Ags hope to build on 1st win
Having been bitten by opponents’ rallies more than once this season, New Mexico State University’s football team found the gumption to pull off one of its own.
The Aggies — who had not left the field as victors since Sept. 6, 2014 — erased a 30-7 deficit to beat Idaho 55-48 in overtime Saturday, Oct. 31 and snap its 17-game losing streak.
Sophomore running back Larry Rose III pounded out more than 200 yards rushing and four touchdowns, including one with 51 seconds left to tie the game, as well as a 2-yard dive in overtime for the winning score. NMSU (1-7 overall, 1-3 Sun Belt) now takes on Texas State (2-5, 1-2) Saturday, Nov. 7 in San Marcos, Texas.
Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. Mountain Time. The game will be broadcast on 570-AM and also on ESPN3.
Rose will look to feast on a Texas State defense that has had trouble stopping the run. Opponents have averaged nearly 300 yards per game on the ground against the Bobcats.If NMSU decides to air out the ball, the team might still find some success. Texas State has surrendered 260 passing yards per game and have given up 18 touchdowns.
On offense, though, the Bobcats have been able to run the ball successfully with an average of 206 yards per game.
Their rushing game is paced by running back Robert Lowe and quarterback Tyler Jones who have accumulated 653 and 536 yards respectively on the ground this season with six touchdowns apiece.
Against the Idaho Vandals (3-5, 2-3), Rose set the pace with 211 yards on the ground on 25 carries. He also took the pigskin across the goal line four times.
“I always tell the line, ‘If you open the hole up, I’ll do the rest and get us off the field,’ and I just took what they gave me,” Rose said.
After a shaky start to the overtime period, second-string quarterback Nick Jeanty threw a laser to Joshua Bowen for a 23-yard gain to put Aggies on the Idaho 14-yard line. From there, it was all Rose as he first ran for a 12-yard gain toward the right pylon. With a first-and-goal opportunity, Rose’s leaping dive gave NMSU a 55-48 lead.
“We’ve got the best running back in the Sun Belt conference, and he might be the best running back in the nation,” head coach Doug Martin said. “He’s not just special on game day, he’s special every day.”
Idaho took possession to try and tie the contest, but NMSU freshman Terrill Hanks grabbed his third interception in an Aggie uniform, securing the ball with his feet, to ensure Rose’s touchdown stood as the game-winner.
Quarterback Andrew Allen went 22-of-38 for 300 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Nick Jeanty was 2-of-2 for 26 yards in overtime. Joshua Bowen had a career-high 106 yards on a personal-best 10 receptions, while Royce Caldwell chipped in a career-best 73 receiving yards.
Freshman linebacker Javahn Fergurson, who played just his second game of the season, had a game-high 17 tackles with a sack.