The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

The Independent Student Voice of NMSU Since 1907

NMSU Round Up

Aggies upset SEC opponent Auburn in epic fashion

Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics.

In a game where New Mexico State University athletics accepted $1.85 million from Auburn University to send its football team to the Jordan-Hare Stadium, the Aggies stunned the Tigers with a 31-10 aggressive performance to earn their first win against a Southern Conference opponent. The historic night was led by junior quarterback Diego Pavia as the Aggies’ offense overpowered the Tigers in total yards (414-213) and more than tripled the Tigers’ 65 rushing yards with 213 of their own.  

As for personal statistics, Pavia continues to cement his position in Aggie history as he recorded 201 passing yards and three touchdowns while producing diverse throws to 11 different receivers.  

To start the first quarter, Pavia led a scoring drive on the Aggies’ opening possession after connecting with receiver Kordell David in the back right corner for a nine-yard touchdown to give the Aggies an early 7-0 lead over the Tigers.  

After getting off to a quick offensive start, the Aggies’ defense quickly marched onto the field and forced a three and out, resulting in a punt for the Tigers.  

The Aggies looked poised to score again after quickly picking up two first downs after running back Makhilyn Young rushed to his right for 14 yards followed by Pavia connecting with redshirt junior Jordin Parker for a 28-yard completion, putting them in Tiger territory. The Aggies managed to pick up two more first downs before the Tigers briefly stopped their momentum and forced the Aggies to punt.  

Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics.

The Tigers offensive struggles continued to show in their next possession as quarterback Payton Thorne threw an incompletion but managed to pick up two yards on a run. On third and eight, Thorne completed a pass that would have been a first down, but a holding penalty negated the play and pushed the Tigers back 10-yards, resulting in another punt after failing to pick up a first down on third and long.  

Later in the second quarter, after struggling to stop the Aggies on their first two possessions, the Tigers defense quickly got another stop on third down, resulting in the Aggies second straight punt.  

Not only did the Tigers defense improve in this stretch, but their offense quickly found their groove and moved the ball down the field. Thorne led a 12-play drive from his team’s own 19-yard line and connected with Rivaldo Fairweather in the endzone for a 32-yard touchdown pass to tie the game 7-7.  

Coming off two straight punts, the Aggies put together a drive that bled the clock down to the final minute of the half. Pavia completed two consecutive passes to receivers Eli Stowers and Donovan Faupel for 32 combined yards. Continuing their momentum, the Aggies ran four straight rush plays to get inside the red zone but were forced to settle for a 40-yard field goal from kicker Ethan Albertson to give the Aggies a 10-7 halftime lead. 

The Aggies picked up where they left off coming into the third quarter as running back Star Thomas scrambled up the middle for a 31-yard run. Pavia continued to overwhelm the Tigers defense by finding his receivers down the field for 33 yards before completing a short 17-yard touchdown pass to Thomas, extending their lead to double digits.  

Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics.

After another defensive stop, the Aggies took their next drive into the fourth quarter. A hot start to the drive led to the Aggies facing fourth down and two in their own territory. Just when it looked like the Tigers would receive the ball, the Aggies pulled off a successful fake punt that kept the drive going. The fake punt led to Pavia’s third touchdown pass of the night where he found Stowers in the end zone to take the dominant 24-7 lead. 

Limiting the Tigers to a field goal on their next drive, the Aggies finalized the night with another touchdown drive to give them a 31-10 win over the Tigers, marking their first victory over an SEC team after being 0-27 in previous meetings.  

“Our kids played with relentless effort, some hurt, the last play Ben Peterson kind of summed it up, he fell down, got back up and sacked the quarterback,” head coach Jerry Kill said after the historic game. “So relentless effort by them, and this has got to go down to one of the biggest wins New Mexico State’s had in a long time. 

The win extends the Aggies’ winning streak to seven games and improves their record to 9-3, their second most wins since the 1960 season where the Aggies went 11-0 and won the Border Conference Championship. 

The Aggies will now return to Las Cruces for the final game of the season. They will face off against Jacksonville State on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. Coverage will be streamed on all ESPN platforms and 99.5 FM KXPZ. 

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About the Contributor
Victor Fierro
Victor Fierro, Sports Writer
Victor Fierro is starting his first year with The Round Up as a staff writer. He is currently a senior majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a minor in Sports Marketing. He developed a passion for writing when he was in high school. His main goal is to become a play-by-play announcer for an NBA team. Victor loves to write game stories for all sports including basketball and football. Victor hopes working for The Round Up will help him grow as a person and a journalist.

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