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Aggies hold off late Lobo rally, win 30-28

J.R. Oppenheim
September 11, 2017 07:44 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Bob Davie’s first loss to in-state rival New Mexico State game was a one-point difference. His second: fairly similar, at least by the end.

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Davie and his New Mexico Lobos, unable to get their offense going until late in the game, lost to New Mexico State 30-28 Saturday night at Dreamstyle Stadium. After winning his first four games against the Aggies, Davie has lost the last two straight to the team from southern New Mexico.

"I think any loss really stings, no matter who it is or who it’s against," UNM safety Jacob Girgle said. Yeah, it’s two years in a row and it sucks, but personally I take any loss the same way and this one is just as bad as any other one.

NMSU quarterback Tyler Rogers threw for more yards in one half than he did in last year’s 32-31 win in Las Cruces. The senior completed 19 completions for 287 in the first two quarters, scoring three touchdowns. He finished the game with 401 yards and four scores.

Compare that to last year, when Rogers threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns in 2016’s Rio Grande Rivalry matchup.

The Lobos, meanwhile, could not get their running attack going until late in the game. UNM amassed 176 rushing yards on 37 carries, but they only had 60 yards through the first half.

UNM signal-caller Lamar Jordan threw two interceptions on 10-for-19 passing and 103 yards before Tuioti Tekava came in. He also went 10-for-19 through the air but had 151 yards and two touchdowns.

NMSU’s Larry Rose III rushed for a game-high 99 yards while Jay Griffin IV led UNM with 61 yards and a touchdown.

The Lobos also turned the ball over four times -- two fumbles and two interceptions.

"They beat us. Parts of it were we beat ourselves, but they beat us," Davie said after the game. "And I give them a lot of credit. I think they have a legitimate chance to go win that Sun Belt Conference. I’ve been seeing it coming."

New Mexico made it a game in the fourth quarter, but the first three were all Aggies.

UNM fumbled on its first drive and struggled from there. The only time UNM found the end zone in the first half came off a fumbled NMSU PAT kick, the culmination of an Aggie drive prompted by that fumble.

Rogers hooked up with receiver O.J. Clark for a 30-yard TD pass on the Aggies first drive. On the ensuing kick attempt, the Aggies fumbled and Jalin Burrell returned it for a defensive PAT.

UNM’s only other first-half score was a 23-yard Jason Sanders’ field goal. The Lobos drove down to the 4-yard line but couldn’t complete the possession with a touchdown.

The Aggies, on the other hand, scored two more touchdowns. Rogers found Izaiah Lottie for scores, one for 81 yards and another for 17 yards. Dylan Brown also chipped in a 39-yard field goal as NMSU led 23-5 at the half.

Rogers scored his fourth touchdown in the third quarter, throwing an 8-yard pass to Jaleel White.

The Lobos managed two fourth-quarter touchdowns in relatively quick succession. UNM’s offense reached the end zone offensively with 12 minutes, 12 seconds remaining when Tevaka Tuioti threw a 5-yard pass to Chris Davis.

Then Jay Griffin IV ran 64 yards for a touchdown, cutting the margin to 30-19. UNM missed the first two-point conversion but connected on the second.

UNM continued to show signs of a comeback with a Jacob Girgle interception and 17-yard return, setting the Lobos up at the NMSU 35. Then Tyrone Owens took a handoff and found a running lane, but he tripped and was down. UNM settled for a 22-yard Jason Owens field goal.

The Lobos came up one two-point conversion short of tying the game in the final 1:11. Tuioit completed a 19-yard pass to Griffin to cut the margin to 30-28, but Tuioti’s pass attempt on the PAT failed.

Defensively, Burrell recorded eight tackles for UNM. Three Aggies had at least 10 tackles – Javahn Ferguson with 14 and Dalton Harrington and Terrill Hanks with 10 apiece.

"I’m pleased that we hung in there under some just awful conditions and we were able to mount a comeback," Davie said. "… My concern is my football team and how we improve. We have a lot of improvement to make. It’s that simple."

Credits

J.R. Oppenheim

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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