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Aggies get noticed as season approaches


The New Mexico State University football team surprised a lot of people in 2022 by winning six of its last seven games, culminating with a victory in the Quick Lane Bowl.

The Aggies, in their second year under coach Jerry Kill, begin their season in three weeks, and won’t be able to sneak up on anyone this year.

At its recent media day, Conference-USA released the results of its media poll, with NMSU projected to finish fifth among the conference’s nine football teams . Western Kentucky earned 18 of 22 possible first-place votes to take home the preseason title with Liberty coming in second, receiving four first-place votes.

The Aggies beat Liberty last November 49-14 to secure its spot in the Quick Lane Bowl. Slotted just above NM State in the preseason poll were Middle Tennessee (third) and Louisiana Tech (fourth). The Aggies sit above UTEP, Jacksonville State, FIU, and Sam Houston in the preseason poll. The longtime NMSU-UTEP rivalry now has conference stakes. This year’s matchup with the Miners will be in El Paso Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Yes, you read that right. Wednesday. A feature of C-USA is a slate of mid-week games: three on Wednesday and one on Tuesday.
Home opener Aug. 26

NM State will kick off the season, however, on the more traditional Saturday, Aug. 26, versus UMass at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

Single-game tickets for the contests against UMass, Western Illinois, FIU, Sam Houston, Middle Tennessee, and Jacksonville State went on sale Aug. 1, and will be priced as low as $12 when purchased prior to gameday. The Aggies have six home games this year.
The Pan American Center ticket office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Season tickets for the Aggie football home slate can also be purchased at the Pan American Center or by calling 575-646-1420.

The game against UMass will be broadcast on ESPN, just as the Quick Lane Bowl was, giving the Aggies back-to-back televised appearances on “the mothership.”

Preseason recognition

Five NM State players were named to the Conference USA Preseason Watch List: Diego PaviaShiyazh PeteDion Wilson Jr.Andre Seldon and Jonathan Brady were all named as players to watch throughout the 2023 season.

In addition, Pavia, the Aggies’ quarterback last season, was named to the watch list for the 87th Maxwell Award presented annually to the outstanding player in college football.

The Maxwell Football Club made the announcement July 31.
Pavia and Pete solidified an up-tempo offense that led NM State to the Quick Lane Bowl title in 2022. Both Pavia and Pete appeared in 2022 with each starting at least eight games. Under center, Pavia picked up a flurry of awards in 2022 including Quick Lane Bowl MVP, College Football Network First Team All-Independent, Manning Award National Quarterback of the Week, CFPA National Performer of the Week, and National Latino Player of the Week. Anchoring the left side of the offensive line, Pete helped pave the way for three consecutive 200-plus rushing yard showings to close the season and a school-record 25 rushing touchdowns.

In 2022, Pavia played in 12 games for the Aggies and put together an incredibly impressive campaign. On his way to Quick Lane Bowl Most Valuable Player honors, Pavia threw for a team-high 1,450 yards and 13 touchdowns. A dual-threat quarterback, Pavia also added 508 rushing yards and a team-high six touchdowns.
 Before coming to NM State, Pavia led New Mexico Military Institute to a NJCAA National Championship. That season, Pavia threw for 1728 yards and 21 touchdowns in an offense that focused on running the football and allowed just one interception on 215 pass attempts.