LAS CRUCES, New Mexico (KVIA) -- The New Mexico State Aggies will look toward better days after losing their season opener to the UMASS Minutemen, 41-30.
It was a rough start for NMSU during their first posession of the game.
NMSU quarterback Diego Pavia would get picked off by UMASS' defense after the ball was tipped by a Minutemen defensive player.
UMASS would quickly capitalize on the turnover by marching down the field and getting the first touchdown of the game courtesy of a 10 yard touchdown run by running back Anthony Simpson.
UMASS would go up 7-0 early in the first quarter.
NMSU's offense continued to struggle until midway into the 2nd quarter when they took out Pavia and put in backup quarterback, Texas A&M transfer Eli Stowers.
While Stowers didn't throw in either of his two drives in the 2Q, he helped move the ball both times.
NMSU running back Monte Watkins scrambled in for an 80 yard touchdown run.
Aggies would pull even with the Minutemen, 7-7.
On UMASS' next possession, the Minutemen would cap it off with a field goal to retake the lead 10-3.
The Aggies would work it down field and kick a field goal of their own on their next possession to once again tie the game at 10.
In the 3rd quarter, the Aggies put Pavia back in and QB but they would struggle to get anything going offensively.
UMASS would pick up another 3 points on a field goal to retake the lead, 13-10.
NMSU had a chance at a field goal late in the third quarter, but NMSU kicker Ethan Albertson failed to connect on the attempt.
Aggies trailed the Minutemen, 13-10 at the end of the 3rd quarter.
Early in the 4th quarter, UMASS would find the endzone for the second time of the game.
Quarterback Taison Phommachanh would scramble for an 11 yard touchdown run.
UMASS would extend their lead, 20-10.
NMSU's offense would finally show signs of life on the ensuing possession after quarterback Diego Pavia would connect with Trent Hudson on a 41 yard touchdown pass.
NMSU would cut into UMASS' lead, 20-17.
The swing in momentum was short lived for NMSU as the Minutemen would respond quickly on their ensuing possession.
They'd march down the field and cap off the drive with a 10 yard touchdown run by running back Kay'Ron Lynch-Adams.
That would make the score 27-17 UMASS.
NMSU tried to answer back, but a costly mistake from Pavia after he was picked off by Isaiah Rutherford and the interception was then returned for a UMASS touchdown.
UMASS had its largest lead of the game, 34-17.
The Aggies still had some fight left in them after they would score a touchdown on their next possession.
Pavia would find Jordin Parker on a 40 yard touchdown pass.
NMSU would cut UMASS' lead to 10, 34-24.
Following an NMSU fumble that was then recovered by UMASS, the Minutemen would tack on more points after another touchdown run by Lynch-Adams.
Minutemen would extend their lead to 17, 41-24.
The game was well in hand for UMASS with a minute to go when NMSU would score another touchdown courtesy of a one yard touchdown pass from Pavia to Trent Hudson.
That made it 41-30 UMASS.
That would be the final score as NMSU starts their 2023 campaign, 0-1.
The Aggies will get another chance to get their first win of the season when they host Western Illinois Saturday at 7 p.m.