USU Drops Season Finale 42-20 Vs. New Mexico State
Nov. 25, 2006
LOGAN, Utah - New Mexico State scored 28 first quarter points en route to a 42-20 win at Utah State in the home team's season finale here Saturday afternoon. NMSU improved to 3-8 overall and 1-6 in the WAC while USU fell to 1-11 and 1-7. The win for NMSU snapped a 21-game Division I losing streak.
USU was led by quarterback Leon Jackson, who came off the bench to throw for 146 yards and two scores in relief of Riley Nelson. Jackson connected with Kevin Robinson on a 27-yard scoring strike in the second quarter and then hit Otis Nelson from four yards out six minutes later to pull the northern Aggies to within 28-12 after a pair of missed two-point conversions.
The teams traded touchdowns and USU trailed 35-20 with 4:18 left in the third quarter. Both of USU's final two possessions ended in downs, while NMSU added its final score with 4:24 left in the game.
Robinson caught four passes for 101 yards and a score, while Jackson led the team in rushing with 48 yards on eight carries. The Aggies played without starting tailback Marcus Cross, who was injured. USU started wide receiver Aaron Lesue at tailback and he responded by rushing 11 times for 34 yards.
Defensively linebacker Paul Igboeli and safety Terrance Washington, each recorded 10 tackles. Igboeli had a tackle for loss, while Washington, a senior who was playing in his final game, forced a fumble. Caleb Taylor and Devon Hall each registered nine tackles.
New Mexico State, which entered the game with the fifth-ranked offense in the country, produced 491 yards, including 324 passing. USU had 332 yards of total offense, including 197 passing, its third-most this year.
While jumping out to a 28-0 first quarter lead, NMSU gained 229 yards on just 15 offensive plays.
Jackson relieved Nelson on USU's final first quarter drive and was six of nine passing for 99 yards and two touchdowns by the end of the half. Nelson was three of six for 51 yards and one interception.