LAS CRUCES, NM (KTSM) – After back-to-back road tilts to start the year, football is back inside Aggie Memorial Stadium. New Mexico State (0-2) plays host to San Diego State (2-0) at 6 p.m. (MT) Saturday, Sept. 14, in the first home game of the season.
HISPANIC HERITAGE DAY
A full day of activities is planned for fans in attendance at the home opener. NM State, through its multimedia rights holder, NM State Sports Properties, has teamed up with MillerCoors to host the inaugural Aggie Football Hispanic Heritage Day.
The event celebrates the history and culture of Southern New Mexico and Mexico. Pregame festivities, which run from 2-5 p.m., will include food trucks, a live DJ and the US Army National Guard Mariachi Band. World-renowned artist and El Paso native Jari “WERC” Alvarez will be creating a one-of-a-kind NM State-themed live mural prior to kickoff inside Aggie Memorial Stadium.
More information is available here and here.
HOW TO WATCH
The contest will be broadcast on FloFootball, with Adam Young (play-by-play) and Danny Knee (analyst) on the call. The game is also available via FOX Sports Arizona Plus and Comcast.
Fans can also listen to every Aggie football game this season via the Aggie Sports Network. NM State Athletics/US Bank Hall of Famer Jack Nixon mans the play-by-play duties, and Cory Lucas provides analysis.
The broadcast can be heard on NM State’s flagship station 99.5 FM KXPZ or on TuneIn. Additional radio affiliates include:
Alamagordo – 103.7 FM KNMZ
Albuquerque – 1150 AM KNMM
Carlsbad – 1240 AM KAMQ
El Paso – 1380 AM KHEY
Gallup – 1230 AM, 94.9 FM KYVA
Las Vegas – 107.1 FM KMDS
In collaboration with Hispanic Heritage Day, a Spanish-language radio broadcast, called by Joel Martinez (play-by-play) and Irvin Alvarez (analyst), is also available via La Equis 96.7 FM.
ALL ABOUT THE AGGIES
NM State returns 17 starters from last year’s squad, including eight on the offensive side of the football.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Josh Adkins is tasked with leading the Aggie offense, taking over the starting role four games into last season. Senior running back Jason Huntley, who led the nation with three kickoff return touchdowns a year ago, provides explosiveness in different facets of the game for the Aggies.
The defense brings back nine starters from a year ago, paced by redshirt senior linebacker Javahn Fergurson, the nation’s reigning leader in tackles per game. Senior defensive lineman Roy Lopez, who logged a team-high 12.5 tackles for loss last season, is back to wreak havoc in opposing backfields.
Senior placekicker Dylan Brown mans field-goal and kickoff responsibilities. The native of Chandler, Ariz., connected on 10-of-15 attempts last season, including a career-long make of 49 yards.
PROTECT OUR HOUSE
The Aggies are riding a one-game winning streak on their own turf entering Saturday night’s contest. NM State defeated Alcorn State, 52-42, in last season’s home finale (11/3/18).
San Diego State, however, is no pushover when on the road. The Aztecs are 17-5 in their last 22 road games, outscoring opponents, 680-412, during that span.
SCOUTING THE AZTECS
San Diego State enters Saturday’s contest on the heels of a historic 23-14 win against UCLA. The Aztecs defeated Bruins for the first time in the 23 all-time series meetings between the two schools last weekend. Quarterback Ryan Agnew threw for a career-high 293 yards and a touchdown in the victory, improving to his record to 8-1 as a starter. He has never thrown an interception in a road game in his career.
Wideout Kobe Smith was Agnew’s favorite target against UCLA. He logged a career-high seven catches for a career-best 131 receiving yards and a touchdown. This season, San Diego State ranks 21st nationally in turnover margin per game and has run 151 offensive plays without a turnover.
Through two games defensively, San Diego State has allowed an explosive pass play (gain of 15-plus yards) on just 7.5 percent of attempts against. That mark is the best rate in the Mountain West and the sixth-best rate among all 130 FBS defenses.
Defensive back Luq Barcoo is a big reason for the Aztecs’ stout pass defense. He was was targeted nine times against UCLA and allowed five receptions for just 17 yards with one pass deflection. Barcoo has allowed only 55 percent of targets in his coverage to be caught (24 receptions on 43 targets) over his career.