LAS CRUCES, New Mexico - History was made Wednesday night for the New Mexico State Aggies.
NMSU secured their first ever Conference USA victory after defeating the Florida International (FIU) Panthers by a final score of 34-17.
Coming off a bye week, the Aggies showed their freshness on both sides of the ball.
The defense forced FIU to go three-and-out on their opening drive of the game.
While the offense moved the chains down the field, including converting on a fourth and one before QB Diego Pavia found Chris Bellamy in the endzone.
FIU hit back immediately courtesy of an insane step from Keyone Jenkins on the QB keep.
With the game tied at 7, it was the Aggies turn to return serve but on third down in their own half, Pavia fumbled the ball.
He managed to recover which allowed NMSU to punt instead of giving FIU the ball in the red zone.
Off a short field FIU got to the 11-yard line anyway but the Aggie defense came up with a massive stop on fourth and one to force the panthers to turn it over on downs.
The Aggie would be the next to find the end zone.
This time Diego Pavia went 49-yards in the air to Jordin Parker to give NMSU a 14-7 lead.
Playing complimentary football the defense on first down sacked Jenkins for a loss of five yards which lead to a quick three-and-out.
But in the ensuing drive Diego Pavia was picked off by CJ Christian at the FIU 19.
The panthers would capitalize off the turnover driving 81 yards on nine plays ending in a six-yard rush from Shomari Lawrence to tie the game at 14.
That would be the score at the half.
The teams would trade field goals in the third quarter as they entered the 4th quarter tied at 17.
In the 4th quarter, NMSU's offense would go on a run.
Diego Pavia would find pay dirt again, but this time on the ground.
Pavia would take it 43 yards to the end zone off a quarterback keeper.
NMSU would retake the lead, 24-17.
On their next drive, the Aggies would tack on six more points courtesy of a 3-yard touchdown run by NMSU running back, Star Thomas.
NMSU would extend their lead to 14 points, 31-17.
Aggies defense would come up big with two interceptions to hold back FIU's offense.
NMSU would then connect on one last field goal late in the 4th quarter to go up 34-17.
With Wednesday's victory, the Aggies improve their overall record to 3-3, 1-1 in conference play.
NMSU will look to pick up their second win in conference place when they host Sam Houston State next Wednesday, October 11.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Aggie Memorial Stadium.