NMSU looks to hand UTSA first loss of season
New Mexico State plays host to new WAC member Texas-San Antonio on Saturday, with kickoff scheduled for 6 p.m.
It will be the first meeting between the two schools and the second FCS school NMSU (1-3, 0-0) will have played this season, as UTSA is in its final year of transition from the FCS to the FBS. It also will be the second team NMSU will have faced this season, and the Aggies will have another first later in the year when they face Texas State in the regular-season finale.
The Roadrunners come to Las Cruces with a 4-0 record after a 56-3 win over Northwestern Oklahoma State. Texas-San Antonio is 2-0 on the road and 2-0 at home this season.
UTSA is averaging 404 yards per game of total offense, 200.2 yards passing and 203.8 yards on the ground. The defense is allowing just 16 points a game and 247.8 yards a contest.
Eric Soza leads the Roadrunners with 695 yards passing and seven touchdown passes, averaging 173.8 yards a game. The rushing attack is led by David Glasco II, who is averaging 63 yards a game and 8.4 yards a carry this season. Earon Holmes and Kam Jones lead the receiving corps. Holmes has caught five passes for 106 yards and a touchdown, while Jones has six catches for 144 yards and a score.
Defensively, Brandon Reeves leads the way with 27 tackles, followed by Triston Wade and Blake Terry each with 24.
The Aggies do have a history of playing FCS programs, as they are 41-25-1 all-time against non-FBS teams.
The last FCS school NMSU played was Sacramento State to open
the 2012 season, winning 49-19 in Las Cruces. The Aggies last lost to an FCS team in overtime in
1997 at home against Cal Poly, 38-35.
The Aggies are 1-6 all-time in WAC openers, with their only win coming
against Nevada in 2008 in Reno, 48-45.
NMSU wide receiver Austin Franklin recorded his third 100-yard receiving game
of the season against New Mexico with a team-leading six catches for
107 yards and a score. He has four 100-yard receiving games in his
career, including three this season. Franklin also leads the team in scoring
with 36 points on six touchdown receptions. He is tied for second in the
conference in scoring with 9.0 points per game.
Nationally, Franklin ranks first in receiving yards per game, 28th in
receptions per game and 37th in all-purpose yards. He ranks first in
the WAC in two categories (receptions per game and receiving yards per
Safety Davis Cazares had a career day against New Mexico with 19 tackles
and a forced fumble. He had eight solo tackles and 11 assisted.
Cazares' previous high was 10 tackles against Sacramento State to start
Quarterback Andrew Manley has
thrown for 1,045 yards and eight touchdowns this season, completing 53.5 percent of
his passes. Against UTEP, Manley surpassed the 2,000-yard
passing mark with 290 yards, and against
New Mexico, Manley threw for over 200 yards for the eighth
time in his career and threw a touchdown pass for the seventh straight
Manley is currently fourth in the WAC in passing
yards per game (261.2) and fifth in total offense per game (244.8).
Running back Tiger Powell has been the Aggies' most productive piece in the run game. Against Sacramento State, Powell
punched it in twice, and he added a touchdown against Ohio and another against UTEP. Powell has rushed for
four of the Aggies' 10 red- zone touchdowns this season. He has recorded
111 yards on the ground in four games.
Cayle Chapman-Brown has 23 punts for 1,029 yards, averaging
44.7 yards a punt to go along with seven punts of over 50 yards. He was named an
honorable mention Punter of the Week by College Football Performance
following his performance against New Mexico in which he averaged 50.8 yards per punt on five kicks.
Chapman-Brown currently ranks third in punting averaging in the WAC and 21st in the nation.
Saturday's game will be the sixth annually in which NMSU will raise money for breast cancer research. The Aggies will be wearing pink ribbons on their helmets as well as pink socks and wrist bands. Last year's event raised over $100,000.