Aggies open Sun Belt play at Troy
With a combined 74 points under its belt the past two weeks, the New Mexico State University offense appears to be clicking.
The defense, though, has surrendered 93 points during the same time period and now must travel to face a program that hung 52 points on the scoreboard in Aggie Memorial Stadium last year.
Coming off a 62-42 loss at Kentucky, the Aggies (1-2) take on Troy University Trojans (2-1) in Alabama Saturday, Sept. 24.
Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. Mountain Time.
Last season, the Trojans visited Las Cruces and left town with a 52-7 victory.
The game marks the start to NMSU’s Sun Belt Conference portion of the schedule. It will be on ESPN3 and will be carried on the Aggies’ flagship station KXPZ 99.5 FM in Las Cruces.
Troy is coming off a 37-31 upset at Southern Mississippi Saturday, Sept. 17. In fact, after opening their 2016 slate with a 57-17 shellacking of Austin Peay, the Trojans nearly shocked the college football world on Sept. 10, when they fell by just sixpoints – 30-24 – at Clemson.
Troy has averaged nearly 40 points per game so far and its offense has chewed up grass like a herd of cows on methamphetamines. The Trojans have the 24th best rushing offense in the nation with 710 yards through three games. By contrast, NMSU’s rushing defense is one of the worst in the nation, ranked 126th out of 128 programs.
Leading the way on the ground for Troy is junior
NMSU students and players take a selfie to commemorate defeating the UNM Lobos during the 2016 I-25 Rivalry Match-up, Sept. 10. The Aggies won 32-31 Sept. 10. NMSU now travels to Troy University to open Sun Belt play.
BULLETIN PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER BELARDE
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running back Jordan Chunn who has averaged 127 yards per game. Behind him are a trio of rushers who have each averaged more than 30 yards per outing.
When the Trojans take to the air, junior quarterback Brandon Silvers has thrown for 195 yards per game and has seven touchdowns and three interceptions.
NMSU quarterback Tyler Rogers, meanwhile, has completed 54-of-109 passes for 657 yards and four touchdowns.
The senior quarterback has also amassed 154 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 39 attempts. Xavier Hall leads the running back corps with 163 yards on 35 rushes.
The Aggies have lost to Texas-El Paso and Kentucky and defeated in-state rival New Mexico.
After a 32-31 victory against the Lobos on Sept. 10, the Aggies traveled to Lexington, Kentucky, where they squared off with the Wildcats.
NMSU led four times and never trailed through the first half as they entered the locker room knotted at 35-35 before ultimately falling to the SEC opponent. On Kentucky’s first drive of the game, Jaden Wright stepped in front of a Drew Barker pass for his first interception of the season.
The Aggies scored two plays later to take the lead. Overall, the Aggies forced three turnovers with one interception and two fumble recoveries.
Rogers led NM State offensively as he completed 16-of-33 passes for 246 yards and two touchdowns. Rogers also amassed a career-high 70 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries. Hall led the rushing efforts as he collected 94 rushing yards on 18 carries. Wide Receiver Tyrian Taylor scored two touchdowns with one passing and one rushing.
• The Aggies’ first two drives against Kentucky resulted in touchdowns, both caught by Johnathan Boone.
• 42 points is the most points NM State has scored against an SEC team in program history. The previous high was 24 against South Carolina in 2002.
• Johnathan Boone caught a 35-yard pass with 13:20 left in the first quarter for his first touchdown as an Aggie.
• Tyrian Taylor had his first touchdown pass as an Aggie.
With 8:58 left in the first quarter, he found Johnathan Boone in the end zone for a 31yard score.
• Taylor rushed for the first touchdown of his career with 2:40 left in the first quarter.
• Tyler Rogers had a careerhigh two rushing touchdowns (1-yard and 5-yards).
• Rogers amassed 246 passing yards. This is his third 200-yard passing game this season and the 13th of his career. He now ranks tied for third in 200-yard passing game leaders.
• Rogers now ranks seventh in career passing yards (4,410), seventh in career passing attempts (680), sixth in career completions (394) and tied for eighth in career passing touchdowns (30).
• In addition, Rogers now ranks No. 7 in career total offense with 4,830 yards on 817 plays. He also ranks No. 10 in total offense touchdowns with 36 (six rushing, 30 passing).
• Jaden Wright intercepted a pass with 13:43 left in the first quarter. This was the fourth interception of his career. The Aggies scored two plays later.
• Terrill Hanks had his second force fumble of the season. This was his third forced fumble overall.
• Izaiah Lottie recovered a fumble after a NM State punt in the first quarter. This was the first fumble recovery.