New Mexico State stuns Auburn, Tigers fall 31-10

Auburn tight end Rivaldo Fairweather (13) catches a pass over New Mexico State safety Dylan...
Auburn tight end Rivaldo Fairweather (13) catches a pass over New Mexico State safety Dylan Early (11) for a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, in Auburn, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)(Butch Dill | AP)
Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 6:21 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 18, 2023 at 6:30 PM CST
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AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Auburn welcomed in Conference USA team, the New Mexico State Aggies, on Saturday afternoon for what many thought would be a walk in the park for the Tigers. However, this was not the case as the Aggies controlled play all afternoon and came out on top 31-10.

The Aggies carried the ball 75 yards downfield on the opening drive of the game, setting the tone for the afternoon. Diego Pavia found an open Kordell David for a nine-yard touchdown pass, and New Mexico State took the early lead.

After the teams exchanged punts for a while, the Auburn offense was able to find some success with their ground game. Quarterback Payton Thorne and running back Jaquez Hunter accounted for the majority of the yards as the team marched downfield 75 yards. Thorne used his arm to finish off the drive, connecting with Rivaldo Fairweather in the endzone to tie the game up at seven.

New Mexico State added a field goal in the closing minute of the half, and the Aggies led Auburn 10-7 at halftime.

The wheels fell off for Auburn in the second half. The Tigers were forced to punt on their opening possession of the second half, and the Aggies made them pay.

New Mexico State stormed downfield 80 yards on their way to the endzone. Diego Pavia continued his excellent play to finish the drive off when he found Star Thomas for a 17-yard touchdown pass, giving the Aggies a 10-point lead.

Auburn’s offense struggled to find the endzone again when they took the field. However, this time, they were able to find some points when Alex McPherson hit his 18th consecutive field goal for the season. It was now a 14-point game with just over eight minutes remaining.

Unfortunately for Auburn, the Aggies weren’t done yet. Makhilyn Young ran over the Tiger defense, carrying the ball four times for 38 yards, including a two-yard touchdown run to put the game out of reach for Auburn.

Auburn had one more chance at the endzone, but the drive ended after they failed to convert on a 4th and 16, handing New Mexico State their first-ever victory against an SEC team.

Auburn will have to shake this loss off quickly because next up for the Tigers is the Iron Bowl when they welcome in-state rival Alabama into Jordan-Hare Stadium to close the regular season. Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m.

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