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Spring game ushers in new era

The 2022 Quicklane Bowl champions officially ended their spring practices Thursday night with their annual spring scrimmage at Aggie Memorial Stadium. While the Crimson team fell to the White by a score of 6-12, it was the start of a new era for the Conference USA newbies.

Diego Pavia (No. 10) passes the ball Thursday, April 20, 2023, during the Aggies’ spring football scrimmage at Aggie Memorial Stadium. (Photo by Noah Apodaca/Kokopelli)

Students, families and Aggie football fans filled portions of the stadium to watch the 2022 bowl champions and get a glimpse of what they can expect this fall. Pregame tailgates, games, and of course food and drinks helped set the game-night mood.

Quarterback Diego Pavia led the White to victory alongside nearly 38 new players to the team that head coach Jerry Kill helped sign last year. The rosters were mixed up for the game, allowing new names to play alongside each other. Backup quarterback Gavin Frakes led the Crimson team.

“It was great, you know, because it’s next man up if someone goes down or if something happens,” Pavia said. “When adversity comes, we gotta adjust to it and that’s what we did tonight, was just play with what we got and we did just fine.”

Pavia mentioned that his second year with NMSU football has come with a lot more trust from the entire team all around, and when mistakes are made, everyone will work together to get back on track.

The game was tied 6-6 in the fourth quarter. The only touchdown of the night was made when Pavia found running back Tim Gans near the end zone, solidifying a win for the White.

Head coach Jerry Kill, in his second spring game with the Aggies, spent the duration of the scrimmage watching every play, and sounded impressed in the post-game presser.

“We got to understand tonight that there was a draft and kids were scrambled all over the place,” Kill said. “I really think we didn’t have a lot of mistakes, a lot of things like that. I was kind of shocked, really, in what happened.”

As the Aggies prepare to depart for summer break, the football team remains excited about entering Conference USA in the fall and what this season may bring. For Pavia, it’s just the beginning.

“We got some tremendous talent and I feel like we’re bonding together, just carrying off the momentum we had last year and we’ll be just fine,” he said.

According to Pavia, a Conference USA championship is on the minds of many within the team and that the little details must be executed just right to do that. The team has full trust in coach Kill and the plans he has.

The Aggies will face the University of Massachusetts on Aug. 26 in their first game of the season, and with new turf recently laid down, the team is ready to lay down another streak of success at home and away.


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Aggie fans try to catch a T-shirt launched by NMSU cheerleaders Thursday, April 20, 2023, during the Aggies' spring football scrimmage at Aggie Memorial Stadium. (Photo by Noah Apodaca/Kokopelli)

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