MADISON, Wis. – A return trip to America’s Dairyland went sour quickly for NM State (0-4) on Saturday afternoon. After not meeting with Wisconsin (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) since 1962, the Badgers reminded the Aggies of their status among college football’s blue-blood with a 66-7 rout.
After a 50-yard kickoff return and a three-play scoring drive for Wisconsin, the NM State defense settled in. For the remainder of the opening frame, the Aggies held the Badgers at bay. After the first quarter, Wisconsin held just a seven-point lead over the Aggies.
Despite a tightly contested first quarter, the second frame was all Badgers. Wisconsin outscored NM State 28-0 in the frame to hold a 35-0 lead at halftime.
In the final seconds of the opening half, the Aggies threatened to score, but a missed field goal attempt derailed those dreams. The 13-play, 82-yard drive was NM State’s offensive bright spot in the opening half. The drive started when Izaiah Reed tipped a pass allowing Syrus Dumas to come down with an interception in the red zone.
The Wisconsin hot hand continued into the second half as they got out to a 63-0 advantage at home. NM State finally got into the scoring column in the fourth quarter as Ahmonte Watkins scampered in for a one-yard touchdown rush. Brett Money made his season debut, converting on the point after try.
Watkins’ touchdown was all the Aggie offense could muster, eventually falling 66-7. The Aggies will return to Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 24 to take on Hawai’i. The return to Las Cruces marks NM State’s first home game since August 27 – a week zero contest with Nevada.
News and Notes
- Chris Bellamy led all players with six targets in the game, making one reception for 25 yards.
- Jordin Parker’s 36-yard reception was the longest offensive play for NM State in the contest.
- Syrus Dumas added his first interception of the season late in the first half.
- Star Thomas led NM State with 46 yards of rushing. Timothy Gans added 38 yards of his own late in the ballgame.
- Three quarterbacks – Diego Pavia, Gavin Frakes, and Weston Eget – all appeared for the Aggies.
- Keyshaun Elliott led all players with seven tackles in the game, all of which were solo stops.
- Chris Ojoh, Sterling Webb, and Buddha Peleti all got credit for at least half of a sack.
- Graham Mertz threw for 251 yards and three touchdowns in the Badgers win.
- Wisconsin had three players – Braelon Allen, Isaac Guerendo, and Chez Mellusi – who all rushed for more than 70 yards.
- As a team, Wisconsin outrushed NM State 260-118.
- 73,080 fans packed Camp Randall Stadium to see the Badgers trounce the Aggies.
- Canaan Yarro and Syrus Dumas led the Aggies as captains.
- NM State won the coin toss and elected to defer.
- The trip to Madison was NM State’s third straight road contest and fourth straight game against a team who played in a 2021 bowl game.