Get To Know: New Mexico State

Let’s learn a little more about the Bobcats upcoming opponent, the New Mexico State Aggies

The Aggies come into this game with an overall 2-6 record, with all 6 losses coming in a row. They would sure love to get back in the win column this week. New Mexico St. plays in the Sun belt Conference for Football only, and other sports are still played in the WAC. The WAC no longer offers football due to most of its football members moving to other conferences last season, as in yours truly, Texas State.

Aggie History
New Mexico State played their first game in 1894 against their Long Time Rival New Mexico, although accounts conflict on the score they lost in both accounts; one says 25-5 while the other says 18-6. The Aggie program has never been a powerhouse, has never claimed a national title and in fact has not been to a bowl game since 1960, which is the longest current streak among active FBS schools. They do have 4 Conference titles coming in 1938, 1960, 1976, and 1978. The Aggies played in the first ever Sun Bowl in 1936 against Hardin-Baylor coming away with a 14-14 tie in the game.

Location and Info
The University is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and plays their home games in Aggie Memorial Stadium. Aggie Memorial stadium can hold an audience of just under 35,000 people, and its playing field holds to tradition with real Bermuda Grass. On campus, New Mexico St is home to around 17,700 students.

The Aggies are coached by Doug Martin who is in his second season and has led the Aggies to a 4-16 overall record. The Aggies have managed only 4 winning seasons since 1967, that fact has led many people to believe in the “Woodson curse”. The Curse is named after the most successful coach ever at the School who was booted in 1967, after a 7-2-1 record due to his tumultuous relationship with the staff at the school. They invoked a clause that stated all members must retire at the age of 65, which the coach would have hit during the off season.

The University has two rivals actively. NMSU's biggest rival is in-state foe New Mexico. The series, known as the Rio Grande Rivalry, dates back to Jan. 1, 1894 – eighteen years before the state of New Mexico achieved statehood – when the schools met in a football contest in Albuquerque. While it is clear that New Mexico won that first game, school records seem to disagree on the score. According to New Mexico media guides the final score was 25–5 but according to New Mexico State media guides the score was 18–6.

By the time New Mexico entered the union in 1912, UNM and New Mexico A&M (as NMSU was known prior to 1959) had already met on the gridiron six times. Beginning in 1993, the two universities played for the Maloof Trophy, but it was short-lived; the trophy was retired in 2000. Until 1937 the series was competitive with the Aggies holding a 15–12–4 lead over the Lobos. Since 1938 the Lobos have dominated the series 54–16–1, except during 1959–1968 when the Aggies won 7 of 10 meetings.

The Lobos all-time advantage is 67–31–5, however the rivalry remains spirited. The September 26, 2009 game when the Aggies won 20–17 in Albuquerque was the 100th time the teams had played each other. Most recently the Lobos crushed the Aggies 66-17, last season in Albuquerque.

The second rival is UTEP and that game is known as the Battle of I-10. Although UTEP holds the series lead at 52–35–2, largely due to dominance in the series from the 1920s to the 1960s, UTEP's advantage is just 22–19 since 1969.

The winner of the annual match-up receives a pair of traveling trophies. The older of the two is known as the Silver Spade. It's a replica of an old prospector's shovel found in an abandoned mine in the Organ Mountains near Las Cruces, and has been traded between the schools since 1955. A second trophy, officially titled the Mayor's Cup but commonly nicknamed the Brass Spittoon, was added in 1982.

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