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NMSU tops UTEP, 28-7 in 100th edition of the Battle of I-10

EL PASO, Texas - The  silver spade and brass spittoon are headed back to Las Cruces.

The New Mexico State Aggies got the better of the UTEP Miners in the 100th edition of the Battle of I-10 by a final score of 28-7.

This year also marked the first time since 1961 that the Battle of I-10 was a conference game.

This is NMSU's first season as members of Conference USA.

UTEP had won the last two meetings against NMSU, but this game belonged to the Aggies especially in the second half.

The Miners were shutout in the second half, while NMSU scored 21 unanswered points.

‌UTEP got the ball first to start the game, but on the opening drive were forced to punt.

The Aggies meanwhile took it into their own half and attempted a field goal but Ethan Albertson missed wide.‌

The Miners then went three-and-out but their defense looked to come up with a stop of their own.

On third down Diego Pavia was sacked but a penalty gave the Aggies a new set of downs and they capitalised.

Pavia rushed in from 10-yards out to open the scoring.

NMSU took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

‌The Miners hit back on their next drive in the second quarter off a 54-yard run from Deion Hankins on third and five.

Kevin Hurley rushed it in from half a yard out to finally put the Miners on the board and tie the game at 7.

On fourth and one at the 50, with 1.31 left in the half UTEP opted to punt.

The Aggies attempted to take full advantage driving 72-yards to setup Ethan Albertson for the 25-yard field goal attempt but it was blocked by Praise Amaewhule.

The game would go into the half tied at 7.

In the third quarter, the Aggies would go on a run.

On their first possession to start the second half the Aggies would cap off the drive with a touchdown courtesy of a 6-yard touchdown pass from Pavia to Thomaz Whitford.

Aggies would break the deadlock and go up 14-7, but they weren't done yet.

On their next drive, the Aggies would once again find the end zone courtesy of a 41-yard quarterback keeper by Pavia.

NMSU would extend their lead, 21-7.

In the 4th quarter, NMSU would score another touchdown on a 16 yard touchdown pass from Pavia to Whitford.

Pavia had a big night scoring all 4 touchdowns for NMSU.

Pavia threw for 186 yards, 2 touchdowns, while rushing for 96 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

UTEP's 4th string quarterback Cade McConnell who was again starting for injured QB Gavin Hardison was kept quit all night long.

No touchdowns for McConnell as he went 15-32 for 179 yards.

With the victory, NMSU improves to 5-3 on the season, 3-1 in conference play.

Aggies need to win just two more games to become bowl eligible.

As for UTEP, the Miners fall to 2-6 on their season, 1-3 in conference play.

With just 4 more games left to go this season, UTEP needs to win all four games to become bowl eligible.

UTEP will hit the road next Wednesday to take on Sam Houston State University, while NMSU will pay a visit to Louisiana Tech on Tuesday.

Article Topic Follows: UTEP

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Adrian Ochoa

Adrian Ochoa is ABC-7’s Sports Director.


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