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 on 10-game win steak heading into conference championship

Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics.

In a nail-biting last game at the Aggie Memorial Stadium, New Mexico State football pulled its tenth win of the season, the first 10-win season since 1960, in a 20-17 victory over the Jacksonville State University Gamecocks. Although this was a Cinderella story to be told, the Aggies had to surpass the opposition of JSU head coach Rich Rodriguez and his offensive duo of Zion Webb and Perry Carter.  

NMSU received the ball on the first possession of the game and junior quarterback Diego Pavia and company went straight to work. Pavia led the Aggies down the field to the 65-yard line where junior running back Jamoni Jones pushed through the PSU’s defense for the one-yard score.   

Looking fierce, the NMSU defense was led by Conference USA player of the week Gabe Peterson. With JSU’s Webb moving his team down the field on the hurry up offense, NMSU forced a quick three-and-out to put Pavia and his offense back on the field. On NMSU’s second consecutive drive, Pavia completed a pass threading the needle to junior receiver Trent Hudson for an 11-yard touchdown for the 14-0 lead. 

As JSU was set to receive the ball off the kickoff, coach Rodriguez’s offense came back onto the field again with the hurry up offense. Zion Webb pulled out all the stops to keep NMSU’s defense on its toes before Peterson sacked Webb to force another three-and-out.  

Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics.

“I think we did a good overall pretty good job defensively,” Gabe Peterson said after the game.  

Peterson’s stats on the day not only included the sack, but also nine total tackles.  

Heading into the second quarter, Pavia and NMSU looked prepared to battle for the rest of the contest. After multiple penalties on the offense during the possession, head coach Jerry Kill kept his team on the field for fourth down. Once the ball was snapped to Pavia, he found junior receiver Jordin Parker who just fell short of securing the first down.   

The JSU offense finally found its groove and made their way onto the scoreboard after a big gain from Webb to Carter but settled for a field goal from Alen Karajic. 

During the next NMSU possession, freshman running back Makhilyn Young set the tone having multiple 10 plus running yard attempts to push JSU back to their side of the field before he fumbled on JSU’s 26-yard line. Webb came back hungry and nailed multiple quick passes to Carter to set JSU up for its second field goal but, luckily for the Aggies, Karajic missed from 35 yards out.  

As the clock was ticking, Pavia dug deep to get NMSU in scoring range as senior kicker Ethan Albertson secured a field goal to extend NMSU’s lead to 17-3.   

At the start of the second half, both teams’ first drives went for a three-and-out. After another NMSU possession, the ball turned over three straight times after a fumble from Pavia, an interception from sophomore safety Myles Rowser, and Pavia being picked off by JSU’s Jeremiah Harris.  

“You can’t win and turn the ball over…” said head coach Jerry Kill on the team’s performance after the game. “It ain’t gonna happen again, I’ll tell you that.” 

Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics.

JSU retaliated with a field goal to cut NMSU’s lead to 11. After JSU’s Geimere picked off Pavia again, JSU ran the ball into the end zone to only trail by three after the two-point conversion.   

As minutes remained in the fourth quarter, it was any team’s game. The NMSU defense stood tall keeping JSU to a field goal after Zion Webb threw an illegal forward pass that could have set them up for the lead.   

With 47 seconds remaining, coach Kill’s offense went for one last drive as Pavia spiraled a pass to Hudson for a wide open 46-yard gain. With just enough time for a field goal, Albertson drilled the ball through the uprights for the 52-yard game winner.   

“I really love the guys I played with, and I was very confident that [Albertson] was gonna go win,” Hudson said. “We’re very appreciative to have him and I feel like he’s very confident every time he stepped on the field.”  

At the end of the day, Hudson’s tallied five receptions for 70 yards with one touchdown while Pavia finished with 23 completions for 269 yards and a touchdown pass.  

Now that the regular season is over, NMSU will travel to Lynchburg, Virginia to take on Liberty University in the Conference USA championship game.  

“We will celebrate for a little bit, but we’ll be on Liberty…we’re going to work our tail off because you don’t get a second chance in life,” coach Kill said. 

NMSU will gear up against Liberty on Friday, Dec. 1 at 5 p.m. Coverage will be streamed on CBS Sports and on KXPZ 99.5-FM.  

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About the Contributor
Joshua Montoya, Sports Writer
Joshua Montoya is entering this semester as a senior. He is from Las Vegas, New Mexico majoring in Journalism and Media Studies with a minor in social media management. This semester is his first with The Round Up as one of the sports writers. Josh is passionate about sports and sharing his knowledge of them with audiences. Post graduation, he hopes to bring the skills he learns with The Round Up to write and report on sports leagues such as the National Hockey League and Major League Baseball.

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