Central Michigan drops New Mexico State 42-28 as Aggies remain winless


MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – A one-possession game entering halftime, the Aggies had their sights set on their first win of the season.

The Chippewas, however, had other plans. NM State’s offense was slowed to a halt in the second half, as the Aggies (0-7) lost to Central Michigan (4-3), 42-28, Saturday afternoon inside Kelly/Shorts Stadium.

Redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Adkins led the Aggie attack, matching his season high with three touchdown passes. The signal caller completed 24-of-40 passes for 263 yards, linking up with redshirt freshman wide receiver Naveon Mitchell, redshirt senior wideout OJ Clark and redshirt junior wide receiver Jared Wyatt for touchdowns.

Senior tailback Jason Huntley, meanwhile, gashed the Chippewas on the ground. He carried the football 10 times for 67 yards, breaking loose for a highlight-reel 37-yard touchdown run to end the first half.

The Chippewas jumped out to a 14-point lead before the Aggies found pay dirt. Mitchell hauled in a four-yard pass from Adkins in the waning minutes of the first quarter, scoring his second career touchdown to cut the deficit to 14-7.

After Central Michigan tacked on another touchdown to extend its lead to 21-7, NM State scored 14 unanswered second-quarter points behind the arm of Adkins and legs of Huntley. Clark caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Adkins before Huntley’s 37-yard score with 50 seconds to go in the half. 

Down seven at the start of the third quarter, the Chippewas put up 14 unanswered points of their own. Two third-quarter field goals and a touchdown midway through the fourth quarter opened Central Michigan’s advantage to 21 points. 

The Aggies would not break through again against the Chippewa defense until late in the fourth quarter. Adkins connected with Wyatt on a 34-yard touchdown pass with 6:21 left to play and cut NM State’s deficit down to 14, where it remained for the rest of the contest.

Mitchell’s five catches are a new career high. The native of Richmond, Texas, who entered the season with three career receptions, has 17 grabs for 271 yards this year.

Graduate transfer wideout Tony Nicholson caught a team-high seven receptions for a team-leading 86 yards. He has six or more catches in six of the Aggies’ seven games this season.

Redshirt senior linebacker Javahn Fergurson led the team in tackles, recording double-digit tackles (13) for the fifth consecutive game. He also logged 1.0 tackles for loss.

True freshman defensive back Jason Simmons Jr. made 10 total tackles, including a career-best 3.0 tackles for loss, and forced a fumble for the first time in his collegiate career. Junior linebacker Rashie Hodge Jr. carded 2.0 tackles for loss to match his personal best, as the Aggie defense had a season-best 7.0 tackles for loss in the game.

NM State enters the bye week before continuing its three-game road swing. The Aggies are next in action Saturday, Oct. 26, when they travel to Statesboro, Ga., to face Georgia Southern.

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