led the receiving corps with five catches for 115 yards also a career high. He also returned two kicks for 79 yards, including a long of 54 yards.
The Aggie defense allowed 428 yards of total offense, with most of those yards coming in the second half. Donyae Coleman had 10 tackles to lead the defense including his third interception of the season.
The Lobos started with the ball in the second half but were forced to punt for the fourth time in the game. The Aggies took over deep in their own territory with 12:25 to go in the third. The Aggies drove 97 yards on 12 plays in 5:55, capped off by a 29-yard rushing touchdown by Kenny Turner. It was the Aggies longest scoring drive of the season, giving NM State a 35-7 lead with 6:30 left in the third quarter.
The Aggies got an interception by Donyae Coleman, his third of the season and of his career. The Aggies then took the ball deep into Lobo territory but Brandon Betancourt fumbled the ball on the Lobo 23-yard line to give UNM the ball back with 3:16 to go in the third quarter.
The Lobos scored on a 9-yard touchdown run five plays later to bring the score to 35-14 with 1:45 left in the third. The Aggies stalled on their next possession giving the ball back to the Lobos with just under a minute left in the third.
The Lobos took the ball down the field to their own 45-yard line but the Aggie defense forced a punt. UNM then took the ball 93 yards on 12 plays to bring the score to 35-21 with just over three minutes to play.
The Aggies then recovered an on-side kick and Todd Lee returned the ball inside the Lobo 20-yard line. Christian then hit Jerrel Brown on a 15-yard touchdown pass to make it 42-21 with 1:46 remaining in the game. The Lobos added one last touchdown with 39 seconds remaining but it was too little too late as the Aggies defeated the Lobos 42-28.
Austin Franklin took the opening kick and returned it 54 yards. A 15-yard personal foul penalty on UNM gave NM State great field position. The Aggies scored two plays later on a 22-yard touchdown pass from Christian to Lee, giving NM State a 7-0 lead with 14:09 to go in the first quarter. The Aggie defense forced the Lobos to punt with 10:39 to go in the first.
On the Aggies’ next drive, Christian hit Franklin for a 50-yard touchdown pass with 7:26 left in the first. The Aggies drove 90 yards on seven plays in 3:13. It was a season-long touchdown pass for Christian and career-long touchdown reception for Franklin. Christian was 4-for-4 for 98 yards in the Aggies’ first two drives.
The NM State defense again forced a Lobo punt and started with the ball on its own 15-yard line with just under five minutes to play in the quarter. Christian drove the Aggies down inside the Lobo 25-yard line and hit Kemonte Bateman for a 25-yard touchdown pass with 1:42 left in the first. Christian was 7-of-7 in the first three drives for 150 yards and three touchdown passes. It was also Bateman’s first career touchdown reception.
The Lobos were forced to punt again to start the second quarter. This time the Aggies could not get anything going but reached midfield before having to punt for the first time in the game. The Lobos took over with 13:01 to go in the half.
The Lobos moved into Aggie territory for the second time in the game with 9:30 left in the first half. The Lobos would punch it in from eight yards out with 8:17 to go in the half, as NM State held a 21-7 lead.
The Aggies then drove the ball 72 yards on 12 plays. Christian scored on a 1-yard touchdown run to give NM State a 28-7 lead with 4:07 to go in the half. Christian rushed for 22 yards on the drive. The Lobos drove the ball to the 50-yard line but were forced again to punt. The Aggies took over with 1:29 left in the second quarter and ran two running plays to end the half, as the Aggies held a 28-7 lead going into the locker room.
Christian threw for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the first half, including 10-of-15 passing. He also led the Aggies in rushing with 53 yards and touchdown. Franklin caught three passes for 73 yards and a touchdown. The NM State offense tallied 296 yards of total offense in the first half. The Aggie defense held the Lobos to just 166 yards of total offense in the half. B.J. Adolpho led the Aggies with eight tackles while Donyae Coleman recorded seven.
The Aggies now have a week off from competition before facing Idaho