Tyler Rogers garnered the 11th 200-yard passing game of his career as the New Mexico State football team dropped a 38-22 decision to Battle of I-10 rival UTEP on Saturday night in the Sun Bowl.
The Aggies (0-1) scored three touchdowns in the second half. In addition, NM State forced three UTEP (1-0) fumbles, which included one fumble that NM State returned for a touchdown.
Rogers, who had just 48 passing yards after the first half, finished the game 17-of-41 for 206 yards. The senior quarterback led the team in rushing with 63 yards on nine carries, while Jaleel Scott had a team-high 68 receiving yards on five catches.
Peyton Theisler kicked off his NM State career with seven punts for 338 yards, with a long punt of 57 yards. Parker Davidson also amassed 321 kickoff yards.
UTEP quarterback Zack Greenlee went 15-of-27 for 229 yards. Aaron Jones led the rushing efforts with 266 yards on 31 carries.
After a back-and-forth first three drives, the Miners took the lead with a 37-yard rush by Aar. Jones. On the next drive, Rogers scrambled 22 yards down the left sideline before he completed a 29-yard pass to OJ Clark to put NM State on UTEP’s 16 yard line. Parker Davidson then put NM State on the board with an 18-yard field goal to leave UTEP with a 7-3 advantage after one quarter.
UTEP extended the lead in the second quarter. After Aar. Jones rushed to the Aggie 7 yard line, the Aggie defense held the Miners to a 23-yard field goal. Zack Greenlee then completed a 46-yard pass to conclude a 64-yard drive as the Miners took a 17-3 lead.
The Miners added one more touchdown to end the half. Greenlee found Warren Redix in the end zone for a three-yard touchdown to push the UTEP lead to 24-3 before the break.
The Aggies cut into the lead in the third quarter with a 12-play, 99-yard drive that spanned 4:04. Rogers connected with Jaleel Scott for 33-yards before Jason Huntley used back-to-back rushes for another first down that put the Aggies at their own 46 yard line.
Rogers continued the moment with two rushes and two pass completions to land NM State on the UTEP 29-yard line. Huntley chipped in a 13-yard run before Rogers found Scott on a 12-yard completion for first and goal. Rogers then used a quarterback keeper to walk into the end zone for the touchdown.
UTEP used a five-play, 75-yard drive to increase their lead again. DeMarcus Owens forced a fumble, but the Miners were able to recover before Greenlee found Hayden Plinke on an 11 yard pass for the score.
NM State responded on the next drive with a touchdown that took 1:12 off the clock. Rogers found Josh Aganon on a cross-field pass for a 14 yard gain and then completed a pass to Tyrian Taylor for 16 yards. Rogers then used connected with Royce Caldwell on another cross-field pass, which Caldwell carried 44 yards to the UTEP 1 yard line for first and goal. Huntley then scored the first touchdown of his career on a one-yard rush.
The Miners added a touchdown on an Aar. Jones rush at the start of the fourth quarter. After a NM State punt, Terrill Hanks garnered the second forced fumble of his career, which Owens recovered and ran 50 yards into the end zone for his first career scoop and score for the final score of the game.