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Aggies fall to San Diego State in home opener

The New Mexico State Aggies hosted the San Diego State Aztecs at Aggie Memorial Stadium for the Aggies’ first home game of the season on Saturday evening. The Aggies struggled tremendously on offense in the first half of the game and were unable to regain momentum after succumbing to pressure on both sides of the ball from San Diego State.

The Aggies storm the field at Aggie Memorial Stadium before the start of the home opener against San Diego State on Saturday, Sept. 14. (Photo by Jonathan Coker/Kokopelli)

Despite a slow start by San Diego State that included an interception by quarterback Ryan Agnew on the team’s opening drive, the Aztecs (3-0) outpaced New Mexico State (0-3) on all fronts.

San Diego State scored two touchdowns before the end of the first half, including an 11-play, 80-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard run by Aztec running back Jordan Byrd. San Diego State ended the first half with a total of 236 yards and controlled the ball for over 21 minutes, while the Aggies only had 87 yards and posted two turnovers including a fumble on their first play from scrimmage. The half ended with San Diego State up 17-0.

New Mexico State continued to struggle at the beginning of the second half when quarterback Josh Adkins threw an interception that San Diego State ultimately cashed in for another touchdown. However, New Mexico State avoided a shutout with an impressive drive at the end of the third quarter. The 11-play, 75-yard drive was capped off with a 35-yard touchdown pass from Josh Adkins to running back Jason Huntley.

Aggie quarterback Josh Adkins looks downfield for an open receiver. Adkins was 26 of 41 for 299 yards on the night including one TD. He also threw two interceptions. (Photo by Jonathan Coker/Kokopelli)

After a much needed stop by the Aggies’ defense, New Mexico State put together another solid drive that ended in a 46-yard field goal by Dylan Brown. By the end of the third quarter, the Aggies only trailed by 14 points, 24-10.

Despite a promising third quarter, the Aggies were unable to put up any more points in the fourth quarter and gave up big plays. This included an 18-yard touchdown run by Aztec running back Chance Bell. The final outcome was a 31-10 Aggie loss.

Aggie head coach Doug Martin expressed major disappointment in the team’s offense, stating the team had no chance of winning after turning the ball over four times and giving up seven sacks. “[It was the] worst offensive performance I’ve seen in 34 years,” Martin said.

SDSU cornerback Luq Barcoo intercepts Josh Adkins early in the first quarter in the Aggies’ home opener Saturday in Las Cruces. (Photo by Jonathan Coker/Kokopelli)

Redshirt senior linebacker Javahn Fergurson said after the game that the biggest goal for the defense moving forward is to remain consistent through all four quarters. “I feel like we had enough talent to win this game, we just didn’t pull it off.”

Sophomore quarterback Josh Adkins was critical of his own performance, but praised the overall performance of the Aggie defense. “We didn’t play our best football out there tonight,” Adkins said.

When speaking about the game against UNM next week, Adkins said the players will be motivated to do well and put the loss to San Diego State behind them. “We’re excited to go out there and play [against UNM],” Adkins said, “We’re looking to make our community proud.”

The Aggies will face the Lobos next Saturday at Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.

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