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Rio Grande Rivalry: Preview, Start Time, TV, Radio, Prediction

New Mexico State heads to Albuquerque to take on that team up north.

New Mexico State v Arizona State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Start Time: Saturday, September 9, 6 p.m. MT

TV: FACEBOOK LIVE VIA STADIUM!

I tuned into the Stadium broadcast of the UAB game last Saturday on Twitter and the quality was amazing. Be sure to give this outlet a shot!

Radio: Zia Country 99.5 FM KXPZ, also on the Aggies Sports Network

Location: Dreamstyle Stadium, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Series History: The University of New Mexico leads the series 70-32-5 but New Mexico State won the last meeting 32-31 on September 10, 2016. The Aggies are looking for their first back to back wins in the rivalry since winning three in a row from 2009-2011.

Betting Line: New Mexico is favored by seven according to VegasInsiders.com


New Mexico State Outlook

New Mexico State had a strong showing on both sides of the ball against Arizona State last Thursday. The offense exploded for 31 points as well as 398 yards of passing offense, while many offensive players set career bests in the game.

Tyler Rogers and Jason Huntley both had excellent games for the Aggies an led the team in passing and rushing, respectively.

However, interceptions were an issue as Rogers threw two, including one that was returned for a touchdown on a promising drive. Regardless, Rogers was able to bounce back, doing a wonderful job on third down and in the red zone, two areas he had been working on this off-season.

New Mexico State v Arizona State
Can Rogers limit the interceptions and lead the Aggies to a victory over the Lobos?
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

LRIII was pretty quiet for most of the game as Arizona State keyed in on him quite well. Look for LRIII and Huntley to have good showings against New Mexico.

NMSU’s defense also played outstanding, registering seven sacks, the first time that had happened since 2011. Linebacker Dalton Herrington set a career high with two sacks in the game.

The D also had their faults as they gave up one too many big plays, including a 60 yard strike through the air. The D will need to limit those plays this weekend if they want any chance of reclaiming the rivalry. New Mexico’s passing attack showed some life last week so this will be an interesting challenge for Spaziani’s squad.

New Mexico Outlook

The Lobos come into the I-25 showdown after beating Abilene Christian 38-14, their eighth win in the last nine games.

Quarterback Lamar Jordan passed for 213 yards and a touchdown to go along with 52 rushing yards. The running game was potent, as expected, posting 259 yards (good for 26th overall in the FBS after one week).

Boise State v New Mexico
Lamar Jordan leads the Lobo offense in Albuquerque
Photo by Adria Malcolm/Getty Images

The defense, while turning in a good overall game, did look vulnerable. Abilene Christian stopped New Mexico on the 1 yard line to start the game then went 99 yards for a touchdown to lead the game 7-0. That wouldn’t matter in the final score, but it does show that they aren’t dominating.

Prediction

This game was a nail biter last year with the Aggies pulling out the one point victory. Despite the potent UNM run game and the apparent coming out party of their passing attack, I look for NMSU to be ready on defense and show the Lobos some different looks from last season.

I also don’t expect the New Mexico defense to be quite as strong as last year, allowing Tyler Rogers, Jaleel Scott, LRIII, and Jason Huntley to make it two in a row for the Crimson. I still expect this to be a fun, exciting game broadcast on the new Stadium channel!

Aggies 31, Lobos 28