Las Cruces – Following a three-hour weather delay, the New Mexico State football team struggled against UTEP and fell to the Miners, 38-12, Saturday night. The Aggies' two-game win streak over the I-10 rivals was snapped with the loss.
"We hung in there for awhile with them," head coach DeWayne Walker said. "We turned the ball over and let the game get away from us. We'll go back to the drawing board and get ready for another rivalry next week."
Weather delays are not a common occurrence for the Aggies, and the last one was a 48-3 win over Western New Mexico, Sept. 6, 2003.
Before the delay, the Aggies trailed 7-0 after UTEP took advantage of an interception to convert the mistake into the first score of the game.
When play resumed, the Miners posted a 14-0 lead at the break following an 11-play, 92-yard drive with two minutes to play in the half.
Defensively, sophomore defensive end Pierre Fils led the Aggies with two sacks and both occurred in the last drive of the half.
The NM State running game had a solid showing in the first half with an 85-41 advantage on the ground. Junior running back Seth Smith tallied a game-high 43 rushing yards.
Midway through the third quarter, the Miners increased their lead to 17-0 with a 29-yard field goal. The Aggie offense hurt its cause with the second pick of the game that UTEP turned into seven points for a 24-0 advantage. On the next drive, NM State miscues continued to hamper the team and the Aggies fumbled the ball on their own 17-yard line. The Miners capitalized on the turnover and had a 31-0 lead through three quarters.
NM State began the fourth quarter with a senior running back Marquell Colston 1-yard touchdown run that capped off a six-play, 65-yard drive. Smith set-up the score with a 53-yard run to the seven-yard line.
Redshirt freshman Trevor Walls threw his first career touchdown to junior tight end Kyle Nelson with a five-yard strike with 3:14 left in the game.
The Aggies travel to in-state rival New Mexico, Saturday, Sept. 26, for their first road game of the season in Albuquerque.