ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (KTSM) – In the 113th edition of the Rio Grande Rivalry, New Mexico State beat New Mexico, 27-17, at University Stadium on Saturday.
It’s the second time in a row that New Mexico State has beat New Mexico and it’s the first time since 2017 that the Aggies beat the Lobos on their own home field at University Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“This rivalry means something. There are people walking around in Las Cruces that know about this game so we did that for them. We came together as a team, and we handled it.” New Mexico State sophomore wide receiver Jonathan Brady said postgame.
In his return to his hometown as a member of New Mexico State, quarterback Diego Pavia had a night to remember. The product out of Albuquerque, New Mexico led the Aggies’ offense as Pavia racked up 96 rushing yards, 203 passing yards (9-for-14) and had a pair of passing touchdowns in New Mexico State’s win over New Mexico.
Pavia, who wasn’t recruited by New Mexico after he graduated from Volcano Vista High School, tore up the Lobos and made a statement.
“All I can say is recruit New Mexico.,” Pavia said postgame. “Now I feel like they know that New Mexico players are the real deal and really you should take risks on guys from your own state.”
“I knew that this meant so much to him [Diego Pavia] and I was a little worried he might try to push it and do too much, but he didn’t. He played within himself.” New Mexico State assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Tim Beck said postgame about Pavia’s performance.
Kill did not speak to media postgame. Kill was back on the sidelines coaching NMSU after he missed two practices earlier this week due to Kill feeling “under the weather”, per NMSU. As New Mexico State’s head coach, Kill is now 2-0 against rival New Mexico.
“He’s tough as nails. We ride behind him whenever. He’s our guy and I love that man.” Brady said on head coach Jerry Kill.
NMSU sophomore wide receiver Jonathan Brady also had a night to remember. Brady caught both of Pavia’s touchdown passes and recorded a career-high 109 receiving yards.
New Mexico State also got a touchdown from running back Star Thomas. Thomas scored the Aggies’ first touchdown of the game two-yard run in the second quarter of the game to put NMSU up 7-3.
New Mexico State’s defense forced a fumble for the second game in a row. In the first quarter, with UNM at NMSU’s 19-yard-line up 3-0, NMSU safety Myles Rowser knocked the ball out from the hands of UNM running back Sherod White during a run. Dylan Early was there to recover the ball for the Aggies and prevent UNM from extending its lead on that drive.
New Mexico State’s defense was clutch on third down as the Aggies forced the Lobos going 6-of-12 on third down.
New Mexico totaled up 401 yards from scrimmage. Quarterback Dylan Hopkins went 20-for-39 from and recorded 247 passing yards with a touchdown. Jacory Croskey-Merrit led all Lobo rushers with 83 yards on 16 carries and a rushing touchdown.
Up next, New Mexico State (2-2, 0-1 CUSA) will return to Las Cruces and begin its preparations for a road game against Hawai’i on Saturday, Sept. 23.