Still Rolling on

Buck Pierce threw for two touchdowns and ran for a third as New Mexico State defeated Florida Atlantic 35-7 on Saturday. Pierce was 16-of-28 for 225 yards as NMSU (5-5, 4-2 Sun Belt) won its third consecutive game. Muammar Ali and Justine Buries also had rushing touchdowns for the Aggies.

NMSU broke it's year-long road losing streak and won for the fourth time in five games in dominating Florida Atlantic 35-7 at Lockhart Stadium.

NMSU had lost five consecutive road games dating back to October 25, 2003 before Saturday's dominating performance.

FAU came into the game 6-2 with impressive wins on the road against Hawaii, Middle Tennessee and North Texas.

The game was a designated league game for NMSU and improves their conference record to 4-2, tied with Troy for second place in the Sun Belt Conference with one game left to play. The Aggies beat Troy at home earlier this year 22-18.

NMSU's offense compiled 423 yards while holding Florida Atlantic to just 287.

The 35 points are the most given up by the Owls this year. They came into the game having allowed just 18.4 points per game.

Aggie quarterback Buck Pierce completed 16 of 28 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 42 yards and another score.

The Aggie offense did not turn the ball over while the Aggie defense forced four turnovers, turning them into 21 points. Over the last three games the Aggies have forced 11 turnovers and turned them into 56 points.

NMSU led 20-0 at the half. Gill Byrd then made a huge special teams play late in the third quarter with the game still in doubt. FAU had driven to the Aggie 13-yard line, but were forced to attempt a field goal.

Byrd blocked the Mark Myers 30-yard attempt from his outside rushing position and Shukree Shabazz returned it to the 50-yard line.

Although NMSU didn't cash in, Brad Evan's punt pinned the Owls back at their two-yard line. Five playss later, Greg Scaffidi recovered a fumble at the FAU 23-yard line. Muammar Ali then scored from one-yard out for his sixth rushing touchdown of the year, all in the last five games to give the Aggies a 28-0 lead.

FAU finally got on the board with just over 11 minutes left to play, breaking NMSU's scoreless streak at 74:07, but the Aggies recovered the ensuing onside kick.

The Aggies then drove 30 yards in six plays, culminating in a two-yard touchdown run by Justine Burries with 7:12 left the game to end the scoring.

The Aggies dominated the first half and took a 20-0 lead going into the locker room.

NMSU out-gained the Owls 314 to 88 in the first 30 minutes of action.

After stopping the Aggie offense on three plays to start the game, FAU drove 29 yards to the Aggies 35-yard line, but could get no further and had to punt. NMSU took control after that.

Backed up on their own four-yard line and facing second and 13, Pierce completed a pass to Jeremy Lawson who took it out to the 35-yard line. On fourth and one from NMSU 44-yard line, Pierce drew the Owl defensive line offside to gain a first down. On the next play, Pierce hit Paul Dombrowski over the middle, he broke two tackles and rumbled 51 yards for a touchdown.

On the first play after the kickoff, defensive tackle Chase Spicer recovered a fumble on the Owl 31-yard line.

Fullback David Romaka, carrying for just the 11th time all season, ripped off a 25-yard to the FAU 21-yard line. Three plays later, Pierce completed an eight-yard scoring pass to true freshman tight end Andrew Mooney to make it 14- 0 with 5:33 left in the first quarter.

The Aggie's third score came off another big play by the defense.

Safety Matt Griebel picked off a pass at the FAU 40-yard line and returned it to the Owl eight. Three plays later, Pierce scrambled into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown, his first rushing score of the season.

NMSU's defense did not allow a first down on FAU?s next five drives, allowing only 13 yards on the next 13 plays. The Owls had two first downs on the first drive of the first half and two on their last drive.


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