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Kill returns to Minnesota

Coming off a 23-12 loss to Nevada (1-0, 0-0 MW) in week zero of college football, the Aggies (0-1) head to the Twin Cities to take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers (0-0, 0-0 Big Ten) this Thursday, Sept. 1, in Minneapolis. 

Minnesota will be opening its season against the Aggies in a nationally televised game on the Big Ten Network. The Golden Gophers finished last season with a 9-4 overall record and were 6-3 in the Big Ten. The Gophers will be relying on their highly coveted starting quarterback, Tanner Morgan, as he returns to the squad following a solid year in which he threw for 2,044 yards and 10 touchdowns in 13 games.  

Despite the loss to Nevada, NMSU has a lot of things to be optimistic about heading into Thursday’s game. One of those is Aggie defensive back, Bryce Jackson, who, after recording eight tackles and a pass breakup, was added to the Pro Football Focus Team of the week for week zero.

The NMSU football team faces the University of Minnesota for the first time since Aug. 30, 2018. This matchup will take place on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022, at 7 p.m. MDT. (Photo courtesy of NMSU athletics.)

Despite the loss to Nevada, NMSU has a lot of things to be optimistic about heading into Thursday’s game. One of those is Aggie defensive back, Bryce Jackson, who, after recording eight tackles and a pass breakup, was added to the Pro Football Focus Team of the week for week zero. Along with Jackson, the NMSU defense played a solid game against Nevada, allowing only two touchdowns and forcing a safety to start the game. 

Another spark for the Aggies heading into their next game is freshman QB Gavin Frakes. After Diego Pavia started his season off with three interceptions, Frakes came into the game and immediately made himself seen by throwing for 143 yards and tacking on a touchdown. One can only presume that he will be getting the starting nod against Minnesota.  

Coach Jerry Kill is all but unfamiliar with Minnesota as he was the head coach of the program from 2011 to 2015. Except for a short stint as the interim head coach at Texas Christian in 2021, that was the last time he was a head coach of a college football team before arriving at NMSU. A win on the road against the Golden Gophers would not only be great for Kill but would also be a substantial win for Aggie football, which has not won a game on the road since 2018.  

With prominent play from the Aggie defense and the emergence of Frakes, this week’s matchup against Minnesota should give NMSU a lot of insight into how the rest of the team’s season could go. 

NMSU will face Minnesota in Minneapolis this Thursday at 7 p.m. MDT at Huntington Bank Stadium. The game will also be nationally televised on the Big Ten Network. 

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