NMSU facing “tremendous challenge” this season after not playing in 2020

NMSU

LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) — New Mexico State was one of just three FBS programs in the entire country — Old Dominion and UConn the others — who didn’t play a single down of football last fall due to the pandemic. The Aggies, instead, opted to play two games in the spring.

NMSU taking the field for practice No. 1 on Friday, just four weeks away from their opener against UTEP. With the Battle of I-10 taking place during zero week, the Aggies are one of the first programs in the country to begin fall camp.

“We are really excited about getting camp started,” said NMSU head coach Doug Martin. “Obviously, it has been a long time to go through a season for us. There’s just a lot of excitement with our players.”

Even with the two games played in the spring, NMSU was unable to play those pair of games at home due to a state health order that prevented athletic competition from taking place in Las Cruces last February and March. When the Aggies take the field at Aggie Memorial Stadium in four weeks, they’ll have gone nearly two calendar years without playing at home.

“We have a tremendous challenge ahead of us. We were off the football field for over 400 days,” said NMSU head coach Doug Martin. “People think we just missed the games — we didn’t just miss the games – but we didn’t even get to practice for over 400 days. This has been a huge blow to our program and it’s something we are trying to overcome.”

The Miners and Aggies will open the season on Saturday, Aug. 28 in Las Cruces. Kickoff at Aggie Memorial Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. MT.

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