LOGAN – With just seconds left in the game and the Aggies trailing by a field goal, Kent Myers’ 18-yard pass found Ron’Quavion Tarver in the endzone. Celebration ensued, but Tarver was called for offensive pass interference.
“That’s a hard one to take away from a kid,” head coach Matt Wells said. “I’m going to leave it at that and let the Mountain West comment on that Monday morning.”
After a 9-yard Myers run following the controversial call, the final seconds were ticking off the clock. Instead of spiking the ball, the field goal unit came onto the field. The potential game-tying kick missed, but the snap was too late anyway. Utah State lost 24-21.
The defeat put the Aggies at 3-7 on the year and 1-6 in conference. It guaranteed a losing season.
“It’s an emotional locker room right now,” Wells said.
USU led most of the game, but the Aggies had an opportunity to take a late lead. Instead of attempting a field goal on fourth-and-goal from inside the 1-yard line, Wells elected to go for the TD. The handoff to Tonny Lindsey failed. Less than five minutes later, UNM picked up its first lead of the game on a field goal with 1:06 remaining.
“We should have put more points on the board,” Myers said. “We had opportunities at the end of the game in the end zone.”
Myers finished the game completing 21 of 27 passes for 263 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The Aggie offense finished with 391 total yards to UNM’s 403.
USU started the game strong. The defense stopped New Mexico on its first two drives, and the offense capitalized. Thanks to a 26-yard Andrew Rodriguez catch on third-and-8, a 13-yard Lindsey touchdown run and a 22-yard Tarver endzone catch, the Aggies led 14-0 as the first quarter ended.
“We started off fast,” Myers said. “Which is exactly what we wanted to do.”
The run-heavy Lobos retaliated by trying something through the air. Wide receiver Q’ Drennan reeled in a 41-yard pass to set up a 36-yard field goal. Then the Lobos added a second field goal near the end of the half. The 37-yarder cut USU’s lead to 14-6 at the break.
The Aggies scored its last touchdown on the first drive of the third quarter after a 48-yard pass to Jaren Colsten-Green and a personal foul against UNM quickly put the Aggies in the red zone. Lindsey finished it a few plays later with his second touchdown of the game on a 4-yard TD run to take a 15-point lead.
All scoring that followed was done by the Lobo offense. UNM found the endzone for the first time of the night on an 11-play, 76-yard drive in the third, then opened up its next drive with a 37-yard pass to Drennan. Four rush plays and a 2-point conversion later, the game was tied with 2:24 left in the third quarter.
The Aggies will continue its season next Saturday against Nevada on the road.
“We’re encouraged that we have two more games to get a win,” senior linebacker Brock Carmen said. “But it hurts to not get that last one at home.”