San Diego State (0-3) at New Mexico State (0-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, September 28, 8:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Aggie Memorial Stadium (30,343) -- Las Cruces, New Mexico. Television: ALT, ESPN3, FS-SD, AZ+. Home Record: SDSU 0-2, NMSU 0-2. Away Record: SDSU 0-1, NMSU 0-2. Neutral Record: SDSU 0-0, NMSU 0-0. Conference Record: SDSU 0-0, NMSU 0-0. Series Record: San Diego State leads, 8-1-1.
GAME NOTES: On Saturday night in Las Cruces, one team will finally be able to put a tally in the win column as the New Mexico State Aggies play host to the San Diego State Aztecs in non-conference action.
After a combined seven games between the two programs, there hasn't been a single victory. The Aztecs, members of the Mountain West Conference, are giving up an average of nearly 39 ppg after bowing to Oregon State last Saturday, 34-30, at home.
Saddled with a four-game losing streak dating back to last season when the team fell to BYU in the Poinsettia Bowl, the Aztecs are still better off than New Mexico State which is tied with Southern Miss for the longest losing streak in the country overall at the moment, 15 games. The Aggies have not been on the winning side of a decision since defeating Sacramento State (49-19) in the 2012 opener.
Now operating as an Independent after playing in the Western Athletic Conference for several years, NMSU is coming off yet another lopsided defeat last Saturday night, a 59-13 loss to nationally-ranked UCLA on the road. The Aggies have given up no fewer than 42 points in any game this season under new head coach Doug Martin, while scoring no more than 21.
Three years ago, SDSU delivered a 41-21 win over the Aggies, moving the Aztecs to an 8-1-1 advantage in the all-time series.
The Aztecs gave a good effort against Oregon State at Qualcomm Stadium last Saturday, but still the team ended up with yet another setback. Adam Muema rushed a career-high 28 times for 71 yards and a touchdown for an SDSU squad that led 27-14 heading into the fourth quarter before falling apart. Quarterback Quinn Kaehler, who converted 16-of-25 pass attempts for 251 yards and two touchdowns, was sacked five times and had a pair of passes picked off, one of those being returned 16 yards for a touchdown late in the final period to decide the outcome. Colin Lockett finished with five receptions for 113 yards and a score.
The SDSU defense watched OSU receiver Brandin Cooks reel in 14 passes on the other side. On a positive note, the Aztecs did limit the visitors to just 10 net rushing yards on 20 attempts. Unfortunately, that effort to keep OSU's runners from gaining significant yards may have been a one-time thing, seeing as how the Aztecs are still 56th in the country with 148.3 ypg allowed on the ground.
After scoring a solid 32.9 ppg a season ago, good for third in the conference and 36th nationally, the Aztecs find themselves generating just 18.7 ppg through three games, 105th in the country. A big reason for the drop-off is the instability at the quarterback position where, even though the team is averaging a healthy 261.7 ypg, Kaehler and Adam Dingwell have combined to throw eight interceptions and only three touchdowns.
The running game has dropped off as well, with Muema leading the way with just 93 yards on 41 attempts over three outings.
The Aggies were met with their 12th straight road loss last Saturday as they got hammered at UCLA by 46 points. The margin of defeat was substantial, but still fell short of the 49-point setback suffered against Texas on the road in the opener.
Held scoreless for the first three quarters, NMSU didn't get on the board until the early moments of the fourth when Andrew McDonald hit Adam Shapiro with a 33-yard touchdown pass. Brandon Betancourt added a four-yard TD run later in the frame, but the subsequent PAT was missed. Betancourt finished with a team-best 95 rushing yards on 18 attempts, while McDonald and King Davis III combined to hit 15-of-26 passes for 146 yards.
Defensively, the Aggies were torched for 692 yards and were left on the field for 94 snaps. Davis Cazares finished with a team-best 12 tackles, recorded two interceptions and a fumble recovery in the losing effort for NMSU. Cazares is averaging a dozen stops per game, but without much help the team continues to lose in a big way.
In terms of run defense, the Aggies are permitting a staggering 323.0 ppg, ranking 123rd in the country. Because of the inability to stop the run, NMSU is saddled with giving up 605.5 ypg in total offense, also 123rd in the nation this week.
With just 15.5 ppg coming from the offense (113th nationally), the Aggies often don't have a prayer against the competition, although the team might be able to keep things relatively interesting this weekend against a San Diego State program that is having its own issues trying to get the offense off the ground.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: San Diego State 34, New Mexico State 17
09/25 10:52:14 ET