LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – New Mexico State’s game vs. San Jose State on Oct. 22 was unexpectedly postponed after the tragic death of Spartans’ running back Camdan McWright.
No make-up date for the game was announced along with the postponement and with no mutual bye weeks the rest of the season, the Aggies are doing their due diligence to try to find a workaround.
It appears that the only option for rescheduling San Jose State would be Dec. 3, which is also the same day as the Mountain West Conference championship game. The Spartans are currently tied for first in the West Division, so that option may not be on the table if they’re in the title game.
NMSU athletic director Mario Moccia told KTSM on Monday that it’s also not NMSU’s first choice; the Aggies would rather not play a game that late in the season, preferring instead to start recruiting for the December signing period.
Therefore, the Aggies are looking at potentially scheduling a game for Nov. 5, a week that NM State currently has a bye. There are four options on the board for the Aggies, in terms of teams that are available: Nevada and Wyoming at the FBS level and Jacksonville State and Sam Houston, two teams that are currently FCS and transitioning to FBS next year to join NMSU in Conference USA.
Moccia said last week that NMSU was supposed to pay San Jose State $200,000 in travel expenses to play in Las Cruces on Oct. 22. If they don’t play that game, those funds would be freed up to pay for another team to make the trek.
The big question is, would any of those teams have an interest in scheduling an extra game on short notice? Nevada has already beaten the Aggies this season, 23-12 back on Aug. 27 in Las Cruces to open the 2022 season. Wyoming is currently fighting with Boise State for first place in the Mountain Division of the Mountain West and may not want to risk injuries by coming to Las Cruces.
Sam Houston is only scheduled to play nine games this season as they prepare to make the move to FBS; they could make the most sense, if they’re willing to add a game.
As for Jacksonville State, the Gamecocks are also fighting for an Atlantic Sun Conference championship, but because they are transitioning to FBS, JSU is not eligible for the FCS Playoffs. Therefore, they could be a viable option, but it remains to be seen whether or not they would choose to play the Aggies.
“We will map out every possible scenario. We will talk to the leadership, and to the football team to make sure we do what’s best for them,” Moccia said. “Then, we’ll use that as a guide in our final decision-making.”
Moccia said a deadline for a decision would be next week at the absolute latest. With the Nov. 5 bye just 12 days away, NMSU will need to move as quickly as possible.
New Mexico State will travel to face Massachusetts on Saturday, Oct. 29, at 1:30 p.m.