Aggies Get Set To Host Nationally Ranked Oregon State

Beavers will be highest ranked team ever to play in Las Cruces.





Sept. 3, 2001

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Aggie Football 2001 - Game - 3

Oregon State (No. 22, AP, 0-1) vs. New Mexico State (0-2)

7:00pm (MT) - Aggie Memorial Stadium (30,343), Las Cruces, New Mexico

First Comcast Coaches Luncheon Is Friday

As is the tradition before every Aggie home football game, Friday afternoon will mark the first Comcast Coaches Luncheon at 12noon at the Las Cruces Hilton. The cost is $7.50 and the public is invited. Aggie head coach Tony Samuel will speak following lunch.

The Series

First meeting

The Aggies won their last game against a Pac 10 foe, defeating #22 Arizona State in Tempe 35-7 in 1999.

The Aggies 12-53-2 against current teams from the Pac 10 with all but one of those games coming against former Border Conference (1932-61) foes Arizona and Arizona State

Hot Numbers

Aggie tailbacks Kenton Keith and Walter Taylor have already combined for 320 yards this season. Keith is averaging 137 yards per game and Taylor 91.5. The two are combining to average 6.4 yards per carry.

The New Mexico State defense limited Texas Heisman Trophy Candidate Chris Simms to just 17 of 33 passing for 182 yards. Simms averaged 289 yards per game in his final three starts of the 2000 season.

Aggie Media Information

Radio: Live on Aggie Sports Network with Jack Nixon (play by play) and Bob Sherman (color). The flagship station is 101-Gold (101.1 FM) in Las Cruces. Pregame begins one half hour before kickoff. The game can also be accessed through the world wide web on the Aggie homepage located at nmstatesports.com

Television: Fox Sports Northwest will televise Saturday's game on a tape delay basis with Scott Lynn (play-by-play) and Steve Preece (color). The game will air on Sunday at 8am mountain time.

Beavers Highest Rated Team Every To Play In Las Cruces

The Oregon State Beavers come to town to face the Aggies in the 2001 home opener.

OSU enters Saturday's game as the highest ranked team ever to play in Las Cruces. The Beavers are currently ranked #22 in the latest Associated Press poll.

The last time the Aggies hosted a ranked team in Las Cruces was back on October 19, 1991 when New Mexico State hosted #25 Fresno State (Fresno won 42-28). The only other home game against a nationally ranked Division I-A team came against the same Fresno State program in 1989 when the 24th (AP) ranked Bulldogs beat the Aggies 45-5.

This will be the second consecutive week that the Aggies will face a nationally ranked team. Last week the Aggies lost at #5 ranked Texas. It probably won't be the last game against a ranked opponent. Kansas State, the Aggies opponent on September 22, was ranked 13th in last week's AP poll. Louisville, the Aggies first opponent this season, is on the verge of being ranked in the AP poll. The Cardinals had the 26th highest number of votes this week.

Taylor Closing In On Top Ten

Senior linebacker D'Wayne Taylor (Oakland, Calif. Skyline HS) is off to a great start in 2001. He leads the team with 19 total tackles including 12 against Texas. He now has 276 in his career and needs just 15 more tackles to move past Steve Campbell (1990-91) and into 10th place in career tackles. Taylor came to New Mexico State in 1997 after playing strong safety in high school. He had to sit out the 1997 season because he was a partial qualifier. To retain his final year of playing eligibility, Taylor had to graduate during the 2000-2001 academic year. D'Wayne received his degree this summer and is currently enrolled in graduate school. He has started all 36 games that he has played in at NMSU.

Aggie Defense Coming On Strong

Could this be the best Aggie defense in Coach Samuel's five seasons?

The Aggie defense had a very successful night breaking up passes against the Longhorns. New Mexico State registered nine passes broken up with three of those coming by the defensive line (2, Joe Olivo, 2, Josh Watts, 1, Paul Holland, 1, Walter Taylor, 1, Corey Paul, 1, Simon Ocampo, 1, Mike Boganowski). The Aggies limited Texas' Heisman Trophy candidate Chris Simms to just 17 of 33 passing for 182. Simms had averaged 289 yards per game in his final three starts of the 2000 season.

Texas averaged just 4.8 yards per play against the Aggie defense and while the Longhorns out-gained the Aggies 399 to 232, consider that Texas ran 83 plays to just 50 for New Mexico State and that the Longhorns had the ball twice as long as the Aggies (40:18 to 19:42).

The Aggie defense allowed just two plays from the line of scrimmage of more than 20 yards and limited the Longhorn rushing game to just 3.8 yards per carry.

So far this season the Aggies are allowing their opponents to average just 3.6 yards per carry. Last year Aggie opponents averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Aggie opponents are also averaging only 136 yards per game on the ground through two games. Last year the Aggies allowed 200.4 yards per game on the ground.

The Aggie defense also proved stingy several times inside its own 30-yard line against the Longhorns.

Texas' offense opened the game on the Aggie 22-yard line after New Mexico State fumbled the opening kickoff. The Aggie defense stunned the Longhorn defense as safety Tyrone Gifford stopped running back Victor Ike for a three-yard loss on first down, Joe Olivo hit Chris Simms as he was throwing the football on second down to force an incompletion, and Gifford sacked Simms for a loss of 10 yards, forcing a Longhorn punt.

The Aggie defense also forced the Longhorns into a pair of short field goals after impressive goal line stands. Texas had a first down on the Aggie 13-yard line late in the second quarter, but two rushing plays and an incompletion forced the Longhorns to settle for a 24-yard field goal. Texas then opened the second half by driving to the Aggie one-yard line where it had a first and goal situation. Josh Watts stuffed running back Ivan Williams for no gain on first down, Simms then attempted a play-action pass and was pressured by D'Wayne Taylor into an incompletion and Paul Holland and Taylor stopped Williams again from the one-yard line to force a 17-yard field goal.

The Aggies did the same thing in the season opener. Louisville had a first and goal at the New Mexico State eight-yard line late in the first half, but Taylor dropped a Cardinal running back for a one-yard loss on first down and two incomplete passes later, Louisville had to settle for a 26-yard field goal.

Keith and Taylor The New Dynamic Duo

Kenton Keith (Omaha, Neb. Benson HS) and Walter Taylor (Hobbs, NM) have already combined for 320 yards on the ground in two games and that's despite the fact that Keith missed last Saturday's game at Texas. Those two will try and be the latest one-two punch in the Aggie rushing offense. Last year Keith and Chris Barnes combined for 1,980 yards on the ground and in 1998, Denvis Manns and Joey Dozier combined for 1,865 yards.

Keith is hoping to return to action Saturday against Oregon State. He suffered a shoulder injury midway through the third quarter and Louisville and did not return.

Taylor has already far surpassed his numbers from 2000. Last year, as the team's number three tailback, he had just 25 yards on seven carries. As a true freshman in 1999, Taylor ran for 333 yards on 77 carries.

Success against nationally ranked teams is nothing new for Taylor. Taylor had 113 yards on 13 carries against Texas. It was Taylor's second 100-yard game of his career. His only other 100 yard game of his career came in 1999 when he rushed for 117 yards on 18 carries in the Aggies 35-7 win over #22 Arizona State.

Aggies Have Fared Well In Recent Home Openers

The Aggies have won three of their four home openers under head coach Tony Samuel. New Mexico State defeated Cal State Northridge (28-18, 1997), New Mexico (28-27, 1998) and New Mexico Highlands (73-7, 1999) before losing last year to New Mexico (16-13).

New Mexico State At Aggie Memorial

The "current" Aggie Memorial Stadium opened for business September 16, 1978 when the Aggies defeated UTEP 35-32. New Mexico State went on to win the Missouri Valley Conference title that season. New Mexico State owns a record of 38-78 in the current stadium including a 9-11 mark under Tony Samuel. That four-year mark is the best four-year run at home since the Aggies went 9-10 from 1992 to 1995.

The Aggies are 23-29 in non-conference games at Aggie Memorial. Last year the Aggies went 2-1 at home against non-conference opponents, defeating Tulsa (42-28) and Army (42-23) and losing to New Mexico (16-13). It marked the first time the Aggies had defeated two Division I-A non-conference opponents since 1983.

This is actually the second Aggie Memorial Stadium. The original Aggie Memorial, located east of Hadley Hall (NMSU's administration building) was home of Aggie football from 1950 through 1977.

Enzminger Reaches Milestone - Closing In On Another

Senior quarterback K.C. Enzminger surpassed the 5,000 yard mark for total offense in his career on the final play of the first quarter against Texas when he completed an 18-yard pass to Manwell Talbert. He is just the third player in school history to have at least 5,000 yards of total offense in a career. The other two are Cody Ledbetter (8,207, 1991-95) and Joe Pisarcik (5,780, 1971-73). He enters Saturday's game against Oregon State needing only 14 more passing yards to reach 4,000. He will become the eighth player in school history to reach that mark.

The Aggies (Enzminger & Buck Pierce) have yet to throw an interception this season in 32 attempts this season.

Another Century Topping Effort

Walter Taylor's 100-yard game against Texas marked the seventh time in the last eight games that the Aggies have had a player rusher for at least 100 yards. The only game they did not have a player reach that mark was last year against North Texas in the season finale when Chris Barnes rushed for 98 yards on 11 carries to lead the Aggies.

During the Tony Samuel Era, the Aggies have had a runner go over the 100-yard mark 26 times in 46 games.

Aggies Leading Rushers (2000-01)

2001

113, Walter Taylor vs. Texas, 9/1 137, Kenton Keith vs. Louisville, 8/23

2000

98, Chris Barnes vs. North Texas, 11/18 186, Kenton Keith vs. Idaho, 11/11 177, Kenton Keith vs. Utah State, 11/4 147, Chris Barnes vs. Boise State, 10/28 126, Chris Barnes vs. Arkansas State, 10/21 233, Chris Barnes vs. Tulsa, 10/14 71, Chris Barnes vs. Army, 10/7 129, Chris Barnes vs. UTEP, 9/30 46, Chris Barnes vs. Georgia, 9/23 80, Kenton Keith vs. New Mexico, 9/16 59, Chris Barnes vs. South Carolina, 9/2

Aggie Drives Are For The Long Haul

The Aggies have five scoring drives so far this year. Four of those five drives have gone for at least 70 yards or better. Saturday's lone scoring drive was an impressive nine play, 85 yard march towards a touchdown in the third quarter that cut the Longhorn lead to 27-7 with 1:02 left in the third quarter.

Long, time consuming drives are nothing new for Aggie football since the arrival of Tony Samuel.

Last year the Aggies had 42 scoring drives (not including overtime, defensive touchdowns or return touchdowns) with 23 of those going for 70 yards or better including 14 drives of 80 yards or more and two drives of 90 yards or better. The 90-yard drives included a 97-yard drive for touchdown against Boise State and 93 yard drive for touchdown against New Mexico.

Aggies Hoping For Big Crowd

This year's home opener is unlike any other in that New Mexico State will be hosting a nationally ranked team for the first time in a home opener.

Last year the Aggies played rival New Mexico in the home opener and drew 23,087 to Aggie Memorial Stadium. That was the largest home opening crowd since 1995 when 29,921 showed up to see the Aggies host UTEP. The largest home-opening crowd that did not involve UTEP or New Mexico was 19,380 for Indiana State in 1981. Since the current Aggie Memorial Stadium opened in 1978, this will mark just the 10th time in 24 years that New Mexico State hasn't faced either the Miners of the Lobos in the home opener. In those previous nine games, the Aggies are 6-3 including four consecutive wins (1999 over New Mexico Highlands, 1997 over Cal State Northridge, 1994 over Arkansas State, 1992 over Weber State).

Top Rushing Duos in School History

1,980, Chris Barnes (1,131) and Kenton Keith (849), 2000 1,969, James Pilot (1,278) and Bob Jackson (691), 1961 1,949, Bob Gaiters (1,338) and Pervis Atkins (611), 1960 1,865, Denvis Manns (1,469) and Joey Dozier (396), 1998 1,676, Jim Bohl (1,148) and Doug Dalton (528), 1966 1,656, Po James (1,921) and Lynn Martin (365), 1968 1,555, Jim Germany (1,096) and John Portasik (459), 1974 1,536, Po James (1,182) and Bill Byrd (354), 1969 1,472, James Pilot (1,247) and Jerry Brown (225), 1962 1,442, Kim Locklin (727) and James Hebert (715), 1983

Top Home Opening Crowds

31,839 vs. UTEP, 1993 30,341 vs. UTEP, 1991 30,193 vs. UTEP, 1978* 29,921 vs. UTEP, 1995 27,306 vs. UTEP, 1982 25,823 vs. UTEP, 1989 24,822 vs. UTEP, 1980 23,262 vs. New Mexico, 1985 23,087 vs. New Mexico, 2000 22,625 vs. New Mexico, 1998 21,874 vs. New Mexico, 1996 *First game at the new Aggie Memorial Stadium

Top Home Opening Crowds not involving UTEP or UNM

19,380 vs. Indiana State, 1981 18,821 vs. Wichita State, 1979 18,531 vs. Arkansas State, 1994

*First game every played in the current Aggie Memorial Stadium

Aggie Ticket Information

Home Single Game Tickets

General Admission End Zone $5 Pistol Pete Reserved (end zone to 10-yard line) $8 Aggie Reserved (10-yard line to the 30-yard line) $10 ASA Section (30 to 50-yard line). $13

Aggie students are admitted free with a valid NMSU student ID.

To purchase tickets call the Pan American Ticket Office at 505-646-1420 or Ticketmaster at 505-532-2060 or 915-544-8444. Fans can also order tickets on-line at ww.ticketmaster.com.

Special group rates are available for groups of 10 or more.

Home Season Tickets General Admission End Zone $20 Pistol Pete Reserved (end zone to 10-yard line) $32 Aggie Reserved (10-yard line to the 30-yard line) $38 ASA Section (30 to 50-yard line). $50

Family packs are also available for $50. That includes four season tickets, two adults and two children in general admission.

Season tickets can be purchased through the Pan American Center Ticket Office. Those tickets can be purchased in person or over the phone by calling 505-646-1420.

Single game purchase for road games can only be purchased through the Pan American Center Ticket Office. Those tickets can be purchased in person or over the phone by calling 505-646-1420.

Coach Samuel's Quotes From Sun Belt Teleconference (Monday, September 3)

On the Oregon State game. "This will be our first home game and then we'll be on the road for four more games. We would have liked to see them (Oregon State) win the game last night. We've got our chances. We've got them here and it's a great, great opportunity for New Mexico State football."

What impresses you about Oregon State? "Oregon State has a great offense. Their quarterback is a great one. They ran into a buzz saw at Fresno. They (Fresno) are a great team at home. A lot of people don't realize what Fresno has. Oregon State is very athletic. They will throw the ball better than Texas."

Have you ever faced a tougher schedule? "Never in my life. I'm hoping that our kids will keep plugging along and get something out of it. I'm hoping we can get a couple of wins to get our kids to realize how good a football team they are. I think we should have won the Louisville game. Texas just flat out-manned us."

On the availability of running back Kenton Keith. "He should be able to go. We are expecting him to play this weekend."

On the play of linebacker D'Wayne Taylor. "D'Wayne had a great game Saturday. He wasn't intimidated. It's as good a game he has played since I've been here. He played about 75 snaps, made some great plays. He is doing what he is supposed to do and that's lead our defense."

What are you expecting for a crowd Saturday? "The crowd was a definitely a factor at Fresno State. There was some electricity in the air. There was a definite home court advantage. We're expecting a good crowd and I hope it's a good, loud crowd. It's not everyday that a team like this comes into our stadium."

Defense

Left Rush End 80-Mike Boganowski, 6-4, 245, Sr., 3L, Bellevue, Neb. 57-Ryan Bakke, 6-2, 235, Sr., 1L, Phoenix, Ariz.

Tackle 99-Tommy Laborin, 6-3, 302, So., 1L, Animas, N.M. 95-Terrance Johnson, 6-1, 244, Jr., TR, Chicago, Ill.

Nose Tackle 45-Joe Olivo, 6-2, 252, So., 1L, Milton, Mass. 74-Lionel Apineru, 6-1, 290, Fr., HS, Barstow, Calif.

Right Rush End 97-Jamar Cain, 6-2, 232, Sr., 1L, Sacramento, Calif. 82-Greg Scaffidi, 6-4, 238, Fr., RS, Tampa, Fla.

Sam Linebacker 41-Jamar Lawrence, 6-2, 216, Sr., 3L, San Francisco, Calif. 34-Julmar Howard, 5-10, 198, So., RS, Carol Stream, Ill.

Middle Linebacker 56-Josh Watts, 6-0, 215, Sr., 1L, Glendale, Ariz. 30-Simon Ocampo, 5-11, 214, RFr., Flagstaff, Ariz.

Will Linebacker 43-D'Wayne Taylor, 6-0, 209, Sr., 3L, Oakland, Calif. 40-Adam DeGroff, 5-11, 209, Fr., RS, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

Left Cornerback 9-Corey Paul, 5-8, 166, Sr., 1L, New Orleans, La. 6-Tony Lukins, 5-11, 192, Sr., 3L, El Paso, Texas

Strong Safety 28-Siddeeq Shabazz, 5-11, 198, Jr., 2L, Anthony, N.M. 47-Lawrence McIntosh, 5-11, 188, Jr., Lincoln, Neb.

Free Safety 31-Tyrone Gifford, 6-0, 195, Jr., 2L, Lincoln, Neb. 15-Nick Crawford, 6-1, 171, Sr., 2L, Kirtland, N.M.

Right Cornerback 2-Paul Holland, 6-0, 167, Sr., 1L, Fresno, Calif. 26-Darrell Bernard, 5-11, 171, Jr., Tr., Miami, Fla.

Offense

Left Tackle 76-Jason Jewell, 6-5, 290, Sr., 1L, Phoenix, Ariz. 60-Tevor Kine, 6-6, 280, So., 1L, Vancouver, Canada

Left Guard 75-Shalimar Jackson, 6-3, 322, Jr., 2L, San Diego, Calif. 63-Steve Subia, 6-3, 354, Fr., RS, Midland, Texas

Center 71-Andy Dale, 6-1, 283, So., 1L, Broken Arrow, Okla. 68-B.J. VanBriesen, 6-3, 315, Jr., JC, George, Iowa

Right Guard 65-Tony Wragge, 6-3, 322, Sr., 3L, Creighton, Neb. 58-Chad Kahlsdorf, 6-5, 296, Sr., TR, Ventura, Calif.

Right Tackle 79-Terry Givens, 6-4, 313, Jr., 2L, El Paso, Texas 73-Steve Mascorro, 6-5, 330, Jr., 2L, El Paso, Texas

Tight End 89-Alex Davis, 6-4, 230, So., 1L, Bay City, Texas 87-Michael Bangs, 6-4, 228, Sr., 1L, Dallas, Texas 88-Chris Gocke, 6-4, 253, Jr., TR, Visalia, Calif.

Wide Receivers 84-Manwell Talbert, 6-2, 205, Sr., 1L, Washington, D.C. 27-Ronshay Jenkins, 5-7, 146, So., 1L, Richmond, Calif.

Fullback 48-Keeon Johnson, 5-11, 218, Sr., 1L, Spring, Texas 38-Sean Soares, 6-0, 225, Jr., TR, Fresno, Calif.

Quarterback 17-K.C. Enzminger, 6-1, 200, Sr., 3L, Denver, Colo. 11-Buck Pierce, 6-1, 201, Fr., RS, Gasquet, Calif.

Running Back 20-Kenton Keith, 5-11, 189, Sr., 3L, Omaha, Neb. 22-Walter Taylor, 5-9, 176, Jr., 2L, Hobbs, N.M. 23-Tony Bostic, 5-9, 194, So, 1L, Stafford, Texas

Wide Receivers 19-P.J. Winston, 6-0, 181, Jr., 2L, Commerce, Texas 7-H.B. Briscoe, 6-3, 199, Jr., TR, Daly City, Calif.

Specialists

Kicker 12-Dario Aguinaga, 5-11, 207, So., 1L, Tijuana, Mexico 40-Adam DeGroff, 5-11, 209, Fr., RS, New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

Punter 16-Brian Copple, 6-1, 196, Jr., TR, San Lorenzo, Calif. 24-Brad Evans, 6-3, 168, Fr., HS, Southlake, Texas

Holder 11-Buck Pierce, 6-1, 201, Fr., RS, Gasquet, Calif. 17-K.C. Enzminger, 6-1, 200, Sr., 3L, Denver, Colo.

Long Snapper 83-Charlie Maccarrone, 5-11, 210, RS, El Paso, Texas (P) 64-Brian Arroyo, 6-0, 235, Fr., HS, Silver City, NM (K)

Punt Return 27-Ronshay Jenkins, 5-7, 146, So., 1L, Richmond, Calif. 9-Corey Paul, 5-8, 166, Sr., 1L, New Orleans, La. 31-Tyrone Gifford, 6-0, 195, Jr., 2L, Lincoln, Neb.

Kick Return 6-Tony Lukins, 5-11, 192, Sr., 3L, El Paso, Texas 9-Corey Paul, 5-8, 166, Sr., 1L, New Orleans, La.