LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) – Less than 3,900 tickets remain for Jerry Kill’s New Mexico State coaching debut on Saturday vs. Nevada.
A national television audience on ESPN2 will tune in to see Kill try to kickoff his tenure with the Aggies with a victory over the Wolf Pack. When the game gets underway at 8 p.m., everyone will learn together who will start at quarterback for New Mexico State.
“Certain people that we’re playing, are they ready to play? We’re not going to know any of those answers until we throw them out there and see what they can do,” Kill said on Tuesday. “You have no idea when you’re working against each other.”
Kill has been quiet about his QBs all fall camp, even saying that the Aggies could play multiple guys under center on Saturday.
However, with kickoff two days away, Kill and the Aggies likely have a good idea who will start, even if they’re not saying it publicly. Diego Pavia, a junior who won a junior college national championship at New Mexico Military Institute and Gavin Frakes, a true freshman from Norman, Okla., are the players that figure to have the best chance at the job.
On its depth chart, NMSU listed Pavia OR Frakes as its starter, adding to the gamesmanship. Kill said in the spring that if the season had started then, it would be Pavia’s job. It stands to reason that with an inexperienced offense set to take the field on Saturday, Kill would go with the more experienced player in Pavia.
One thing is certain, though. Whoever gets the start between the two players will be making their first collegiate start vs. Nevada.
“We know what we’re doing and when we know what we’re doing, we don’t really feel pressure. Gavin is a smart kid and I’m a smart player and Coach Kill has prepared us very well for this game so I feel like we’ll be in good shape,” said Pavia.
With a talented stable of running backs that includes TCU transfer Ahmonte Watkins, the Aggies may not need to rely much on Pavia or Frakes, as long as they can run the football.
The old cliche says that a great running game is a quarterback’s best friend and NMSU certainly hopes that the case. No matter who starts, NM State knows what it needs from its starter.
“We have to make sure we’re moving the ball and moving the chains, take what they give you and don’t force anything,” said NMSU offensive coordinator Tim Beck. “Just operate the offense and distribute the ball the way they need to.”
The nation will get its answer as to who will start for the Aggies at 8 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2.