NMSU set to host Cal Poly in season opener
Las Cruces, NM — The NM State football team hosts the Cal Poly Mustangs Thursday, August 28, at 6 p.m. (MT) at Aggie Memorial Stadium in the season opener. This will be the fourth meeting between the two teams and the third game in Las Cruces, N.M.
NM State joined the Sun Belt Conference this season after having played an independent schedule in 2013.
The first meeting between the two teams took place on Sept. 28, 1956. The Aggies fell to Cal Poly 10-8 at Aggie Memorial Stadium. The next two meetings would go the same way, with the Aggies losing close ones and falling to 0-3 in the series. The last meeting was in 1997.
Cal Poly went 6-6 in 2013, going 5-3 in conference play. They outscored their opponents by seven points a game last season and had over 1,000 yards more than the opposition as well. The Mustangs were a very run-oriented offense last season, only throwing 232 times for 1,614 yards while running 680 times for 3,710 yards.
The game will be on Aggie Vision and ESPN3.com, as well as Aggie Access.
Ag Day Set for August 28 with Activities for All
For the second-consecutive year, the New Mexico State football team’s season opener will coincide with Agriculture Day as the Aggies face the Cal-Poly University Mustangs, Thursday, Aug. 28, at 6 p.m. (MT) at the Aggie Memorial Stadium.
There will be plenty of activities to keep the family occupied before kickoff such as horseback riding, chili roasting, peanut roasting, and tailgating. The Ag Day festivities will take place in Parking Lot A, just north of the stadium from 3-6 p.m.
“This year we’re building on the fun we had last year with an enhanced, more accessible layout featuring dozens of booths showing what makes New Mexico agriculture so unique,” New Mexico Secretary of Agriculture Jeff Witte said. “Ag Day gives you a chance to ask questions and learn more about where your food comes from – and how items like cotton, wool, and wood are turned into products we use every single day.”
This year’s Agriculture Day builds on last year’s inaugural event, which featured samples of fresh New Mexico watermelon, ice cream, and other local foods; short horseback rides for the kids; a cow-milking demonstration; an interactive display on the water cycle; face painting; and roping demonstrations.
The fun continues inside Aggie Memorial Stadium. At the concession stands, NM State food service provider, Sodexo Dining Services, is offering kids 12 and under a free hot dog and soda with the purchase of a $5 game ticket. People can also print a coupon (http://www.nmda.nmsu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/2014-Ag-Day-flyer.jpg) for a free side of New Mexico green chili to add to their burger, nachos, or hot dog. The concessions menu will feature items containing New Mexico cheese, pinto beans, tortilla chips, salsa, pecans, pistachios, and kettle corn.
Purchase Single-Game Tickets at PicQuik 24/7; On-Sale August 21
Single-game tickets for the NM State football home opener on Thursday, August 28, go on sale Thursday, August 21 at 10 a.m. (MT). Single-game tickets start at $10 for adults and $5 for kids 12 and under.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the Pan American Center ticket office or any of the Las Cruces Pic Quik store locations. Additionally, fans can purchase tickets by phone at 575-646-1420 or online at ticketmaster.com.
All 21 local Pic Quik locations will have various tickets available for purchase on a game-by-game basis, significantly expanding locations Aggie fans can purchase tickets and can be purchased at any time, 24 hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week.
The home opener is on Thursday, Aug. 28 at 6 p.m. (MT) and is being marketed as Ag Day, with over 40 New Mexico agriculture companies on display during tailgating. The Aggies will play host to Cal Poly.
A special kid price has been introduced this season, as all kids 12 and under can receive entry to any home game this season for just $5. The home opener will also feature a special concessions deal for kids. Each $5 kid’s ticket holder will receive a free hot dog and drink at the concession stands. This special concessions deal is good for the home opener only.
NM State Football on the Radio
The New Mexico State flagship radio station for football and men’s basketball is changing from 103.9 FM to 98.7 FM in Las Cruces. All football and men’s basketball games will be aired live and in their entirety.
This move is effective with the first home football game on Thursday, August 28 at 6 p.m. (MT). The pre-game show will begin at 5 p.m. with Jack Nixon and Preston Williams.
The flagship station this year will be 98.7 FM of the NM State Sports Network, which extends across the state of New Mexico. Other stations in the network carry all football and men’s basketball games and include:
• KNMZ 107.1FM Alamogordo
• ESPN 101.7 The Team Albuquerque/Rio Rancho
• KSVP 990AM Artesia
• KAMQ 1240AM Carlsbad
Aggies on Social Media
The Aggies Athletic Department has a Twitter account at Twitter.com @nmstateaggies where fans and media can get all their in-game scores. The Aggies also have a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NMSUathletics. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @nmstateaggies for all the behind the scene info on your team.
Meet the NM State Backfield
The Aggies are looking forward to a successful year from their running backs, with high expectations for the ground game in the 2014 season. Headlining the backfield will be sophomore back Xavier Hall and Senior Brandon Betancourt, assisted by incoming freshman Larry Rose.
Hall and Betancourt are Las Cruces natives; both having successful careers at Las Cruces High and Mayfield High respectively. Rose is coming off of his senior season at Fairfield High in Fairfield, Texas, where he rushed for 2,924 yards on 237 carries and recorded 49 touchdowns.
Last year Betancourt played in eight games for the Aggies, rushing for 415 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 4.5 yards a carry. He also caught 13 receptions for 106 yards and one touchdown, averaging 8.2 yards per catch. Betancourt rushed for a career-high 139 yards against I-25 rival New Mexico (Oct. 5). He followed that performance with 103 yards rushing on 17 carries against Rice (Oct. 19). He rushed for 95 yards and one touchdown versus No. 13 UCLA (Sept. 21).
Hall ran for 247 yards on 48 carries and two touchdowns during the 2013 season and recorded seven receptions for 47 yards in 11 games. He averaged 5.1 yards a rush and 6.7 yards a catch, starting the final four games of the year. His best game came against Boston College (Nov. 9), where Hall recorded a career-high 95 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown. He also recorded four receptions for 32 yards in the same game.
NM State rushed for 1,701 yards last season on 444 carries. Averaging 3.8 yards a carry and 141.8 yards a game, the Aggies scored 14 touchdowns on the ground last season.