LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The NM State Aggies football program opens a three-game road trip Saturday when they travel to California to face the San Jose State Spartans for an 8:30 p.m. contest at CEFCU Stadium.
The Aggies and Spartans are meeting for the first time since 2012 on Saturday.
HOW TO WATCH:
Aggie fans can watch Saturday’s contest on NBC Bay Area or on the Mountain West Digital Network.
NM State fans can listen to “Voice of the Aggies” Jack Nixon and Cory Lucas on the all-new Varsity Network app by LEARFIELD, and the following Aggie Sports Network affiliates:
Artesia: KSVP 990 AM
Carlsbad: KAMQ 1240
El Paso: 1380 AM KHEY
Gallup: 1230 AM, 94.9 FM KYVA
Las Cruces: KXPZ 99.5 FM
• #FREED 13
Syrus Dumas has burst onto the scene the last two games. Dumas, who was deemed ineligible for the first three games of the season, forced a fumble and had an interception Saturday. Dumas recorded an interception in his Aggie debut against South Carolina State and now has forced three turnovers. Dumas became the first Aggie since Terril Hanks to have a fumble recovery and an INT in the same game. Hanks accomplished that against Texas State on Nov. 19, 2016.
• BALL HAWKS
The Aggie defense continues to force turnovers at an impressive rate. After forcing just five interceptions in 2019 the Aggies have already recorded seven interceptions in 2021. Syrus Dumas and D.J. McCullough lead the way for the Aggies having both recorded a pair of picks. The duo are one of nine duos to record multiple interceptions.
• NO. 1 ON THE FIELD AND NO. 1 IN THE ROOM:
NM State senior WR Jared Wyatt continues to play his best football during his final season with the Crimson and White. Wyatt caught a career-best nine passes for 114 yards last weekend against Hawai’i. The Navarro College transfer became the first Aggie since Naveon Mitchell to record a 100-yard receiving game (New Mexico, 9/21/19). Mitchell caught four balls for 105 yards in that contest.
• BROHARD OR GO HOME:
Junior captain Trevor Brohard has taken his game to the next level this season. The Los Lunas native has recorded at least eight tackles in all three games he has played in this season. Since returning from COVID protocols (two games), Brohard has recorded 17 tackles (8.5/game) and 1.5 tackles for loss.
• OJOH FINDS HIS MOJOH AGAINST MW
Eastern Washington transfer Chris Ojoh has played his best football this season against the Mountain West. The LB has recorded 6.0 tackles for loss in three games against the MW and all four of his sacks. Ojoh recorded his first-career multiple-sack game last week against Hawai’i last weekend. Ojoh’s four sacks rank 15th in the country, and his 6.5 tackles for loss rank 13th in the country.
• STRIKING A WAVE:
Saturday was a very special night, as during the second quarter, the Aggies passed the ceremonial tee from Striking the Wonder Dog to his “brother” Wave. Striking served as the Aggies official tee retriever for nine seasons after the retirement of Smokey the Wonder Dog in 2012.
• COMING UP THE MOUNTAIN:
Saturday’s contest against San Jose State marks the fourth time through the first six games that NM State has faced a member of the Mountain West Conference. The Aggies have already faced San Diego State (Sept. 4), New Mexico (Sept. 11) and Hawai’i (Sept. 25) last weekend. Saturday’s contest is the second game in a stretch of five straight games versus the Mountain West. Following Saturday’s game against the Spartans, the Aggies will travel to Nevada (Oct. 9) and to Hawaii (Oct. 25). The five-game stretch closes on Nov. 6 when Utah State visits Aggie Memorial Stadium. NM State is 0-3 this season against the MW.
• HITTING THE ROAD:
After playing four of their first five in New Mexico, and three of five at Aggie Memorial Stadium, NM State will not play a road contest in the month of October. The Aggies open the three month of the season with back-to-back contests at SJSU and Nevada. After taking a bye week, the Aggies return to action with an Oct. 23rd contest at Hawai’i. The Aggies will take their second bye week on the week of Oct. 30.
NOTABLES: LAST GAME (Hawai’i):
• Tight end Thomaz Whitford racked up six catches for 88 receiving yards. Those 88 receiving yards were the most by an Aggie tight end this season and were more than NM State’s tight end position group recorded in the 2019 (0) and 2018 (80) seasons combined. Whitford’s 88 receiving yards were the most by an Aggie tight end since at least the 2015 season.
• The last time an Aggie posted over 114 receiving yards in a game came on Oct. 6, 2018, when O.J. Clark amassed 145 receiving yards in a 49-41 victory over Liberty inside Aggie Memorial Stadium. • Ojoh’s two sacks made him the first Aggie with multiple sacks in game since Devin Richardson posted 2.0 in a 20-13 home setback against Liberty on Oct. 5, 2019.
• Isaiah Gracia-Castaneda ran in a twopoint conversion try with 14:06 remaining. It was the Aggies’ second successful twopoint conversion of the year and the most conventional of the two. The Aggies have now recorded a two-point conversion in back to back contest. TE Thomaz Whitford recovered a blocked extrapoint last weekend aginst SCST for two points.
• Ethan Albertson went 2-for-3 on his field goal tries in the Aggies’ setback, booting in a 20-yarder and a 33-yarder. He’s now 3-for-6 in field goals at Aggie Memorial Stadium and 9-for-9 away from Aggie Memorial.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES (San Jose State):
•The Spartans return home for the first time since Aug. 28 when they hosted Southern Utah. The Spartans completed a three game road swing 1-2. The three- game road swing started with a 30-7 loss to USC. SJSU bounced-back two weeks ago with a 17-13 victory over Hawai’i. Last week the Spartans dropped a 23-3 contest at Western Michigan. In that game, Nick Starkel was injured and his availability for this weekends game in doubt.
• If Starkel is unavailable to suit up, one of the primary options for SJSU to start is true freshman Walker Eget, the younger brother of NM State QB Weston Eget. Walker appeared in Saturday’s loss to WMU in relief of Starkel. The California native was 1-for-8 for eight yards. The QB was sacked once for a loss of 15 yards. SJSU has three “ORs” on this week’s depth chart including Starkel, Eget, Natano Woods and former QB turned WR Nick Nash.
• Woods is a 6-6, 250-pound redshirt freshman from Kent, Washington. Woods made his Spartan debut in the blowout victory over Southern Utah. Woods was 2-for-3 with 16 yards, and also added seven yards rushing on two attempts. • Nash has yet to throw a pass this season for SJSU and has rushed the ball twice for six yards and has two receptions for 18 yards. Nash made his lone significant appearance at QB against San Diego State last season. In that contest Nash went 16-for-25 with 169 yards and a pair of scores. The Irvine native also added 11 rushes for 53 yards and another score.
• The Spartans spread the ball around well, as six different players have at least 100-yards receiving this season. TE Derrick Deese, Jr. has eight receptions for 152 yards and a score. Deese Jr. is averaging 19.0 ypc. Isaiah Hamilton leads the Spartans in receptions (15), yards (195) and a touchdown.
• Defensively, Viliami Fehoko has been the most productive player. Fehoko has 4.5 tackles for loss and three solo sacks this season.
• CB Nehemiah Shelton is the Spartans leading tackler this season. The defensive back has a team-best 25 tackles and a team-high six pass breakups. As a team, SJSU has yet to record an interception.
The Aggies continue their tour through the Mountain West next Saturday, when they head to Reno for a nationally-televised (CBS Sports Network) contest at Nevada. Kick-off is set for 8:30 p.m. (MT).