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Aggies bring their pistols to shootout, survive 49-41

Josh Adkins threw for over 400 yards and four touchdowns as the Aggies take game one of the Liberty series.

Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl - Utah State v New Mexico State Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

What a game to start off the four game Liberty-New Mexico State series! 13 touchdowns were scored between the two teams, 11 of them by different players on a wild homecoming win for the Aggies, wearing out Striking the Wonder Dog.

Josh Adkins had a monster game for the Crimson, throwing for 402 yards and four touchdowns on 34-51 passing. All four of his touchdowns were to different receivers. It was the first time an Aggie quarterback threw for over 400 yards since Tyler Rogers did last December versus South Alabama.

Adam Young pointed out that the redshirt freshman has some impressive stats through his first two starts.

Adkins’ performance was so good, it made some of us wonder, “Is New Mexico State football back?”

To that I would say, not yet. But NM State DID get their mojo back. The offense the past two games has looked a lot like the offense we saw last year.

We’ve found a quarterback capable of running Doug Martin’s offense and we found a new running back in Christian Gibson capable of breaking some big plays.

Speaking of Gibson, he had a career day, rushing for 127 yards and two touchdowns, including a nice 66 yard TD run that saw him bounce off his own blocker and streak down the far side of the field. It was the Aggies’ first rushing TD by a back this season.

Not only did the run game break out, the Aggie receivers did a great job of getting yards after the catch. OJ Clark led the group with 10 receptions for 145 yards and one touchdown (which was a nice one all around).

When NM State didn’t get big plays like the one above, they still made the most of their opportunities, scoring four touchdowns on four trips to the red zone.

While the offense was able to keep pace with a high powered Liberty passing attack (365 yards, two touchdowns, two receivers with 115 yards), the defense played well despite giving up 41 points.

Spaziani did a great job of dialing up the right kind of blitzes which hit home five times. Liberty had only allowed six all season going into yesterday’s game.

The D also forced two big turnovers and blocked a late PAT, cementing the win after Liberty would have pulled within a touchdown.

Notes From the Game

  • Despite it being homecoming for the Crimson and White, attendance at the game was only 8,337. A very disappointing number after what were giant numbers through the first two home games.
  • With the win, the Aggies secured their first win over a team from Virginia and are now 2-4 on the year. The Aggies had the same record through six games last season before going 5-2 to close out the season.
  • This team looked totally different from before the bye week. They clicked on offense, Adkins made some nice throws and looked off defenders to make things happen. I’m hoping the offense has figured their early troubles and can continue on the push to a bowl game!
  • Normally, I try to describe the flow of the game but there is too much to go through, so enjoy the highlights courtesy of AggieVision!