NMSU Last Second Field Goal Tops USU, 20-17, Saturday
Oct. 10, 2009
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - New Mexico State's Kyle Hughes' 28-yard field goal as time expired gave NMSU a 20-17 win over Utah State Saturday night in USU's Western Athletic Conference opener.
Utah State is 1-4 overall with the loss and 0-1 in WAC action while NMSU improves to 3-3 overall, 1-1 in conference action. Saturday's loss snapped USU's two-game win streak in the series and the navy Aggies now lead the all-time series 27-7, as well as 15-3 in Las Cruces.
The loss offset a milestone night for sophomore running back Robert Turbin with a career-best 184 yards, the most for a USU running back since Emmett White's 233 yards vs. Weber State in 2001. Turbin also went over the 1,000 career rushing yards milestone, becoming the first since David Fiefia (2000-03), who ended his career with 1,193 yards.
Utah State amassed 429 yards of total offense with 258 rushing and 171 passing, but had 12 penalties for 128 yards.
New Mexico State posted 230 total offense yards, on 149 rushing and just 81 passing, the lowest for a USU defense since 72 at North Texas in 2000.
Turbin posted his 184 yards on 24 carries, while junior quarterback Diondre Borel was 15-of-25 passing for 156 yards with one TD, a 21-yard pass to senior wide receiver Xavier Bowman. Sophomore wide receiver Stanley Morrison also had a TD pass, a 15-yard end around pass to senior wide receiver Omar Sawyer.
Sophomore linebacker Bobby Wagner, the WAC's leading tackler, made 11 stops while three other navy Aggies made eight each.
USU almost opened the scoring, after a long pass from Borel to Sawyer that Sawyer staggered and stumbled before regaining his balance on the way to the endzone. The play was reviewed and ruled that Turbin's knee touched the ground at the 10-yard line. An unsportsmanlike penalty put the ball back at the 25 and USU's drive stalled with a missed field goal.
NMSU scored on a 1-yard run by Trevor Walls with 3:48 left in the first quarter and went up 10-0 at the 9:35 mark on a 31-yard field goal by Hughes.
USU got on the board with a 34-yard field goal from senior PK Chris Ulinski with 7:09 to play. The navy Aggies tied the score at 10-all with 48 seconds left in the half on a 15-yard end around pass from Morrison to Sawyer. It was Morrison's second TD toss this season, after a TD toss to Turbin in the Southern Utah game.
Saturday was the first time that USU was tied at the half and just the second time in the last four seasons.
Utah State took the second half kickoff and marched down the field, getting a 55-yard run from Turbin before Borel later hit senior WR Xavier Bowman with a 21-yard TD pass.
NMSU tied it at 17's with 7:48 left in the third on a 1-yard Smith scamper, but neither team scored again until Hughes' game-winning kick. Utah State had several threats thwarted by penalties.
USU returns home to host Nevada on Saturday, Oct. 17 at 1 p.m. at Romney Stadium.
For season and single-game ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305, or online 24 hours a day at www.UtahStateAggies.com and clicking on the "buy/renew tickets" under the "tickets" drop down menu.