The New Mexico State Aggies withstood a furious rally by the New Mexico Lobos Saturday to claim the Rio Grande Rivalry for the second season in a row. The game was as wild and quirky as New Mexico itself, adding to the intrigue of the 108th meeting between the two schools.
New Mexico State dominated through the first three quarters, forcing four turnovers (2 INTs and 2 fumbles) and scoring 30 points. The Aggies offense, led by Tyler Rogers, almost completely ditched the run in the first half, which was fine as Rogers carved up the Lobo defense.
He completed 19 of 30 passes for three touchdowns and 287 yards in the first half alone. Two of those touchdowns went to Izaiah Lottie, one coming off a near interception.
The Aggies wouldn’t run away with the victory however, as NMSU would switch to a more conservative philosophy in the second half, allowing the Lobos to make the chippy contest interesting.
Entering the 4th quarter, the score was 30-5 after another Rogers’ touchdown pass extended the Aggies lead to 25. However, the Lobos would switch quarterbacks and start scoring points.
New Mexico scored 23 points in the fourth quarter but thanks to an earlier failed two-point conversion and the D holding the Lobos to a field goal with 6 minutes left, the Aggies lead remained 2.
With 1:11 left the Lobos tried a quick slant to tie the game at 30 but Javahn Ferguson was there to bat the ball away and secure the Aggies’ second straight I-25 rivarly victory.
While the final score, 30-28, didn’t exactly reflect the excitement and quirkiness of the game, it does show that the Aggies are a MUCH improved team on both sides of the ball and can make some noise in the Sun Belt this year.
Since this was a special rivalry game and the Aggies played well, I thought I’d do something special and point out a few players and units of the game, along with an area of need for the Aggies.
Players of the Game: Tyler Rogers, Izaiah Lottie, Ron LaForce, NMSU’s Defense, NMSU’s Offensive Line
Needs work: Extra points, special teams.
CONGRATS ON THE VICTORY AGGIES! KEEP IT GOING! #AggieUp