El Paso, TX — New Mexico State Football team fell to Florida Atlantic Saturday afternoon, 55-10 at FAU Stadium. NM State goes to 1-10 on the season, as FAU improves to 5-6 on the year.
NM State had 278 yards of total offense on the day compared to FAU’s 585 yards. Quarterback Andrew McDonald threw for 136 yards on 13-of-27 passing. Running back Xavier Hall carried the ball 12 times for 74 yards, while wide receiver Austin Franklin led the receiving corps with four catches for 58 yards. Franklin moved into fourth all-time in receptions for a career and now has 154.
Defensively, Davis Cazares led the team with 13 tackles, followed by linebackers Bryan Bonilla and Rodney Butler with seven and six respectively. Cazares’ 13 tackles was his fifth double digit tackle game of the season.
The Aggies received the ball to start the game but went three and out. Following an Aggie punt, FAU marched the ball down the field 91 yards for the score, taking an early 7-0 lead with 10:09 left in the first quarter.
The Aggie offense couldn’t get anything started and was forced to punt the ball away for the second time in the game, but the defense held the Owls at midfield, forcing a punt.
FAU would add to their lead after recovering a blocked punt in the end zone to make it 14-0 with 2:17 remaining in the first quarter.
The Owls extended their lead to 21-0 just 12 seconds into the second quarter on a 64-yard touchdown pass.
NM State’s offense couldn’t move the ball against the FAU defense. The Owls scored again with 3:27 left in the half, making it 28-0.
The Aggies would finally punch the ball into the end zone on a 1-yard run by McDonald on a quarterback sneak. FAU led 28-7 with 31 second remaining in the game. The Aggies drove the ball 47 yards on five plays in a minute and two seconds.
The first half ended at 28-7, FAU with the lead.
McDonald led the Aggies with 80 yards passing and 18 yards rushing in the half, including the Aggies’ only score. Hall tallied 27 yards on the ground, while Franklin caught two passes for 14 yards. Cazares led NM State with six tackles.
FAU opened the second half with a 68-yard drive, resulting in a 1-yard touchdown run, giving the Owls a 35-7 lead with 12:20 left in the third quarter.
The Aggies’ next drive ended after a fumble by McDonald with 10:10 left in the third quarter. FAU would score on the very next play to push the score to 42-7 with 9:45 remaining in the quarter. The Owls scoring play was 35 yards.
NM Stzte took its next drive 74 yards on 15 plays, capped off by a Maxwell Johnson 25-yard field goal to make it 42-10 with 5:04 remaining in the third quarter. On that drive, Franklin moved into fourth all-time in reception for a career.
FAU took the ball right down the field on their next possession but Lewis Hill intercepted an FAU pass in the end zone, returning it 33 yards for the Aggies. It was Hill’s first career interception. NM State took over at 1:33 left in the third quarter. NM State’s offense was forced to punt however three plays later, as the third quarter ended with FAU holding a 42-10 lead.
The Owls added another score to push their lead to 49-10 with just over 10 minutes left in the contest. The Aggies continued to be unable to move the ball in the fourth, as FAU added one more touchdown before time ran out. As the final seconds ticked off the clock, NM State fell to FAU, 55-10.
NM State will conclude the 2013 season with a home game against Idaho at 1:30 p.m., Nov. 30 at Aggie Memorial Stadium.