San Marcos, TX (Sports Network) - Senior quarterback Shaun Rutherford threw a touchdown pass and tallied a game-high 138 yards on the ground to lead the Texas State Bobcats to a 66-28 victory over the New Mexico State Aggies in a Western Athletic Conference regular season finale.
Rutherford completed 8-of-17 pass attempts for the Bobcats (4-8, 2-4 WAC), which snapped a five-game losing streak to ends it 2012 campaign on a good note. Marcus Curry gained 86 yards and a touchdown on seven carries and Tim Gay rushed just twice for 75 yards and a score. Joplo Bartu had a big impact on the defensive side of the ball with a career-highs of 17 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and four sacks with a forced fumble. Blake McColloch also had a notable performance with 1.5 tackles for loss, one sack, a forced fumble, and a fumble return for a score.
Andrew Manley threw for 248 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception on 16- of-29 passing while under center for New Mexico State (1-11, 0-6). Germi Morrison racked up 123 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and Austin Franklin led all receivers with 91 yards on five receptions and also finished with 171 kick return yards. The Aggies finished the season on an 11-game losing streak and without a win versus an FBS opponent or conference rival.
Both offenses were unstoppable in the first quarter.
The Aggies struck first as Manley completed a 15-yard touchdown pass to Trevor Walls to conclude the game's opening drive just over three minutes after kickoff.
Texas State scored on its first possession as well. Curry capped off a six- play, 77-yard drive with a four-yard dash into the end zone.
NMSU's offense then returned to the field to drive 70 yards down the field, which put Manley in position for a five-yard scamper across the goal line.
The Bobcats wasted no time answering, as Gay broke away for a 75-yard touchdown dash which tied the score at 14. The Aggies then produced a 75-yard scoring drive which was finished off by a 14-yard touchdown run by Morrison.
Texas State took control in the second frame. After Rutherford tied the score with an 11-yard scoring pass to Brandon Smith, the defense produced two touchdowns off of Manley fumbles. First, Bartu sacked Manley and jarred the ball loose in the process. McColloch then scooped it up and returned it for six points. NMSU took back over, but McColloch got to Manley to force another fumble, which Jamie Clavell-Head returned 32 yards for a touchdown.
The Aggies turned the ball over on downs on Texas State's 25-yard line on their next possession. NMSU's defense managed to stop the Bobcats at the 40- yard line, but Cameron Fuller fumbled the punt return, which gave Texas State starting position at the Aggies' 21-yard line. Franks rushed 21 yards for a touchdown on the next play to extend the Bobcats' advantage to 42-21.
The Bobcats' special teams unit then got into the mix, as Craig Mager returned a punk 79 yards for a touchdown.
NMSU finally ended the 35-0 run when Manley completed a 30-yard touchdown pass to Kemonte Bateman to send the game into halftime with Texas State on top, 49-28.
The scoring slowed down after the break. The only points of the third quarter came courtesy of a 54-yard field goal by Texas State's place kicker, Will Johnson.
The Bobcats added a pair of touchdowns via a 16-yard run by Tim Hawkins and a 15-yard dash by Robert Lowe. Johnson's final successful extra point kick put Texas State ahead, 66-28, with just over a minute left to play.
Texas State recorded four total takeaways and turned the ball over just once itself. NMSU's defensive unit allowed the Bobcats to amass a season-high of 446 rushing yards.