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Despite frustrating 55-52 loss to Lobos, surprising news for New Mexico State Aggies Football

The Aggies announced an agreement with ESPN to secure a spot in an ESPN bowl.

NCAA Football: New Mexico State at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Josh Adkins contributed six touchdowns, Jason Huntley rushed for over 100 yards and Naveon Mitchell had 104 yards receiving but it wasn’t enough for the New Mexico State Aggies Saturday against the New Mexico Lobos.

That’s because the defense, once again, could not stop anything.

New Mexico was able to score on nine of their 12 possessions and keep the Aggies off the board for longer stretches of the game in the 55-52 defeat. The Aggies had chances to tie and win the game, but familiar mistakes cost them in this one.

Poor defense, a pick-six on the second play of the game, and a blocked field goal doomed the Aggies in the 110th Battle of I-25. Similar to last year, the Aggies should have beaten the Lobos but were unable to put together a full game.

NCAA Football: New Mexico State at Alabama
It’s expected to give up 60 to Alabama but its a different story against UNM
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t get me wrong, the offense was on fire. They scored on eight of their 13 possessions and got great games from a lot of different players.

Josh Adkins had 335 yards passing and three touchdowns and also added three touchdowns on the ground, while Jason Huntley had NM State’s first 100 yard rushing performance of the year with 114 yards and a TD. He also had a receiving TD.

Tony Nicholson had two touchdowns Saturday, which were the first two of his career. Overall, the Aggies had 489 yards of offense and 29 first downs but the defense was swiss cheese again.

I can’t even really talk about the game because I’m just so fed up with the D. I’m not sure if it’s the players or the scheme but they have been holding this team back for a long time. Even if they were just semi-functioning, the Aggies would have a shot at six wins most years. I think it is time for Doug Martin to take a look at finding a new defensive coordinator. How long can we deal with giving up 30 points a game?

Some Good News

Now that I have that off my chest, here is some really great news.

It was announced that NM State has reached a six year deal with ESPN that will give the Aggies the chance to be selected to play in the New Mexico Bowl. The agreement, which runs from 2020-2025, allows New Mexico State the chance to be selected for the bowl regardless of if the Mountain West and C-USA (the two conferences with bowl tie ins) have bowl eligible teams that could play.

This is a huge get for the future of the program and on the recruiting trail. You can’t convince many people to come play if they don’t have a realistic shot at a bowl and this fixes that. It also provides the chance for a large crowd with the big alumni population around Albuquerque.

Additionally, the agreement gives the Aggies the chance to play in the 16 other bowl games owned by ESPN, such as the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl, the Birmingham Bowl, and the Camellia Bowl, as well as others. The Aggies can still play in games not owned by ESPN while under the deal.

Of course, New Mexico State must first get a better defense if they want to have an opportunity to utilize this agreement.