Nov. 6, 2003
LAS CRUCES, N.M. - After a strong first half, Utah State struggled in the second half on both sides of the ball and lost at New Mexico State 26-21 on Thursday night. The loss dropped USU to 3-7 overall and 3-2 in the Sun Belt Conference, while NMSU improved to 3-7 and 2-4.
Travis Cox threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns, while tight end Chris Cooley had a career-high nine receptions for 97 yards and wide receiver Kenny Coleman had six receptions for a career-high 111 yards to lead USU's air attack. David Fiefia recorded his second straight 100-yard rushing game as he gained 106 yards on 21 carries as the Aggies ran up 424 yards.
However, USU allowed NMSU 401 yards, including 261 in the second half. Utah State led 7-3 at halftime, but NMSU scored on four straight possessions to move ahead 19-7 midway through the third quarter. USU responded with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Cox to Brian Majors to cut the margin to 19-14 with 3:49 left in the third quarter.
After NMSU pushed its lead to 26-14 at the 8:20 mark of the fourth quarter, USU tried to comeback scoring on an 18-play, 70-yard drive with 4:30 left. However, NMSU ran out the clock holding the ball for 10 plays as time expired.
Three USU players on defense were credited with double-figure tackles as Rodney Wilson had 17 stops, while Robert Watts and Terrance Washington each added 14. Derrek Shank had nine stops, while Ronald Tupea had two sacks and Jake Stewart added another sack.
UTAH STATE POSTGAME NOTES at New Mexico State, Nov. 6, 2003
o - USU dropped to 0-5 on the road this year... USU saw its 12-game winning streak at Las Cruces stopped... USU's two-game winning streak on the seson was stopped.
o - This marks the fifth straight game in this series that was decided by one score or less (USU is 3-2 in those games). It is the first one-score game for USU this season.
o - When New Mexico State scored a touchdown in the third quarter, it marked just the fourth touchdown USU has allowed in its last 13 quarters. It also marked the first time USU trailed in the last three games (trailed 12-7 at that point).
o - NMSU's scoring drive was the fifth touchdown drive of less than 20 yards against USU this year as well as the eighth scoring drive (includes field goals) that was 20 or less against the Aggie defense.
o - TE Chris Cooley went over the 1,000-yard receiving mark for his career (entered tonight with 985). Cooley also extended his streak of catching at least two passes to 15 straight games and has made at least four receptions in 11 of his last 12 games.
o - Cooley recorded a career best in receptions (previous best was eight on three occasions).
o - TB David Fiefia recorded his second straight 100-yard rushing game (had 101 last Saturday against Middle Tennessee). He is the first Aggie with back-to-back 100-yard rushing games since Emmett White had three straight in the eighth-10th games of 2001.
o - TB David Fiefia went over the 1,000-yard rushing mark for his career (entered the game with 952 yards in his career, including 726 this year). He has rushed for at least 80 yards in six of the last seven games.
o - WR Kenny Coleman had a career receiving yardage best (previous mark was 72 vs. Wyoming) and career receptions best (seven vs. New Mexico). He is the the second Aggie to record 100 receiving yards in a game this year (Chris Stallworth ahd 113 in season opener at Utah). Coleman also had his first career rush on a reverse in the fourth quarter.
o - WR Brian Majors' 19-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter was the second reception of his career (three yards vs. Arizona State earlier this season).
o - QB Travis Cox threw 94 consecutive pass attempts without an interception until getting picked off late in the first quarter. The last interception he had thrown was against North Texas three games ago.
o - Cox extened his streak of throwing at least one touchdown pass to 10 consecutive games. As a team USU has thrown a touchdown pass in 12 straight games.
o - USU continued its solid first half defense and has allowed just three points in the first half in the last three games combined (those three came tonight on NMSU's last first half possession).
o - When Chris Cooley scored a touchdown in the first half, it marked the eighth different player to score USU's last eight touchdowns. Brian Majors' touchdown made it nine straight different players to score the last nine touchdowns. David Fiefia's fourth-quarter score stopped that streak.
o - The scoreless first quarter was the second time this year a USU game had a scoreless quarter (third quarter of the UL-Monroe game).
o - USU attempted its first field goals since the third game of the year.
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