LAS CRUCES, NM – For the 112th time in history, the NM State football team will square off against its in-state rival, the University of New Mexico, on Saturday evening. As the Aggies and Lobos prepare for battle on the gridiron, fans can enjoy the Hispanic Heritage Day festivities outside of Aggie Memorial Stadium. The Fan Fiesta will feature Luchadore wrestling, Mariachi and Folklorico entertainment, and more. Following the game, fans will be treated to a post-game fireworks show.
NM State has dropped three straight contests to the Lobos, dating back to September 9, 2017. The 2017 victory in Albuquerque gave NM State two-straight victories over New Mexico after winning 32-31 in 2016.
NM State (1-5) vs. New Mexico (2-4, 0-3 Mountain West)
dates: October 15, 2022
Time: 6:00pm MT
TV: FloSports / Bally Sports Arizona (Tape Delay) / Comcast New Mexico
- Adam Young (PxP)
- Danny Knee (Analyst)
- Tatiana Favela (Sidelines)
Radio: Aggie Radio Network from LEARFIELD / The Varsity Network App
Navajo Radio: 107.3 FM KCYZ / The Varsity Network App
- Cuyler Frank (PxP)
- Glenson King (Analyst)
.17 – Throughout the 2022 season, the NM State defense has been outstanding on punt defense. The Aggies have allowed just 0.17 punt return yards per game – The eighth-lowest total in FBS football. Fellow FBS Independent member Army leads the nation, allowing -10.0 punt return yards per game.
10 – NM State captain Syrus Dumas recorded a career-high ten tackles against FIU. The cornerback’s previous high was seven, which came against No. 1 Alabama in Tuscaloosa last season.
13 – Chris Ojoh ranks 13th among active FBS players with 166 career solo tackles. Ojoh also sits in 15th among active players with 291 career tackles. This season, Ojoh leads all NM State defenders with 46 total tackles, including three sacks and five tackles for a loss.
14 – Following their opening contest with Maine, the Lobos have converted just 14% of their third down attempts. After going 9-12 in the opener, New Mexico has gone just 9-63 on third down.
110 – Ah yes. November 24, 1917. We remember it like it was only about 105 years ago. Coach John G. Griffith and NM State had a field day with New Mexico’s trip to Las Cruces, winning 110-3.
112 – The 2022 rendition of the Battle of I-25 will be the 112th meeting between NM State and New Mexico. The University of New Mexico leads the all-time series 73-33-5, including each of the last three meetings.
News and Notes
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE
Believe it or not, New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico are actually two separate schools.
New Mexico State University was founded in 1888 and located in Las Cruces, NM. NM State is home to 16 athletic teams, known as the Aggies, who mainly compete in the Western Athletic Conference. NM State uses crimson and white as the primary colors.
The University of New Mexico was founded in 1889 and now occupies nearly 800 acres in Albuquerque, NM. Also home to 16 varsity teams, the Lobos compete in the Mountain West and wear cherry and silver.
BATTLE OF I-25
Saturday will be the 112th meeting between NM State and New Mexico. The Lobos lead the all-time series 73-33-5.
NM State looks to win their first contest against UNM since September 9, 2017 and its first win in Las Cruces since September 10, 2016.
HISPANIC HERITAGE DAY
Saturday’s contest will mark NM State’s third annual Hispanic Heritage Day and Fan Fiesta. The fan fiesta will include Luchadore wrestling, Mariachi and Folklorico entertainment, and more. Fans can also look forward to post-game fireworks, beginning shortly after the final whistle.
Saturday’s game will be the first of two radio broadcasts in the Navajo language this season for NM State Athletics. 107.3 KCYZ FM in Carlsbad will carry the game with Cuyler Frank on the play-by-play call and Clenn King will be the color analyst.
Frank made history on September 23, 2005 when he was the First to announce an NCAA Division I game in the Navajo language – A 41-13 win for No. 13 California over NM State in Las Cruces.
The October 15th meeting between the instate rivals will be the latest into the season that the two teams have met since 2001. The 2001 Battle of I-25 took place on November 24 and saw UNM win 53-0.
For the first time this season, NM State took their victory lap around Aggie Memorial Stadium, taking down Hawai’i 45-20. NM State concludes every good practice with a victory lap – A tradition that Jerry Kill wants to begin in Las Cruces following wins.
A WINNING TRADITION
Following the conclusion of the 2021 season, Director of Athletics Mario Moccia quickly made a coaching change, hiring Jerry Kill to lead the Aggies football program.
Kill enters the 2022 season as the eighth winningest active coach in FBS football. Kill trails just Nick Saban (Alabama), Mack Brown (North Carolina), Brian Kelly (LSU), Willie Fritz (Tulane), Chris Crieghton (Eastern Michigan), and Terry Bowden (Louisiana – Monroe).
The ground game was working in full force on Saturday over Hawai’i. NM State ran for 357 yards and five touchdowns in the victory.
The game marked the first time since September 21, 2019 against New Mexico that the Aggies ran for four or more touchdowns in a game.
With 133 rushing yards, Star Thomas became the first Aggie to finish with between 100-149 rushing yards since Christian Gibson ran for 103 yards at UTEP in 2018.
Jamoni Jones ran for his first two touchdowns of the season in the win and became the second NM State player this season to run for two or more touchdowns in a game, joining Diego Pavia (2) at UTEP.
Chris Ojoh, Diego Pavia, Trevor Brohard, Lazarus Williams, Canaan Yarro, and Syrus Dumas have each represented NM State at the coin toss this season.
For the first time this season, NM State sent three players to the coin toss against FIU. Brohard, Pavia, and Yarro won the toss and elected to defer.
REPRESENTING A COUNTRY
With the addition of Nikhil Webb Walker, NM State now has the only player in FBS football with a hometown located in Jamaica. The linebacker recently joined the NM State roster as a walk-on.
SECOND QUARTER STRUGGLES
Through four games this season, NM State has struggled to get anything going. The Aggies are being outscored 93-30 in the second quarter thus far this season.
In the Hawai’i game, the Aggies made great strides towards erasing the deficit, outscoring the Rainbow Warriors 21-3 in the second frame.
Both of NM State’s games against UTEP and Wisconsin ended after exactly 3:23 of game time.
Throughout the early parts of the 2022 season, NM State has been platooning a pair of quarterbacks. Both Diego Pavia and Gavin Frakes have made starts and have seen action in every game for NM State.
As Nate Dreiling prepares to take over as the NM State Defensive Coordinator, he also becomes the second youngest DC among the FBS ranks. Only Austin Armstrong of Southern Mississippi (29) will be younger than Dreiling (31) at the beginning of the season. Dreiling is tied for the third youngest coordinator in FBS, regardless of offensive or defensive. Armstrong (DC – Southern Miss.) and Tommy Rees (OC – Notre Dame) are the lone coordinators who are younger than Dreiling. The Kansas native joins Zach Kittley (OC – Western Kentucky) as the only 31-year old coordinators.
ROAD WOE RRIORS
NM State has currently lost 21 straight road contests, tied for the longest road losing streak in the country with UMass. The Aggies’ next road trip will be to Amherst, Mass. to take on the Minutemen on October 29.
NOTES: LAST GAME (FIU)
Following the first win of the Jerry Kill era, the NM State program suffered a disappointing loss to FIU. Mustering just seven points against a struggling Panther defense, the Aggies went into the bye week tending some wounds.
After falling behind in the first quarter, Star Thomas and the NM State offense tied the game at the 12:58 mark of the second quarter. Thomas found the end zone on a two-yard run before Brett Money split the uprights to tie the contest.
From there, FIU would take a two-score lead into halftime and neither team could find the scoreboard in the second half.
Defensively, Syrus Dumas had a career day with seven tackles, including two for a loss. NM State recorded three sacks with Chris Ojoh, Sterling Webb, and Izaiah Reed each tallying one.
BEHIND ENEMY LINES (New Mexico)
Through six games in 2022, New Mexico holds a 2-4 record with wins over Maine and UTEP. Coming into Las Cruces, the Lobos have dropped three straight to LSU, UNLV, and Wyoming.
The Lobos have seen more success on the ground this season than through the passing game. Via the rush, New Mexico has gained 854 yards, led by 255 and a touchdown from Nate Jones. Miles Kendrick and Sherod White have both added three touchdowns on the ground this season.
Kendrick has completed 64 of 112 pass attempts with three touchdowns and six interceptions sprinkled in. On defense, the Lobos are led by Cody Moon and Jerrick Reed II, who have 47 and 46 tackles, respectively. Moon is tied with Justin Harris for the team lead at 3.5 sacks.
UNM made some changes to their offensive staff on Sunday evening. The Lobos relieved Derek Warehime of his duties as the offensive coordinator and tight ends coach. Quarterbacks coach Heath Ridenour has been elevated to interim offensive coordinator and graduate assistant Matt Clark will now serve as the interim tight ends coach.