AUBURN, Alabama (KVIA) -- New Mexico State Football have had an exceptional season. Two weeks ago they clinched back-to-back bowl berths for the first time since 1959/1960, last week they ensured they would play in the Conference USA title game their first year in the league and this week they went on the road and beat Auburn for the programs first ever SEC win in 28 attempts.
The 9-3 Aggies were 25-point underdogs heading into their clash with the 6-5 Tigers and came away as 31-10 winners and $1.85 million richer. It's NMSU's first seven-game win streak since 1960 and their first win over a Power 5 team since 2011 when they beat Minnesota at home.
During the week there were a lot of questions surrounding quarterback Diego Pavia's status after he got banged up in the WKU game. But Pavia played alright and took control of this game from the opening drive, leading NMSU on an 11-play 75-yard drive which ended in a nine-yard touchdown pass from Pavia to Kordell David that took 5:26 off the clock.
The defense backed it up forcing Auburn to go three-and-out on their opening drive. At the end of the 1st quarter, NMSU lead Auburn 7-0 but with 6:28 left in the 2nd quarter Payton Thorne found Rivaldo Fairweather for a 32-yard touchdown catch.
With the game tied at 7 and it being played at Auburn it felt like that touchdown might be all the Tigers would need to overcome their slow start but instead the Aggies kicked a field goal right before the half to take a 10-7 lead and didn't let Auburn score another touchdown.
With 5:03 to go in the 3Q, Pavia found Star Thomas back across the middle for a 17-yard touchdown pass which saw the Aggies go up by 10.
Then in the fourth quarter, the Aggies faked a punt which came off and Pavia found Eli Stowers in the end zone to finish the drive and take a 24-7 lead with 8:42 left in the game and from there, it was no question NMSU would get their first ever SEC win.
Pavia went 19-28 for 201 yards and three TD passes. The Aggies offense as a whole gained 214 yards while the held Auburn's run game to under 100 yards, despite them being the ninth-ranked rushing team in the country.
NMSU now head back home where they will play an 8-3 Jacksonville State team at 2 p.m. MT on Saturday.