The New Mexico State football team lost its opening conference game to undefeated UT-San Antonio, 35-14, Saturday night inside Aggie Memorial Stadium in from 14,341 fans. The Aggies fall to 1-4 on the season (0-1 in WAC play) while UTSA improves to 5-0 (1-0 in WAC play).
The Aggies were led by sophomore quarterback Andrew Manley who finished 21-of-40 passing with 276 passing yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. Junior running back Germi Morrison led NM State on the ground with 30 yards rushing on eight carries while sophomore wide receiver Austin Franklin once again led the Aggies in receiving with seven catches for 105 yards and one touchdown. Franklin has at least one touchdown catch in each of the Aggies' first five games and Saturday was the fourth time in five games he has had over 100 yards receiving.
Defensively, junior strong safety Davis Cazares led the NM State with 10 total tackles while senior linebacker B.J. Adolpho finished with seven tackles.
NM State's first possession was highlighted by a fake punt that moved the ball into UTSA territory. The Aggies, however, failed to take advantage of the opportunity as they were stopped on fourth-and-two from the Roadrunner's 27-yard line.
After forcing a quick three-and-out, NM State got the ball back and proceeded to go on a seven-play, 55-yard drive that resulted in the game's first touchdown. The drive was aided by a couple of 16-yard passes from Manley, first to senior wide receiver Kemonte' Bateman and then to sophomore wide receiver Austin Franklin. Manley finished off the drive with an eight-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Trevor Walls. It was Wall's first-career touchdown catch as an Aggie.
NM State's defense forced a punt on the Roadrunner's next possession. Franklin, however, fumbled the ball on the ensuing punt return. UTSA recovered the ball on the Aggie 48-yard line. The very next play junior quarterback Eric Soza hit junior running back Evans Okotcha on 48-yard touchdown pass. The one-play drive tied the game at seven.
UTSA would go on to score the only two touchdowns of the second quarter to go up 21-7 at halftime.
Manley had 149 passing yards at the half on 13-of-24 passing. Sophomore running back Joseph Mathews had 20 yards on the ground at the half while senior wide receiver had 55 yards on four catches.
UTSA took the ball back after an interception by Manley at the Aggie 18-yard line. That was followed by Soza hitting junior wide receiver Cole Hicks in the right corner of the end zone to give the Roadrunners a 28-7 lead. It would be the only scoring of the third quarter.
NM State drove the ball right back on their next possession and had a third-and-goal at the 4-yard line before Manley threw an interception in the end zone.
NM State cut the lead to 28-14 early in the fourth quarter on a 41-yard touchdown pass from Manley to Franklin. It would be as close as the Aggies would get to UTSA, however, as the Roadrunners closed out the scoring with a touchdown late in the fourth to make the final score 35-14.
The Aggies now head to Idaho to play the Vandals next Saturday, Oct. 6. Game time is set for 3 p.m. (MT).