Battle of I-10: UTEP Defeats NMSU, 16-10
In a game that was decided in the final minutes, the New Mexico State football team fell to I-10 rival UTEP, 16-10. The Miners got three field goals from kicker Dakota Warren. UTEP held NMSU to 3 points in the secondhalf.
UTEP redshirt freshman quarterback Jay Hall finished 9-28 for 124 yards with one interception. Senior running back Joe Banyard had 7 carries for 90 yards, leading the Miners.
NMSU Sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley threw for 242 yards on 20-of-37 passing with a touchdown. Senior wide receiver Taveon Rogers was Manley's favorite target with five receptions for 69 yards and a touchdown catch.
Defensively, senior linebacker Boyblue Aoelua led the Aggies with a game-high 11 tackles and a fumble recovery, which was his third of the career.
On the opening drive of the game, the Aggies marched down the field but a miscue at the goal line gave UTEP the ball at the 20 yard line.
For the third consecutive game, NM State forced a turnover and recorded an interception in the first half. Senior safety Donyae Coleman grabbed his second interception of the year and his career with 1:22 remaining in the first quarter at the 45 yard line.
The rivalry game was scoreless until UTEP tallied the first points of the contest with a 42-yard field goal from junior kicker Dakota Warren with 9:15 to play until halftime.
The Miners added another field goal from 47 yards to extend their lead to 6-0 with 2:24 left in the second quarter.
The Aggies responded with an eight-play, 80-yard drive to take a 7-6 lead with 17 seconds remaining in the second quarter. NM State capped the drive with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Manley to Rogers, who has a touchdown reception in all three games of the season.
NM State increased its lead to 10-6 with a 20-yard field goal from junior kicker Tyler Stampler. At the end of the third quarter, UTEP utilized a 60-yard fake punt to 6-yard line that set-up the Miners first and only touchdown of the game for a 13-10 lead.
UTEP made its third field goal of the game with a 37-yard shot at the 10:37 mark to take a six-point advantage, 16-10.
The Aggies had a chance in the final two minutes of the game, when UTEP fumbled the snap with 1:38 to play but NM State failed to convert on the turnover.
NM State opens WAC play at San Jose State, Sept. 24 at 2 p.m. in San Jose, Calif. UTEP travels to #20 South Florida.