New Mexico State never trails, stuns Auburn on road
New Mexico State received $1.85 million in what was expected to be an easy win on Saturday for Southeastern Conference member Auburn.
Instead, the Aggies left Jordan-Hare Stadium with a bag full of money and a 31-10 non-conference win to add to what has already been a magical season for the team. It was the first win in four tries for the Aggies against the Tigers.
Entering Saturday’s game the Aggies were 0-27 all-time against teams from the SEC.
NMSU earned its first Power 5 win since they beat Jerry Kill’s Minnesota team in 2012. When Tony Samuel was the head coach, the Aggies defeated Arizona State in Tempe in 1999 when the Sun Devils were ranked No. 22.
Where the Aggies stand
New Mexico State has won seven straight games and is now 9-3 overall with one regular season game left at home next Saturday against Jacksonville State in a Conference USA affair. The Aggies are 5-1 in league play and have already clinched a spot in the conference title game against Liberty and a bowl bid for the second straight season.
How the Aggies got it done
The Aggies never trailed and led 10-7 at the half.
Quarterback Diego Pavia threw three touchdowns, Makhilyn Young scored a rushing touchdown and place-kicker Ethan Albertson added a 40-yard field goal.
Pavia’s touchdown passes were from 2, 9 and 17 yards out.
Kordell David, Star Thomas and Eli Stowers all caught touchdowns for the Aggies. New Mexico State outgained Auburn, 414-213, doubled them up on first downs (22-11) and had no turnovers.
More NMSU football notes
- At six games, the Aggies already had the program’s longest win streak since 1960. That number was extended to seven on Saturday night.
- The Aggie defense has held opponents to an average of 16 points per game across the last nine games while Auburn’s 10 points is the second-fewest allowed by coach Nate Dreiling’s unit this season.
- NM State earned its ninth win on the season – marking the second-highest win total in program history and only two wins behind the 11-win mark set by the 1960 undefeated team.
- For the second-straight week, Ethan Albertson made a 40-yard field goal. Saturday’s at Auburn marked his fourth field goal of 40 yards or more this season.
- Diego Pavia’s three-touchdown performance tied his season-high for a single game this season.
- Gabe Peterson’s two tackles behind the line of scrimmage equal the most tackles for loss by any Aggie this season.
- Auburn’s 148 passing yards on Saturday night is the fewest by any Aggie opponent this season. The Tigers’ 12 first downs was also the fewest by an opposing offense this season.
- Denver Warren recorded the first sack of his Aggie career.
What the NMSU coach said
“The kids played with relentless effort,” Kill said. I’ve had a lot of great moments, I’m not going to take this lightly. You don’t get many opportunities like this.”
More: NMSU secures bowl bidNew Mexico State holds off Middle Tennessee, secures back-to-back bowl bids
Felix F. Chavez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org; @Fchavezeptimes on X (Formerly Twitter)
First appeared on www.elpasotimes.com