El Paso, TX — The New Mexico State football team fell to No. 13/15 UCLA Saturday night in the Rose Bowl, 59-13. The Aggies are now 0-4 on the season, while UCLA improves to 3-0.
The Aggies were led by running back Brandon Betancourt, who racked up 95 yards on the ground and a touchdown, while quarterback King Davis III threw for 48 yards on 6-of-13 passing.
Quarterback Andrew McDonald threw for 98 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, safety Davis Cazares led all Aggies with 14 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
As a team, the Aggies had 21 first downs and 333 yards of total offense, while the Bruins recorded 39 first downs and 692 yards of total offense.
The Aggies kicked the ball to UCLA to start the game, as the Bruins took the return back inside the Aggies’ 20. Two plays later the Bruins fumbled the ball giving NM State the ball for the first time with 14:20 left in the first. Davis Cazares recovered the fumble, his first of the season.
NM State took the ball to midfield but was unable to advance the ball for a first down on third and long, punting the ball back to UCLA with 8:47 to go in the first quarter.
UCLA marched down the field, again inside the Aggies’ 20, before Cazares recorded his second turnover of the game with an interception at the 1-yard line. It was his first career interception. NM State’s drive started with 4:59 left in the first quarter at its own 1-yard line.
The Aggies again were forced to punt the ball back to UCLA with 3:33 to go in the first quarter.
Four plays later the Bruins punched the ball into the end zone on a 4-yard run, as the Bruins took the lead at 7-0 with 2:34 left in the first quarter. The Aggies got the ball back but was again stopped short of a first down, punting the ball away for the third time. The first quarter ended with the Bruins driving in Aggie territory and leading 7-0.
UCLA drove the ball 80 yards in just over two minutes to extend their lead to 14-0 with 13:46 left in the half. The Bruins threw a 20-yard touchdown pass for the score.
NM State took the ball into the Bruins side of the field for the first time all night but an interception by Davis III gave UCLA the ball back, as the interception was returned just over 50 yards inside the Aggies’ 25-yard line with 10:40 left in the half. Four plays later UCLA scored from 12 yards out to make it 21-0 with 9:28 to go in the half.
Again the Aggies drove the ball down into UCLA’s side of the field but a fumble by Davis III gave the Bruins the ball back with 5:40 to go in the half, as UCLA continued to lead 21-0. The Aggies held the Bruins to a field goal, bringing the score of 24-0 with 2:39 remaining in the half.
UCLA added a late touchdown in the half with just :39 seconds to go, increasing the Bruins score to 31-0, on a 21-yard touchdown pass. The Half would end with the UCLA Bruins leading 31-0 over NM State.
The Aggies had 157 yards of total offense in the first half, as Betancourt led the way with 55 yards on the ground. Davis III threw for 48 yards on 6-of-12 passing. Cazares led the defense with eight tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery. UCLA racked up 334 yards of total offense in the first half.
NM State started the second half with the ball but was forced to punt the ball back to UCLA for the fifth time in the game. The Bruins took over at their own 40-yard line with 13:57 left in the third quarter. The Bruins drove the ball down inside the Aggies’ 20-yard line but Cazares intercepted his second pass of the game at the goal line and returned it 25 yards to the UCLA 25-yard line.
Davis III was then hit by the UCLA defensive line and forced to leave the game after a roughing the passer call and quarterback Andrew McDonald entered the field of play with just over ten minutes left in the third quarter. The Aggie offense could convert on a third and long and kicked the ball back to the Bruins with 7:13 left in the third.
UCLA then scored on a 7-yard touchdown pass to extend its lead to 38-0 with 2:58 remaining in the quarter. The Bruins added another score late in the quarter to go up 45-0. The third quarter would end with UCLA holding a 45-0 lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Aggies open the final 15 minutes with their first score of the contest, as McDonald threw a 33-yard pass to Adam Shapiro. It was Shapiro’s first career touchdown reception. With 14:24 left in the game, UCLA led NM State 45-7.
Betancourt would punch one in from four yards out late in the fourth quarter to move the score to 52-13, after a fail PAT attempt. UCLA added one more score as the game ended at 59-13, the Bruins over the Aggies.
The Aggies will host San Diego State, Saturday, Sept. 28 at Aggie Memorial Stadium, beginning at 6 p.m.