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New Mexico State Aggies fall to Nevada Wolfpack 23-12 in Jerry Kill’s Coaching Debut

Turnovers were the difference in a game the Aggies outplayed Wolfpack most of the night

Nevada v New Mexico State Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

The Aggies were under the lights, on national television and had a crowd of 23,371 trying to see them win their season opener for the first time since 2014 as they took on the Nevada Wolfpack at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

Despite only giving up 257 yards of offense, the Aggies fell 23-12 thanks to four interceptions, a fumble and an inability to finish scoring drives early in the game.

Nevada v New Mexico State
The Aggies defense did a great job but couldn’t keep up thanks to four Aggie turnovers
Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images

It was the first time the Aggies had given up less than 300 yards in a game since November 16, 2019 against Incarnate Word.

By all metrics, the Aggies should have won this game but the Nevada run game wore down the Aggies defense which couldn’t keep up with facing 68 plays and the fact Nevada got five extra possessions.

The first quarter was all Aggies as the energy from the fans fueled the team to dominate the first quarter. The Aggies had two 40+ yard drives but couldn’t cash in.

Kicker Ethan Albertson missed a 43 yard field goal wide right on the Aggies first drive and Diego Pavia threw a 4th down interception on the second to keep the game 0-0 despite outgaining the Wolfpack 94-7.

The defense seemed up to the task however, forcing two three and outs and keeping the Aggies in the game, something they didn’t always do last season.

After a 30 minute lightning delay, the game resumed and got very interesting when Nevada center Bryce Peterson sailed a snap past Shane Illingworth and into the end zone for a safety. It was the first safety for the Aggies in six seasons.

On the ensuing drive, a 20 yard run by Diego Pavia run was aided by a rare defensive block below the waist, but ended when Pavia’s pass was deflected by Kordell David and into the hands of a Nevada defender. This picture sums things up perfectly.

It didn’t get any better after that as Dom Peterson forced a Diego Pavia fumble that set up a 32 yard touchdown run by Devante Lee and then Pavia forced a ball downfield that resulted in his third INT of the half.

The defense looked solid but got tired having to face run after run, allowing Nevada to drive and hit a field goal and allowing another Lee touchdown run.

Down 17-2 at the break, the Aggies exchanged punts with the Wolfpack. They almost had a fourth interception but were saved by the replay booth. At that point, Kill had had enough and sent Gavin Frakes in at quarterback.

Frakes was able to rekindle a little offensive magic, finding Justice Powers for 67 yards that set up a 10 yard touchdown pass to Kordell David to make it 17-9 midway through the third.

The next three drives would see each team get a field goal, two by Nevada and one by the Aggies, a 46 yard field goal by Ethan Alberston.

Down 23-12, the Aggies tried to move the ball down the field but again were left with no points and a end zone interception, thus ending the game the way most of it went.