First Half Recap
This game was the kind that made you pull the hair out of your head and broke your heart-if you’re a New Mexico State fan that is.
Both teams came into the game holding onto their bowl hopes and looked to be evenly matched. Unfortunately UL-Lafayette was just able to get more breaks than the Aggies.
The Cajuns opened the game with back to back 75 yard TD drives. One of those drives featured a fake field goal resulting in a first down (that led to a TD).
In between those drives, was a 97 yard kickoff return TD by Jason Huntley. It was the Aggies first kick return touchdown since 2012.
While that play was exciting, it left the defense on the field for 34 plays in the first quarter, allowing the Cajuns to have a 16 minute to 2 advantage in TOP and a 14-7 lead. To make things worse, the Aggie offense didn’t have a first down until 8:44 left in the second quarter...which is not a great recipe for success.
The Aggies just couldn’t stop the quarterback sneaks which led to many third down conversions and big plays. ULL ran for 208 yards (8.7 ypc) in the first half. They finished the game with a 279-89 rush yard advantage.
Both teams would exchange field goals and touchdowns throughout the second quarter, giving UL-Lafayette a 31-17 halftime lead. It could have been closer as NMSU had the ball at the 40 with two timeouts before the half ended but decided not to use any of them.
Second Half Recap
The second half is where the game got really interesting.
NM State would come hot out of the gate, driving 75 yards in 1:45 thanks in part to two 20+ yard catches from Larry Rose III. The second (a 29 yard pass) resulted in the touchdown.
After a Cajun field goal, Rogers would lead the offense down into enemy territory but took a big hit to his throwing shoulder. He tried to keep playing but was taken out before the next play and didn’t return. He was seen in a sling on the sidelines later. The severity of his injury is uncertain.
LRIII would run it in for six a few plays later to make the game 34-31 near the end of the 3rd.
The Aggies had the ball at the five to start the 4th but couldn’t punch it in and settled for a field goal to tie it at 34.
The next drive saw NMSU stop ULL with a sack on third down, only to have the refs call targeting and eject TWO players!
The refs handled the call like garbage. I’m honestly happy to leave the Sun Belt because the Aggies have been shafted through scheduling and by the refs this year.
But I’ll let you guys be the judge, most people on Twitter weren’t happy with the call.
Ejected for that? pic.twitter.com/5RJJ7pV7h6— Jordan Morrow (@JordanMorrow) November 19, 2017
Coach Martin said the call was “the game.” I agree because the Aggies lost two defensive players and all the momentum they had. If that call isn’t made I believe NM State wins the game.
ULL would score a touchdown on that drive and it was all downhill from there.
Nick Jeanty was intercepted three times in the fourth that led to seven ULL points, leading to the 47-34 final score.
Now NMSU must win it’s last two games at home, potentially without their star QB Tyler Rogers.
They will also be without Javahn Fergurson and Malik Demby for the first half of next weeks game against Idaho.
All hope is not lost, but we need everyone to show up to next week’s game and help the Aggies reach win #5!