The culmination of the Utah State Aggie football season provided a clear picture of how the majority of the season looked. They beat an inferior team by a lot of points. They got ahead early and never looked back in their second ever New Mexico bowl win. The final score was 52-13 in Albuquerque. With their second 11 win season in the last 10 years, Utah State put an exclamation mark on that victory.
Utah State converted for a touchdown in the first minute of the game by connecting with Aaron Vaughans on the left side for 72 yards to the house. North Texas looked like they just might be competitive until their star quarterback Mason Fine went down. The “Mean Green” never led at any point in the game but they were tied 7-7 with Utah State for about 53 seconds.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the game was not any single touchdown, but a celebration after one that resulted in a 15 yard penalty for the Aggies. Take a look.
The Aggies finished the game with 4 passing touchdowns, 3 rushing touchdowns, 2 turtle doves, and an Eberle field goal in a Mean Green Tree. The Aggie blue and fighting white emerged victorious just like they did in Family Feud competition in the friendly events days before the game.
Perhaps the most impressive part was Utah State didn’t have a lot of their coaching staff. Former Aggie head coach Matt Wells and most of his staff had left several weeks prior. The offensive coordinator David Yost agreed to help one of the highest scoring offenses in the nation for one more game before heading back to Lubbock. Assistant coach Frank Maile assumed the role of head coach and did a tremendous job with the bowl preparation.
The result in New Mexico was much more positive than the basketball game that the Utah Jazz were playing in “Old” Mexico. They lost to the Orlando Magic in Mexico City at 3 PM just as the Aggie game was finishing up.
The New Mexico Bowl offensive player of the game was none other than star quarterback Jordan Love. He finished the season as the only Aggie quarterback ever to record more than 30 passing touchdowns in a season. On the defensive side DJ Williams was the player of the game as he recorded 2 of the 4 total interceptions thrown in the day. Four quarterbacks got minutes for the Mean Green. Two did alright but the other two struggled. Chase Fine did fine (no pun intended) and might have had North Texas within striking distance had he not gone down. Kason Martin did well as he recorded the most yards (110). He did get -21 rushing yards though. Quin Shanbour was just abysmal as he threw 3 interceptions. Last but not least, Jason Bean threw a pick too.
Fun Facts: This is the second time in five years that the Aggies have defeated a team from the Lone Star State in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. In 2014 they defeated UTEP with their third string quarterback so you have to tip your hat to the Aggies for having plenty of mercenaries in case they need backup. With early signing day the Aggies will have plenty of work to start the New Year and build off of their successful season last year.