LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KTSM) – New Mexico State suffered a 21-7 loss to Florida International at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday night.
New Mexico State was aiming to grab back-to-back wins in a season for the first time since 2019, but FIU had plans to spoil it.
The Panthers, who failed to score a single point in their last game against Western Kentucky, came into Aggie Memorial Stadium and posted three touchdowns in the first half alone. All three scores were passing touchdowns from FIU quarterback Grayson James. Meanwhile, the Aggies only score came courtesy of a Star Thomas two-yard rushing touchdown at the 12:58 mark of the second quarter.
The Panthers headed into halftime with a 21-7 lead over the Aggies.
No team ended up scoring in the second half. Two of FIU’s three drives in the second half ended with punts. Meanwhile, two of the Aggies’ four drives in the second half ended in punts, one ended in a missed field goal attempt, and the other ended with a turnover on downs.
It was a tough loss for New Mexico State, as they became the first FBS team that FIU beat in three years. The last FBS team that FIU beat before New Mexico State on Saturday night was the Miami Hurricanes on Nov. 23, 2019.
NM State’s first-year head coach Jerry Kill was willing to take the blame for the loss as the new-look Aggies are still meshing as a team.
“The emphasis? We’ll never play that soft again as long as I’m here that’s going to be the emphasis. If I have to suit up, and I’m not very tough but I’m worth one play …that’s all our fault that [isn’t] the kid’s fault,” Kill remarked. “We [haven’t] been together that long, they’re trying, some of them try to hard. Sometimes, some of them are playing so uptight. All that stuff is confidence, and we don’t play with confidence all the time. It’s not their fault, we just got to keep doing it.”
New Mexico State now sits with a 1-5 record on the season as they head into their bye week. The Aggies next game will come on Saturday, Oct. 15 when they host rival New Mexico at Aggie Memorial Stadium.
GAME NOTES (Courtesy: NM State Athletics)
- Bryce Childress set career-highs in receptions, receiving yards, and longest reception before halftime for the Aggies. Childress finished with five receptions for 43 yards on the evening.
- Both Gavin Frakes and Diego Pavia played quarterback for NM State once again. Both QB’s have seen action in every contest this season.
- Syrus Dumas set a new career-high with 10 tackles and matched his career-best two tackles for a loss.
- Chris Ojoh notched his third sack of the season in the third quarter.
- Both Sterling Webb and Izaiah Reed recorded sacks on FIU’s opening drive.
- NM State’s offensive line did not allow a sack in the contest.
- FIU led 21-7 at halftime – Their first halftime lead since September 25, 2021 against Central Michigan.
- A 60-yard completion from Grayson James to Lexington Joseph was the longest play from scrimmage for the Panthers this season.
- Daton Montiel launched a career-long 64 yard punt to pin NM State at the one-yard line in the third quarter.
- The Panthers outgained NM State 334-221 in the ballgame and 152-82 on the ground.
- FIU snapped some lengthy streaks on Saturday night. The Panthers ended a 16-game road losing streak that dated back to November 17, 2018. FIU also notched their first win over an FBS opponent since November 23, 2019 against Miami (FL).
- Neither team scored after the 6:00 minute mark of the second quarter.
- There were zero takeaways in the contest.
- NM State won the coin toss for the third consecutive week and elected to defer.
- Canaan Yarro, Trevor Brohard, and Diego Pavia represented NM State at the coin toss.
- Attendance: 10,423.
- Saturday’s game was the second of four straight at Aggie Memorial Stadium. After a bye week, NM State will host New Mexico on Saturday, October 15.